Moralising the Market by Moralising the Firm Towards a Firm-Oriented Perspective of Corporate Social Responsibility
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SourceJournal of Business Ethics, 96, 1, (2010), pp. 17-31
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Journal of Business Ethics
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
The lack of consensus in stating what Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) exactly means has led some people to argue that the concept is too vague to offer guidance, while others suggest forgetting about theorising and instead focusing entirely on the development of practical applications such as codes of conduct, standards and reporting initiatives. This article argues that the discussion on CSR as a whole has reached this impasse because it ignores two major underlying problems. First, the fact that CSR is an ideological notion: the definition and use of 'CSR' depends on the moral and practical views of the people and organisations involved. Secondly, the debate on CSR lacks a thorough discussion about the nature and role of the firm, the main actor when it comes to accepting and implementing CSR. After explaining our standpoint, this article winds up with the implications of this reframing for the CSR debate, for the efforts to define it and for the efforts to apply it.
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- Faculty of Social Sciences 
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