Stages of growth model for corporate social responsibility
by Caroline D. Ditlev-Simonsen; Petter Gottschalk
International Journal of Corporate Governance (IJCG), Vol. 2, No. 3/4, 2011

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to explore the concept of stages of growth in organisational research by applying this concept to the issue of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The article starts by reviewing theory building from a stage model perspective. Next, key CSR models are reviewed, before the stage model perspective is applied to the CSR phenomenon. We suggest a stage model for corporate social responsibility consisting of three combined stages. For each of these stages we highlight the distinction between first movers and followers. By including these perspectives we put forward the 'hidden fact' that corporations that might look equally CSR engaged from the outside, can be at very different levels of CSR on the inside. The model suggested should be tested in the future through benchmarking corporations. By applying the suggested model, corporations can get a deeper understanding of their CSR status. The model suggested takes into consideration an issue which has received little attention in CSR research so far. Rather than studying annual reports and statements about corporate social responsibility, the practise of local and global companies should be studied, as there seems to be a substantial discrepancy between talk and walk in CSR. To this end, the stage model is proposed to help guide future CSR development in companies.

Online publication date: Thu, 22-Dec-2011

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