Inproceedings: An article in a conference proceedings.
An inductive typology of Corporate Social Responsibility
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Academy of Management Conference Best Paper Proceedings
Academy of Management
We develop a middle-range theory of CSR by proposing an inductive categorization that seeks to distinguish a firm's CSR behaviors in terms of strategy and value congruence. We propose to treat the normative foundation on the one hand (value) and stakeholders and issues on the other hand (strategy) as two dimensions of CSR that are conceptually independent of each other. We suggest that the CSR engagement of a corporation can be either on value or off value, and that it can be either on strategy or off strategy. Cross-classifying two levels of each of these leads us to consider four CSR prototypes which we label -- Robber Baron, Robin Hood, Book Keeper, and Statesman. Those prototypes are shown to exhibit specific characteristics on a set of features. Our framework for categorization of CSR, analysis of featural qualities of each type, and suggested pathways for migration, opens up both construct validity aspects and comparative studies into CSR. Rather than simply developing inventories of CSR activities, and seeking correlations with financial performance measures, it is possible to turn attention to a broad range of independent (i.e., CSR preconditions) as well as dependent (i.e., CSR consequences) variables, and attempt meaningful comparisons to achieve relevant benchmarks. Furthermore, it serves to bridge the gap between CSR scholarship and practice which seem to have evolved in parallel universes.
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