Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=567842
 
 

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Putting the S Back in Corporate Social Responsibility: a Multi-Level Theory of Social Change in Organizations


Ruth V. Aguilera


University of Illinois College of Law; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration

Deborah Rupp


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - School of Labor & Employment Relations; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Psychology

Cynthia A. Williams


York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Jyoti Ganapathi


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Psychology

July 2004

University of Illinois College of Business Working Paper No. 04-0107
Academy of Management Review, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
This paper provides a multi-level theoretical model to understand why business organizations are increasingly engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and thereby exhibiting the potential to exert positive social change. Our model integrates theories of micro-level organizational justice, meso-level corporate governance and macro-level varieties of capitalisms. Using a theoretical framework presented in the justice literature, we argue that organizations are pressured to engage in CSR by many different actors, each driven by instrumental, relational and moral motives. These actors are nested within four levels of analysis: individual, organizational, national and transnational. After discussing the motives affecting actors at each level and the mechanisms used at each level to exercise influence, as well as the interactions of motives within levels, we examine forces across levels to propose the complex web of factors, which both facilitate and impede social change by organizations. Ultimately, this proposed framework can be used to systematize our understanding of the complex social phenomenon of increasing CSR engagement, and to develop testable hypotheses. We conclude by highlighting some empirical questions for future research, and develop a number of managerial implications.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 68

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, comparative, social change, social justice

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Date posted: September 20, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Aguilera, Ruth V. and Rupp, Deborah and Williams, Cynthia A. and Ganapathi, Jyoti, Putting the S Back in Corporate Social Responsibility: a Multi-Level Theory of Social Change in Organizations (July 2004). University of Illinois College of Business Working Paper No. 04-0107; Academy of Management Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=567842 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.567842

Contact Information

Ruth V. Aguilera (Contact Author)
University of Illinois College of Law ( email )
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Business Administration ( email )
1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-333-7090 (Phone)
217-244-7969 (Fax)
Deborah Rupp
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - School of Labor & Employment Relations ( email )
504 East Armory Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820-6297
United States
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Psychology ( email )
603 East Daniel
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
Cynthia A. Williams
York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
416-736-5545 (Phone)

Jyoti Ganapathi
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Psychology ( email )
603 East Daniel
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
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Citations:  65

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