The Progressive Possibilities Immanent in the Regime of Corporate Social Responsibility

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Abstract

The state-centric focus of the mainstream regime theory did not allow
for inquiry into the activities of actors other than public authorities. It
was the global governance framework in the early 1990s that created
the possibility for analysis of private and voluntary regimes, such as
Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) – a concept originating in the
management literature in the 1970s. This article engages in a critical
reading of the existing theoretical interpretations of CSR that can be
roughly divided into three groups: (i) pro-CSR integrative approach, (ii)
against the CSR neoliberal view, and (iii) critical perspective. It claims
that the tension that arises between these accounts stems from their conflictual
understanding of the role and position of the corporation within
society. The article challenges both the neoliberal account that dismisses
the necessity of CSR and the critical perspective that identifies CSR as a
Trojan horse aimed at preempting the possibility of a meaningful state
regulation. Instead, it takes on a constructivist mantle and argues that
CSR is a viable alternative to the traditional forms of regulation and
also recognizes the ability of NGOs to foster good corporate practices
through the stakeholder engagement strategy evident in the CSR regime.
In doing so, it uses insights from constructivist scholarship to present
the progressive possibilities immanent in the CSR regime.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch on Ethics and Social Responsibility
EditorsEduardo Simòes , José Neves
Place of PublicationLisbon
PublisherCenter for International Studies (CIS-IUL) of the Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE)
Pages133-147
ISBN (Print)978-989-732-030-9
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Constructivism
  • global governance
  • business ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Business and International Management

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  • Cite this

    Savevska, M. (2012). The Progressive Possibilities Immanent in the Regime of Corporate Social Responsibility. In E. Simòes , & J. Neves (Eds.), Research on Ethics and Social Responsibility (pp. 133-147). Center for International Studies (CIS-IUL) of the Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE).