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 15: An Economic View of Corporate Citizenship

Jessica C. Ludescher, Abagail McWilliams and Donald S. Siegel


15 The economic view of corporate citizenship Jessica C. Ludescher, Abagail McWilliams and Donald S. Siegel Introduction Corporate citizenship (CC) is broader than existing concepts in the business and society literature, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate social performance (CSP). CC considers the role of corporations as social institutions and their ability to respond to non-market pressures, especially in a global context. Consistent with its roots in political and critical theory, CC extends the concept of corporate accountability beyond the economic dimension to include the environmental and social realms. The term ‘citizenship’ itself invites a different type of ethical justification compared to that evoked by the term ‘social responsibility’. Citizens are members of society who have rights, benefits and responsibilities. They are expected to abide by society’s laws and norms, and may incur penalties for violating those laws and norms. At an individual level, good citizenship denotes the assumption of non-mandated responsibilities to advance the welfare of society. These distinctions can be mapped onto the concept of corporate citizenship. Firms are legal entities, which can be regarded as ‘citizens’, to the extent that society grants them rights and privileges. In exchange for the benefits of citizenship, corporations must abide by society’s laws and norms. However, good CC requires that firms also exercise additional responsibilities to society. CSR, on the other hand, typically does not denote such a broad or inclusive commitment. Corporations can be ‘socially responsible’ merely by satisfying certain stakeholder demands. Locating CC...

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