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Dirk Matten and Jeremy Moon

Corporate Citizenship (CC) has emerged as a widely used way of describing the role of business in wider society. As such, CC has been popular with academics, business leaders and politicians alike, as it locates the private corporation within a network of mutual responsibilities and obligations in their social environment. This research review takes stock of the debate by tracing back its origin, identifying the key topics and delineating the key controversies. The review places the discussion on corporate citizenship in a political context within the wider debate on the role of business in society. It features major contributions by the leading scholars in this area and provides an overview of ongoing developments, in particular at the transnational level.
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Dirk Matten and Jeremy Moon

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Dirk Matten and Jeremy Moon

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Dirk Matten and Jeremy Moon

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Dirk Matten and Jeremy Moon

The role of business in fostering the public good has been a contentious issue from the emergence of modern capitalism onwards. From early forms of philanthropy up to contemporary corporate social responsibility (CSR) business has faced and responded to societal expectations beyond its pure economic functions. The rise of global capitalism (often characterized as ‘neo liberal’) in the last four decades has coincided with a widespread proliferation of business practices that see the responsibility for the public good as an intrinsic part of private profit maximization.  The spread of global capitalism has thus been accompanied by the proliferation of business activities in favour of the public good, driven by corporate discretion and self-interest. In 2008, the authors termed such an assumption of social responsibility by business as ‘explicit CSR’ – as opposed to ‘implicit CSR’. The chapter critically examines the ‘implicit/explicit’ CSR dichotomy in the light of a decade of research on comparative CSR that has engaged with the proposed framework at various levels. We discuss three major research questions. We question the accuracy and usefulness of the proposed ‘implicit/explicit’ CSR dichotomy by looking at a number of empirical studies and conceptual suggestions that posit a much more unilinear character of neo-liberal forms of capitalism and the concomitant spread of explicit CSR. We also discuss empirical work that has looked at hybrid forms of implicit and explicit CSR to ask how implicit and explicit CSR interact. Finally, we raise questions as to the future of specific forms of CSR.

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Andrew Crane, Dirk Matten and Jeremy Moon