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March 10, 2009 / compassioninpolitics

Introduction to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Corporate Social Responsibility: Articles, Case Studies, and Resources
Here is a great presentation which provides an overview of corporate social responsibility. Another resource which provides a fantastic introduction to the issues of strategic CSR is an article “Understanding and developing strategic corporate social responsibility” by Heslin and Ochoa. You may also appreciate these UK CSR case studies.

Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility | Strategic CSR

Heslin and Ochoa point to the rise of corporate responsibility:

Creation of shareholder wealth, once considered the ultimate corporate objective and yardstick of organizational value, is slowly becoming overshadowed by a broader conception of organizational success. In 2006, about one in every ten dollars of assets under management in the U.S. – an estimated $2.3 trillion out of $24 trillion – was invested in companies that rate high on some measure of social responsibility. In 2007, 64% of the Fortune Global 100 published a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report outlining their economic, environmental, and social performance. Many large companies, such as General Motors, Procter & Gamble, and Vodafone, now have a senior level corporate officer who is charged with directing the organization’s corporate social initiatives.

Ochoa and Heslin point to five historically documented key advantages of Corporate Social Responsibility programs:

• Growth in Market Share
• Organizational Learning
• Committed and Engaged Employees
• External Stakeholders
• Financing and Investor Relations

The authors go on lay out 7 ways to implement a Corporate Social Responsibility program:

Principle 1: Cultivate Needed Talent
Principle 2. Develop new markets
Principle 3. Protect labor welfare
Principle 4. Reduce your environmental footprint
Principle 5. Profit from by-products
Principle 6. Involve customers
Principle 7. Green your supply chain

More Corporate Social Responsibility Resources:

The authors recommend these CSR resources and case studies:

1% For the Planet Alliance (
America’s Promise (,
Ashoka (
the Aspen Institute (
the Clinton Global Initiative (
the Global Reporting Initiative (,
Mayors for Climate Protection (
the Global Sullivan Principles for Social Responsibility and Endorsers’ Best Practices (
Net Impact (
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
the Social Venture Network (
SustainAbility (
the United Nations Global Compact (www.unglobalcompact.
the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (

Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility,’’ by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer (Harvard Business Review, 2006, December, 78–92), outlines the concept of strategic CSR and provides a framework for evaluating how a proposed CSR initiative fits into an organization’s business strategy.

C. K. Prahalad’s The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Wharton School, 2006) provides many examples of organizations that are creating viable business opportunities in poor, underdeveloped markets.

Comprehensive practical guidelines for leading the implementation of CSR initiatives are provided by Dexter Dunphy, Andrew Griffiths, & Suzanne Benn in Organizational Change for Corporate Sustainability (New York: Routledge, 2007). Analysis of the potential rewards and pitfalls of engaging in CSR are discussed by Daniel Vogel in The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 2006). For insights on developing sustainable metrics to assess CSR attainments, see Chad Holliday’s ‘‘Sustainable Growth, the DuPont Way,’’ Harvard Business Review, 2001, September, 129–134, as well as Dunphy et al. (2007).

For information on the impact of CSR on investor relations, see Alison Mackey, Tyson Mackey, and Jay Barney’s ‘‘Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Performance: Investor Preferences and Corporate Strategies,’’
Academy of Management Review, 2007, 32, 817–835; ‘‘How To Make a Buck Green’’ by Jane Bryant Quinn, Newsweek, April 12, 2007, 63–66; and ‘‘The Street Turns Green’’ by Johnnie Roberts, Newsweek, March 12, 2007, 40.

To “learn more about the exemplary strategic CSR initiatives featured in this paper” check out:

Hewlett-Packard ( hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment/index.html)
Interface (www.interfaceflor.
Levi Strauss (,),
Manildra Group (
Nestle (
Norsk Hydro
(www.hydro. com/en/global_commitment/ environment/resource_management/)
Starbucks (
Target Stores (
Wal-Mart (
Whole Foods (

CSR Author Biography:

Peter A. Heslin is assistant professor of management at the Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. He received his Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resource management from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Heslin teaches graduate courses in organization behavior, leading organizational change, and managing across cultures. He has consulted in these areas to corporations including Citibank, IBM, Zurich Insurance, KPMG, and Procter & Gamble. Peter has authored or co-authored over a dozen articles published in journals such as Applied Psychology: An International Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, Organizational Dynamics, and Personnel Psychology (Tel.: +1 214 768 4170; e-mail:;

Jenna D. Ochoa is a corporate relief pharmacist for Tom Thumb, a division of Safeway. She serves as an interim manager in a range of Tom Thumb pharmacies throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Ochoa also serves as a volunteer pharmacist at the Collin County Adult Clinic, as well as a subject matter expert for the Health and Sciences Television Network.


Leave a Comment
  1. davidcoethica / Mar 11 2009 2:24 pm

    Great concise article!

    There is no mention of the growth in taking the C word out of Corporate Social Responsibility though. As the agenda reinforces itself in the mainstream it is beginning to trickle further down to small and medium sized businesses. Since approx 99% of companies in developed countries are small or medium sized we need to support and encourage a jargon free & entrepreneurial version.

  2. compassioninpolitics / Mar 11 2009 8:30 pm

    Glad you liked it. Great idea about democratizing CSR, by taking out the “C”.

    I feel the need to continue to use it because searchers will be using that term so frequently. That message, though needs to get out.

    Or at least to re-define what CSR is, so that all businesses are part of the CSR movement.

  3. compassioninpolitics / Aug 7 2010 8:42 pm

    This was one of the most read articles of the year and was feature Carnegie’s Policy blog.


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