The Diversity and Multi-Faced Dimensions of Modern Corporate Social Responsibility
Mentor:Kimberly Stoltzfus, Assistant Visiting Professor, Pepperdine University
Author: Amanda LeCave, Pepperdine University Mentor: Kimberly Stoltzfus, PhD, Pepperdine University In today’s competitive market environment, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) represents a high-profile concept that has tactical significance to many companies. Studies have discovered that as many as 90% of the Fortune 500 companies now have open CSR initiatives. CSR is the responsibility to “do the right thing” by achieving commercial achievement in ways that honor ethical values and respect people, communities, and the natural environment. Although CSR is a growing and fruitful area of research, there are still issues to be investigated. These include examining CSR as not one broad approach to serving the public but rather as a variety of different strategies, including donating money or products per purchase and/or requiring employee volunteer time, as examples. Dahlsrud (2006) identified five patterned dimensions of CSR through a content analysis of all the collected definitions over history. The five dimensions are: environmental (the natural environment), social (the contribution to better society), economic (efficiency and the contribution to internal economic development), stakeholder (interaction with stakeholders) and voluntariness (community involvement). Using these dimensions, we compared CSR strategies across a diversity of organizations to determine which of these program dimensions are present. Findings suggest that non-profit organizations and small businesses engage in CSR although they are not corporations; the size of an organization and its purpose dictates which CSR dimensions are pursued (for example, smaller firms focus on one dimension, typically the social dimension through donations; and larger firms focus on all five dimensions; but emphasize the environmental dimension); that organizations will strategically offer their services, such as technology or consulting to equip other organizations’ CSR programs; and that the dimensions that Dahlsrud posits are not always mutually exclusive.