Corporate social responsibility and the bottom line
Purpose – To clarify the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and profits. Design/methodology/approach – Explicates CSR against the background of a larger thesis (Coase) about the role of firms in a market economy. Findings – There are three different senses of CSR: negative – what not to do (illegal); positive – innovative products and services; and supplementary. There is a clear hierarchy or prioritization here: negative > positive > supplementary. Practical implications – There are four areas in which supplementary obligations contribute directly to the bottom line: the environment, marketing, recruitment, and international. Originality/value – This paper overcomes false dualisms between CSR and profits, avoids hidden political agendas, and offers persuasive arguments for firms to engage in relevant CSR activity.
Community relations, Distribution, Freedom, Technology led strategy
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