Ahmad Ahmadian Shahrzad Khosrowpour

Abstract

Recently, scholars and managers have devoted greater attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its strategic implications. With more awareness surrounding the topic it would be expected for there to be a consensus on a definition, but as of yet none has been reached. The lack of a universally accepted definition has led some to define it as a term, a concept, a process, a theory, while others simply call it an activity or set of activities (Hazlett & Murray, 2007). CSR has been also captioned under many names. Terms such as corporate citizenship, global citizenship, corporate social responsiveness, strategic philanthropy, and even spiritual capitalism are sometimes used interchangeably, depending on the organization to use it. Often, these numerous monikers and interpretations lead to confusion amongst those intending to study or implement the practice into their business strategy.
This uncertainty on how CSR should be defined has led some academics and practitioners to believe that the concept is void of any definition. Contrary to this belief, others find that there is an overabundance of definitions; many of which are “often biased toward specific interests and thus prevent the development and implementation of the concept” (Dahlsrud, 2008). Our study focuses on the importance of CSR and why it’s becoming so prevalent in any organizations. By studying the history of CSR, its many definitions, as well as its implementation methods, we attempt to suggest strategic alternatives for an effective corporate social responsibility.