Theories and Evidence about Organizational Responsibility
Chapter 5: CSR and Legitimacy: An Empirical Study About the Image Consequences of CSR Policies
Introduction CSR is about the basic idea that businesses have to meet society’s expectations in their practices. Nowadays, businesses operate in an environment in which societal concerns have been raised to a considerable level. CSR can be seen as an obligation of the business world to be accountable to all of its stakeholders – not just its financial ones. This idea is far from new. To date, there is still no legally binding global code of conduct for multinational corporations or for foreign direct investment (Mah, 2004). This means that the practice of corporate social responsibility is still a largely voluntary act and subject to self-regulation. There are initiatives to come to international standards, like the UN Global Compact and the ISO 14001 environmental standard, but corporations can decide for themselves whether to adhere to them or not. Furthermore, a unanimous definition of CSR does not exist. This has resulted in difficulties when applying strict standards or sanctions to firms that do not comply with codes (Mah, 2004). Consumers increasingly base their opinion of a business on factors like treatment of employees, community involvement and environmental issues, instead of traditional factors like product quality, value for money and financial performance (Dawkins and Lewis, 2003). In addition to this, there is a trend in business that in particular young and highly trained employees want a sense of purpose in their work (Colvin, 2001). They want to know that their work has a positive effect on the world. The possibility for businesses to...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.