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Post: Business and Society 10e
Business and Society: Corporate Strategy, Public Policy, Ethics, 10/e
James Post, Boston University
Anne T Lawrence, San Jose State University
James Weber, Duquesne University

Corporate Social Responsibility

Chapter Objectives

Corporate social responsibility challenges businesses to be accountable for the consequences of their actions affecting the firm's stakeholders while they pursue traditional economic goals. The general public expects businesses to be socially responsible, and many companies have responded by making social goals a part of their overall business operations. Guidelines for acting in socially responsible ways are not always clear, thus producing controversy about what constitutes such behavior, how extensive it should be, and what it costs to be socially responsible.

This chapter focuses on these key questions and objectives:


What is the basic meaning of corporate social responsibility?


Where and when did the idea of social responsibility originate?


What are the critical arguments for and against corporate social responsibility?


How does business meet its economic and legal obligations while being socially responsible?


How is corporate social responsibility practiced by businesses around the world?