Authors: Simone de Colle, Claudia Gonella
Addresses: CELE - Centre for Ethics, Law and Economics, LIUC University, Castellanza (VA), Italy. KPMG Global Sustainability Services, London, UK
Abstract: Despite the absence of a universally accepted definition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), there is no doubt that CSR concerns the way a company governs the relationships with its stakeholders. How the company deals with potentially conflicting stakeholder interests is what constitutes its corporate social responsibility. In this perspective, it is possible to identify two broad approaches to CSR: internally focused approaches dealing with corporate mission, values, culture and desired business behaviour - in other words, business ethics programmes; and externally focused approaches dealing with social, or external stakeholder issues, i.e. social accountability programs. Both approaches can generate significant business benefits but also bear a number of potential risks and limitations. This paper presents a critical examination of strengths and weaknesses of internally and externally focused approaches to CSR and introduces the idea of a balanced approach to CSR to support its integration into traditional business management systems and processes.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility; business ethics; social accountability; CSR management.
International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2003 Vol.5 No.2/3, pp.199 - 212
Published online: 05 Aug 2003 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article