Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

A Tough-Minded, but Sympathetic, Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility

30 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2007  

Elliot Maltz

Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University

Debra Jones Ringold

Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University

Fred Thompson

Willamette University - Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: May 28, 2007

Abstract

As John D. Donahue explains: sometimes corporate social responsibility is simple hokum. More often it is sincere but incoherent, wishful thinking. Introducing social objectives that might, in the misty long run, align with shareholder interests threatens to muddy private-sector accountability. Corporate social responsibility can thus become both irresponsible and anti-social. With this in mind, we draw on the notion of externalities from economics and cost-benefit analysis from capital budgeting literature to suggest some rules that could help managers make wiser choices. The first rule: Pay attention to competencies when developing program alternatives and attend carefully to their execution, remembering always that management attention is a scarce resource. The second rule: Develop a framework to assess all corporate initiatives, not just social programs or short-term, profit-driven programs in isolation.

Keywords: : corporate social responsibility, cost-benefit analysis, externalities, business strategy, core competencies, corporate philanthropy

JEL Classification: A13, M14, M31, D61, D62, D63

Suggested Citation

Maltz, Elliot and Ringold, Debra Jones and Thompson, Fred, A Tough-Minded, but Sympathetic, Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (May 28, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=989812 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.989812

Elliot N. Maltz

Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University ( email )

900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
United States

Debra Jones Ringold

Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University ( email )

900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
United States

Fred Thompson (Contact Author)

Willamette University - Atkinson Graduate School of Management ( email )

900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
United States
503-370-6228 (Phone)
503-370-3011 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Downloads
461
Rank
50,410
Abstract Views
2,309