Location of Repository

On the Question of Corporate Social Responsibility.

By Stephen Brendan Dunne


This thesis raises the question of Corporate Social Responsibility: it asks what it is. This is done for the sake of attempting to come to terms with what seems to be Corporate Social Responsibility’s contemporary prevalence. Today, Corporate Social Responsibility is largely approached as a pragmatic question. That is to say, Corporate Social Responsibility is largely approached as a concern for practitioners, rather than theorists. To raise the question of Corporate Social Responsibility today is to therefore raise it in the midst of a predominantly held anti-theoreticist pragmatic stance. This stance, for its part, is challenged here. Against the notion that so-called pragmatism is a natural, correct or even superior disposition to adopt towards the question of Corporate Social Responsibility, this investigation posits the need to raise the question again. It does this by accounting for the historical development of the pragmatic claim upon Corporate Social Responsibility, on the one hand, and by positing the reliance of this historically determined pragmatism upon a more general project of interrogating Corporate Social Responsibility, on the other. Addressing this dual task is shown to be a matter of attempting to approach the question in the right way, of demonstrating what it means to approach Corporate Social Responsibility as a question first and foremost. To do this is not to proceed in ignorance of the fact that this question has been both asked and answered many times before. It is rather to proceed precisely on the basis of how the question has been addressed so many times before. It is ultimately demonstrated that today’s prevalent pragmatic priority stands, somewhat paradoxically, as the greatest barrier to Corporate Social Responsibility. It is ultimately argued, therefore, that to approach Corporate Social Responsibility as a question is to preserve its possibility, albeit without directly seeking to actualise it

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/4552

Suggested articles



  1. (1776) An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,
  2. (1978). (1851) Social Statics or, the Conditions Essential to Human Happiness Specified, and the First of them Developed.
  3. (1986b) „Commentary on Frederick by David Vogel‟,
  4. (1986b) „Commentary on Vogel by
  5. (2001a) „“Corporate Social Responsibility: A Theory of the Firm Perspective”
  6. (2001b) „The Future of Corporate Social Responsibility‟,
  7. (2002a) The Essence of Truth: On Plato‟s Cave Allegory and Theatetus, trans. Ted Sadler.
  8. (2002b) „The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking‟,
  9. (2004a) „Modern Science, Metaphysics and Mathematics‟ in David Farrell Krell (Ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings (Revised and Expanded Edition),
  10. (2004b) „The Question Concerning Technology‟ in David Farrell Krell (Ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings (Revised and Expanded Edition),
  11. (1998). 25 Years and Going Strong: A Content Analysis of the
  12. (2005). A Bibliometric Analysis of 30
  13. (2000). A Commentary and an
  14. (1959). A Moral Philosophy for Business.
  15. (2006). A Research Note on the Use of Bibliometrics to Review the Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Social Performance Literature‟,
  16. (2008). A Review of the Theories of Corporate Social Responsibility: Its Evolutionary Path and the Road Ahead‟,
  17. (1995). A Stakeholder Framework for Analyzing and Evaluating Corporate Social Performance‟,
  18. (1983). A Systems Paradigm of Organizational Adaptations to the Social Environment‟,
  19. (1979). A Three-Dimensional Conceptual Model of Corporate Performance”,
  20. Abagail and Donald Siegel (2001a) „Corporate Social Responsibility: A Theory of the Firm Perspective‟,
  21. Abagail and Donald Siegel (2001b) „Profit-Maximizing Corporate Social Responsibility‟,
  22. (1995). Addressing a Theoretical Problem by Reorienting the Corporate Social Performance Model‟,
  23. (1988). Alison Sundgren and Thomas Schneeweis
  24. (1985). An Empirical Examination of the Relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility and Profitability‟,
  25. (1983). An Integrating Framework for Research in Business and Society: A step Toward the Elusive Paradigm?‟,
  26. and Lez Rayman-Bacchus (eds.) (2008) Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility.
  27. (2006). and Mette Morsing (Eds.)
  28. (1997). Apology‟ trans.
  29. (2003). As if Business Ethics Were Possible,
  30. (1991). Assessment of Ethical Performance of Organization Members: A Conceptual Framework‟,
  31. (2008). Attaining Sustainable Growth Through Corporate Social Responsibility‟, IBM Institute for Business Value. Accessed online on 20 th of
  32. (2001). Being and Power: Heidegger and Foucault‟,
  33. (2005). Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edwards Robinson.
  34. (1990). Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a
  35. (2008). Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture,
  36. (2007). Book Review: Corporation, Be Good!
  37. (2006). Book Review: Corporation, Be Good! The Story of Corporate Social Responsibility‟,
  38. (1981). Business and society: Managing Corporate Social Performance.
  39. (1963). Business and society.
  40. (2008). Business Responsibilities in a Divided World”: The Cold War Roots of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement‟, Enterprise and Society, Advanced Access,
  41. (1961). Business Thought in the Twenties: Social Responsibility‟,
  42. (1982). Can a Corporation Have a Conscience?‟,
  43. (1960). Can Business Afford to Ignore its Social Responsibilities?‟,
  44. (1989). Charles Saunders and Anne Derwinski McCarthy
  45. (2000). Commitment, Revelation, and the Testaments of Belief:
  46. (2006). Conscience and Corporate Culture,
  47. (1973). Corporate Dilemma: Traditional values versus Contemporary Problems,
  48. (2001). Corporate Governance and the Ethics of Narcissus‟,
  49. (1999). Corporate Moral Agency: Review and Implications‟,
  50. (1999). Corporate Performance and Stakeholder Management: Balancing Shareholder and Customer Interests in the U.K. Privatized Water Industry‟,
  51. (1974). Corporate Planning for Social Responsibility‟, Long Range Planning,
  52. (2008). Corporate Responsibility is Not Quite Dead‟, Financial Times, Accessed online on 12 th of
  53. (2008). Corporate Responsibility: A Critical Introduction.
  54. (2004). Corporate Social Opportunity! Seven Steps to Make Corporate Social Responsibility Work for Your Business,
  55. (2001). Corporate Social Performance and Firm Risk: A Meta-Analytic Review‟,
  56. (2005). Corporate Social Performance as a Bottom Line for Consumers‟,
  57. (2000). Corporate Social Performance: Research Directions for the st Century‟,
  58. (1967). Corporate Social Responsibilities.
  59. (2000). Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance: Correlation or Misspecification?‟,
  60. (1984). Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance‟,
  61. (2006). Corporate Social Responsibility and Globalisation: An Action Plan for Business.
  62. (1978). Corporate Social Responsibility and Stock Market Performance‟,
  63. (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility as an International Strategy,
  64. (2006). Corporate Social Responsibility in Management Research: Focus, Nature, Salience and Sources of Influence‟,
  65. (2004). Corporate Social Responsibility Theories: Mapping the Territory‟,
  66. (1979). Corporate Social Responsibility: A conceptualization based on organizational literature‟,
  67. (1991). Corporate Social Responsibility: A Critical Approach‟,
  68. (2005). Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause. Best practices from Hewlett Packard, Ben & Jerry‟s and other leading companies,
  69. (1999). Corporate Social Responsibility: Evolution of a Definitional Construct‟,
  70. (2007). Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
  71. (2006). Corporate Social Responsibility: Three Key Approaches‟,
  72. (2003). Corporate Social Responsibility: Whether or how?‟,
  73. (1977). Corporate Social Responsiveness: Management Attitudes and Economic Performance‟,
  74. (1976). Corporate Social Responsiveness: The Modern Dilemma,
  75. (2006). Corporation Be Good! The Story of Corporate Social Responsibility. Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing.
  76. (1987). Corporations as Persons: Objections to Goodpaster‟s „Principle of Moral Projection‟‟,
  77. (2007). Corporations as Social Change Agents:
  78. (1994). Corporations, Minors, and Other Innocents – reply to R.
  79. (2008). Critical and Clinical Management Studies‟, ephemera: theory and politics in organization.
  80. (2008). CSR Network (2008a) „Making CSR a Reality‟, Accessed online on 1st of
  81. (1985). Data in Search of a Theory: A Critical Examination of the Relationships among Social Performance, Social Disclosure, and Economic Performance of U.S.
  82. (1974). Defining Corporate Social Responsibility‟, Long Range Planning,
  83. (1975). Dimensions of Corporate Social Performance: An Analytical Framework‟,
  84. (1977). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan Smith.
  85. (1969). Discourse on Thinking, trans.
  86. (1969). Do we Need a New Corporate Response to a Changing Social Environment? Part I‟,
  87. (1969). Do we Need a New Corporate Rsponse to a Changing Social Environment? Part II‟,
  88. (2008). Doing Well by Doing Good? Don‟t Count on it‟,
  89. (2002). Editor‟s Introduction‟ in Dermot Moran and Timothy Mooney (Eds.),
  90. (1978). Empirical Studies of Corporate Social Performance and Policy: A Survey
  91. (1994). Ethics and Excellence: Cooperation and Integrity in Business. Oxford:
  92. (2004). European Trade Confederation on Corporate Social Responsibility
  93. (1976). Executive perceptions of corporate social responsibility‟,
  94. (1997). Fables of Responsibility: Aberrations and Predicaments
  95. (1991). Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage‟,
  96. (2007). Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose,
  97. (1932). For whom are Corporate Managers Trustees?‟,
  98. (2006). Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits,
  99. (2007). Foucault‟s Heidegger: Philosophy and Transformative Experience,
  100. (2002). Foucault‟s Inheritance/Inheriting Foucault‟,
  101. (2003). Frank Schmidt and Sara Rynes
  102. (2007). Friedman with Derrida‟,
  103. (2004). General Introduction: The Question of Being‟ in David Farrell Krell (Ed.) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings (Revised and Expanded Edition),
  104. (1972). Genius Becomes Rare:
  105. (2006). Guest Editors‟ Introduction Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategic Implications‟
  106. (2007). Has the Guest Arrived Yet? Emmanuel Levinas, a Stranger in Business Ethics‟, Business Ethics: A European Review,
  107. (2003). Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought (Fourth Edition),
  108. (2002). Heidegger‟s Way of Thought: Critical and Interpretive Signposts,
  109. Heugens (2008) „Much Ado About Nothing: A Conceptual Critique of CSR‟
  110. (1998). Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science.
  111. (2007). Hobbes on Persons, Authors and Representatives‟,
  112. (1973). How Companies Respond to Social Demands‟,
  113. (1996). How corporate social responsibility pays off‟, Long Range Planning,
  114. (1974). How to Put Corporate Responsibility into Practice‟,
  115. (1984). Integrating Corporate Social Policy into Strategic Management‟,
  116. (1995). Introduction to AMR‟s Special Topic Forum on Shifting Paradigms: Societal Expectations and Corporate Performance‟,
  117. (2000). Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. Gregory Fried and Richard Polt.
  118. (2000). Introduction to Phenomenology,
  119. (2004). Investing in Corporate Social Responsibility: A Guide to Best Practice, Business Planning and the UK‟s Leading Companies,
  120. (1986). Issues Management: Corporate Fad or Corporate Function?‟,
  121. (1997). Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (Fifth Edition, Enlarged), trans. Richard Taft. Indiana:
  122. (1995). Kant on Theory and Practice‟, Nomos XXXVII: Theory and Practice,
  123. (2003). Keynote Address: Business for Social Responsibility Conference‟. Accessed online on 27th of February
  124. (1983). Kinds and Persons‟,
  125. Levett and rev. Myles Burnyeat in Plato: Complete Works,
  126. (1999). Linda Treviño and Philip Cochran
  127. (1986). Macroenvironmental Analysis for Strategic Management.
  128. (2006). Make Poverty Business: Increase Profits and Reduce Risks by Engaging the Poor,
  129. (1951). Management‟s Responsibilities in a Complex World‟,
  130. (1957). Management‟s Responsibility to Society: The Growth of an Idea‟,
  131. (2001). Mapping the Present: Heidegger, Foucault and the Project of a Spatial History,
  132. (1940). Measurement of the Social Performance of Business.
  133. (2003). Misery Loves Companies: Rethinking Social Initiatives by
  134. (1998). Moving to CSR4: What to pack for the trip‟,
  135. (1972). My Way to Phenomenology‟,
  136. (2007). New Strategies for Reputation Management: Gaining Control of Issues, Crises and Corporate Social Responsibility,
  137. (1997). Norman Levitt and Martin Lewis (Eds.)
  138. (1996). On the common saying: That may be correct in theory, but it is of no use
  139. (1996). On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic. trans. Douglas Smith.
  140. (1979). On the Measurement of Corporate Social Responsibility: Self-reported disclosures as a method of Measuring Corporate Social Involvement‟,
  141. (1999). Painting a Portrait: A Reply‟,
  142. (1995). Passions: an Oblique Offering‟ in On the Name. trans. David Wood. Stanford:
  143. (2001). People and Profits? The Search for a Link between a Company‟s Social and Financial Performance,
  144. (2003). Plato‟s Sophist, trans. Richard Rojcewicz and André Schuwer. Indiana:
  145. (1975). Pragmatism and the Meaning of Truth,
  146. (1975). Private Management and Public Policy: The Principle of Public Responsibility,
  147. (2008). Re-thinking Corporate Social Responsibility and the Role of the Firm: On the Denial of Politics‟,
  148. (1997). Reading Capital,
  149. (1994). Reading Heidegger from the Start: Essays in His Earliest Thought,
  150. (2008). Reconciling Friedman with Corporate Social Responsibility: How Market Competition Affects Corporate Social Performance.
  151. (1974). Reforming the Strategic Planning Process: Integration of Social Responsibility and Business Needs‟, Long Range Planning,
  152. (1978). Research in corporate social performance and policy,
  153. Review (2003) Harvard Business Review on Corporate Responsibility,
  154. (2006). Review of Kenneth E. Goodpaster Conscience and Corporate Culture‟, Philosophy for Business, 32. Accessed online on 1st of February
  155. (1991). Science as a Vocation‟
  156. (1999). Sefa Hayibor and Bradley Agle
  157. (1978). Setting Operational Goals for Corporate Social Responsibility‟, Long Range Planning,
  158. (2008). Siegel (Eds.)
  159. (2003). Social Issues and Management: Our Lost Cause Found‟,
  160. (1986). Social Issues and Public Policy in Business and Management: Retrospect and Prospect. College Park:
  161. (1991). Social issues in management: Theory and research in corporate social performance‟,
  162. (1971). Social Marketing: An Approach to Planned Change‟,
  163. (2002). Social Marketing: Improving the Quality of Life (2 nd edition).
  164. (1971). Social Responsibilities of Business Corporations.
  165. (1953). Social Responsibilities of the Businessman.
  166. (1975). Social Responsibility: The Underlying Factors‟, Business Horizons,
  167. (1982). Social Responsiveness, Corporate Structure, and Economic Performance‟,
  168. (1997). Sophist‟ trans. Nicholas P. White in Plato: Complete Works,
  169. (1995). Stakeholder mismatching: A theoretical problem in empirical research on corporate social performance‟,
  170. (1999). Stakeholders, social responsibility, and performance: Empirical evidence and theoretical perspectives‟,
  171. (1997). Statesman‟ trans.
  172. (2008). Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World,
  173. (2006). Strategy & Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility‟,
  174. (1980). Strategy and Environment: A Conceptual Integration‟,
  175. (1995). Systematics and CSR: The Theory and Processes of Normative Referencing‟,
  176. (2006). Taking Friedman Seriously: Maximizing Profits and Social Performance‟,
  177. (1954). The 20 th Century Capitalist Revolution.
  178. (2007). The A to Z of Corporate Social Responsibility, Chichester:
  179. (1998). The Affluent Society.
  180. (1988). The Basic Problems of Phenomenology (Revised Edition), trans. Albert Hofstadter. Indiana:
  181. (1973). The Case for and against Business Assumptions of Social Responsibility”,
  182. (1939). The Changing Basis of Economic Responsibility‟
  183. (1994). The Chief Executive Office and Corporate Social Performance: An Interdisciplinary Examination‟,
  184. (1981). The Context of the Phenomenological Movement, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
  185. (1994). The Corporate Moral Person: The Organization‟s Personality and Its Board‟,
  186. (1997). The Corporate Social Performance and Corporate Financial Performance Debate: Twenty-Five Years of Incomparable Research‟,
  187. (1987). The Corporate Social Policy Process: Beyond Business Ethics,
  188. (2003). The Corporate Social Responsibility Manual: A Practical Approach to Sustainable Business Success,
  189. (2007). The Corporate Social Responsibility Reader: Context and Perspectives.
  190. (1997). The Corporate Social-Financial Performance Relationship: A Typology and Analysis‟,
  191. (1979). The Corporation as a Moral Person‟,
  192. (2004). The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power.
  193. (1958). The Dangers of Social Responsibility‟,
  194. (2007). The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility, Oxford:
  195. (1999). The Effects of Corporate Governance and Institutional Types of Corporate Social Performance‟,
  196. (1926). The End of Laissez Faire‟
  197. (1985). The Evolution of the Corporate Social Performance Model‟,
  198. (1938). The Functions of the Executive.
  199. (1989). The Generous Corporation: A Political Analysis of Economic Power.
  200. (1995). The Gift of Death. trans.
  201. (1900). The Gospel of Wealth, and Other Timely Essays.
  202. (2008). The ICSA Corporate Social Responsibility Handbook (2 nd Edition),
  203. (2005). The Market for Virtue: The potential and limits of corporate social responsibility,
  204. (2008). The Next question: Does CSR work?‟, in Just Good business: A special report on corporate social responsibility‟,
  205. (1971). The Phenomenological Movement – A Historical Introduction. Volume One (Second Edition), The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
  206. (2002). The Phenomenology Reader,
  207. (1923). The Philosophy of Management.
  208. (1987). The Principle of Moral Projection: A Reply to Professor Ranken‟,
  209. (1991). The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders‟,
  210. (1954). The Responsibilities of Management‟.
  211. (1988). The Return of Morality‟ trans. Thomas Levin and Isabelle Lorenz Michel in Lawrence Kritzman and Alan Sheridan (Eds.) Michel Foucault
  212. (1970). The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits‟, The
  213. (2007). The Uselessness of Philosophy‟,
  214. (1979). This business of issues: Coping with the company‟s Environments.
  215. (1999). Ties that Bind: A Social Contracts Approach to Business Ethics,
  216. (2007). Together at Last!...Well, Almost‟, Accessed online on 2 nd of
  217. (1997). Toward a Theory of Stakeholder Identification and Salience: Defining the Principle of Who and What Really Counts‟,
  218. (1999). Toward an Integrative Theory of Business and Society: A Research Strategy for Corporate Social Performance‟,
  219. (1986). Toward CSR3: Why Ethical Analysis is Indispensable and Unavoidable in Corporate Affairs‟,
  220. (1991). Toward improving corporate social performance‟,
  221. (1996). Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,
  222. (2003). Translators‟ Foreword‟
  223. (2002). Value Maximization, Stakeholder Theory, and the Corporate Objective Function‟,
  224. (2005). Violence and Metaphysics: An Essay on the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas‟ in Writing and Difference. trans. Alan Bass.
  225. (2007). What is Philosophy of Organization?‟
  226. (2008). When Principles Pay - Corporate Social Responsibility and the Bottom Line,
  227. (1999). Who Matters to CEOs? An Investigation of Stakeholder Attributes and Salience, Corporate Performance,
  228. (2007). Your Ethical Business: How to Plan, Start and Succeed in a Company with a Conscience.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.