A Diversity Perspective
Edited by Mine Karataş-Ozkan, Katerina Nicolopoulou and Mustafa F Özbilgin
Chapter 12: The practice of strategic CSR by European MNCs in a developing country: a case study of four European MNCs
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been the key theme for corporations and their managers for the last 20 years. The roots of CSR can be easily traced back to the seminal work of Howard R. Bowen, who published his book Social Responsibilities of the Businessman in 1953 (Tencati et al., 2004; Lockett et al., 2006; Pivato et al., 2008; Wood, 2010). Since then there have been many debates as to whether corporations have any responsibility towards society beyond the generation of profits. The late 1990s saw a great shift in the policies of corporate managers as they started to embrace the idea that business has a responsibility to the society in which it operates, and companies initiated many socially responsible projects that not only provided solutions to some social problems, but contributed to the solution of environmental problems as well (Lee, 2008; McAlister and Ferrell, 2002). However, Porter and Kramer (2002; 2006) observe with great concern that most CSR initiatives of a number of companies have been unfocused and unrelated to their lines of business. Corporations can contribute to society in a much more effective way if their CSR initiatives are related to their lines of business. Every company can bring positive change to society through its operations and products. CSR initiatives should be aligned with the core competencies of a company rather than being limited to corporate donations or helping the needy in times of national crisis only.
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