Much Ado About Nothing: A Conceptual Critique of CSR
48 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2006
Date Written: August 14, 2006
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a nominal term clearly resonates with scholars and practitioners alike. As a scientific concept, however, it has often been criticized for its lack of definitional precision and poor measurement. In this paper we review and assess intensional and extensional definitions of the concept, as they have figured in the prior CSR literature. But we also go beyond these traditional review exercises by assessing the role (if any) of the concept in positive theorizing. The upshot of this analysis is that since the CSR concept adds nothing of value to existing frameworks in the field of management and organization, such as the economizing and legitimizing perspectives, it is best to discard it altogether.
Keywords: Corporate Social Performance, Economizing, Corporate Social Responsibility, Extensional Definitions, Intensional Definitions, Positive Theorizing, Legitimizing
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation