Corporate Responsibility Evolution Models: Concepts, Evidence and Implications

EGOS Colloquium, July 2010

Posted: 17 Jan 2011

See all articles by Heiko Spitzeck

Heiko Spitzeck

Fundação Dom Cabral

Erik G. Hansen

Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz

Date Written: July 1, 2010


There is increasing pressure from societies for corporations to become more responsible. Against this background, corporate responsibility (CR), which aims at integrating financial with ethical, social, and environmental aspects in management, has been a concept of growing interest. Research has shown that companies develop through conceptual stages from defensive to transformational on a learning curve. We present a literature review on evolutionary models of corporate responsibility (CR) and show possible alleys for future research. We argue that future research should be more rigorous in the differentiation of theoretical and empirical research and that different learning characteristics, such as learning direction, transition, and speed all require further inquiry.

Keywords: Stages, Corporate Sustainability, CSR, Organizational Learning, Moral Learning

JEL Classification: M14, M20

Suggested Citation

Spitzeck, Heiko and Hansen, Erik G., Corporate Responsibility Evolution Models: Concepts, Evidence and Implications (July 1, 2010). EGOS Colloquium, July 2010. Available at SSRN:

Heiko Spitzeck

Fundação Dom Cabral ( email )

Avenida Princesa Diana 760, Alphaville
Nova Lima, 34000000
+551172769574 (Phone)


Erik G. Hansen (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz ( email )



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