Research Handbook on Corporate Social Responsibility in Context
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Research Handbook on Corporate Social Responsibility in Context

Edited by Anders Örtenblad

Is corporate social responsibility (CSR) a universal idea? Is the same exact definition of CSR relevant for any organization, regardless of context? Or would such a definition need to be adapted to fit different types of organizations, in different cultures, industries and sectors? This book discusses how CSR preferably should be practiced in various generalized contexts. Experts share their knowledge on whether a broad definition of CSR can be practiced as is or if it first has to undergo changes, in as various generalized contexts as Buddhist and Islamic organizations, developing countries, the food processing industry, the shipping industry, and the pharmaceutical industry.
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Chapter 4: The social context in CSR research: a contextualist approach with critical applications

Andromachi Athanasopoulou and John W. Selsky


This chapter emphasizes the importance of taking into account a broad view of the social context when designing and implementing CSR studies and when using the findings from such studies to inform practice. We argue for multi-level, multi-perspective approaches to CSR studies and propose that the research approach of contextualism may be a useful framework for context-sensitive CSR research going forward. We argue that contextualism may help researchers to understand the broader dynamics that affect CSR practice, enabling them to design more critical and more political CSR research studies. We conclude by suggesting how the outcomes of critical-contextualist research may help managers become more effective in their CSR practice, and discuss the obligations of CSR scholars in this regard.

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