Does CSR activity amount to socially responsible management?

Foster, M John (2021) Does CSR activity amount to socially responsible management? Philosophy of Management, 20(4), pp. 391-410. ISSN (print) 2052-9597


In essence firms or companies are usually thought to exist to make products for or provide services of some sort to third parties, other companies or individuals. The question which naturally arises then is 'to the benefit of whom should a firm's activities be aimed?' Possible answers include the owners of the firm, the firm's employees or wider society, the firm's local community or their host nation. It is because of firms' location within a wider society that the issue of corporate social responsibility arises. The issue is do they contribute in a positive way to the fabric of society. In this paper we conduct an exploratory investigation whose research questions, broadly, are whether there is public evidence of corporate social responsibility activity by firms listed in the UK and to what extent, if any, such activities may amount to genuinely socially responsible management by the firms. We examined the most up to date annual reports of a split sample of 36 firms listed in the FTSE 350. The short answers to the two research questions above are: to some degree and no by some margin, based on data from the sample firms. [Abstract copyright: © The Author(s) 2021.]

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