Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship
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Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship

Edited by Andreas Georg Scherer and Guido Palazzo

The Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship identifies and fosters key interdisciplinary research on corporate citizenship and provides a framework for further academic debate on corporate responsibility in a global society.
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Chapter 5: Corporate Citizenship and Community Stakeholders

Robert A. Phillips and R. Edward Freeman


Robert A. Phillips and R. Edward Freeman Introduction It is fair to say that the concept of corporate citizenship has witnessed a meteoric rise in terms of scholarly attention since Logsdon and Wood presented their original paper (Wood and Logsdon 2001, 2002; Logsdon and Wood 2002). Some elaborations and extensions of corporate citizenship make reference to earlier scholarship, others do not. Stipulating that work on corporate citizenship is intended to add to the conversation around the role of business in society, it is reasonable to assume that scholars adopting (and adapting) the language of corporate citizenship find something there that allows for better description, analysis and synthesis of this role. Though what ‘better’ may mean here remains an open question, a sensible place to begin considering the question is to compare and contrast corporate citizenship with more established ways of conceiving business’s role in society such as, in the case of this chapter, stakeholder theory. Among the challenges of comparing corporate citizenship and stakeholder theory is the fact that neither theory can currently claim a defining consensus regarding the content and limits of their respective domains. To differing degrees, both are less monolithic concepts than ways of conceiving of and arranging the complex relationships between business organizations and other social actors. A further difficulty shared by both corporate citizenship and stakeholder theory is that summarizing the literature may, or may not, include writings that unreflectively use the terminology of citizenship or stakeholders without reference to any...

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