Corporate Social Responsibility: An Overview of Principles and Practice

International Labour Office Working Paper No. 34

31 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2006

Date Written: May 2004


Corporate Social Responsibility aims to limit the power and behaviour multinational companies can have on communities in the world, notably in the developing world concerning workers. The paper argues private initiatives can be valuable alongside traditional labour standards by following codes designed to support core standards. However, this is taking note that different methods of production, locations, community wishes, worker preferences, and company cultures will generate a different set of approaches concerning social responsibility. Overall, management of firms should aim to ensure adequate standards that provide decent work such as procedural standards of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. The paper gives descriptions of the importance, roles, and responsibilities of management, NGOs, national governments, and multinational enterprises with regard to social responsibility. The role of the International Labour Organization (ILO) is to help shape the content and implementation of codes of conduct known as "business self-regulation" and encourage tripartite seminars so firms can better comply with certain ILO principles.

This paper was written as an insight into the work of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization 2004 that aims to provide a fairer globalization for all.

Keywords: corporate social responisbility, CSR, principles, practice

JEL Classification: M14

Suggested Citation

Murray, Jillian G., Corporate Social Responsibility: An Overview of Principles and Practice (May 2004). International Labour Office Working Paper No. 34, Available at SSRN: or

Jillian G. Murray (Contact Author)

La Trobe Law School ( email )

La Trobe University
Bundoora, VIC 3083 3142

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