Corporate Social Performance: Research Directions for the 21st Century

Business and Society 39 (4):479-491 (2000)
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Abstract

Rowley and Berman (2000) are tackling the right questions in their article. Three critical questions, in essence, are asked: What is corporate social performance (CSP)? What does it mean (i.e., CSP measures)? And, where does the future lie with CSP? In answering these questions, they are creating a CSP research agenda for the 21st Century. While agreeing, to a large extent, with their new set of questions, this paper questions their rationale for what is currently wrong with CSP and focuses on extending future research directions. Specifically, this paper suggests that existing research in related disciplines can help accelerate our understanding of CSP. Marketing (i.e., customer-organization relations) and human relations (i.e., employee-organization relations) literatures, for example, already critically examine the conditions under which various organizational practices, policies, and procedures flourish. These boundary spanning functions provide newinsights that can lead to a broader, richer, and more systematic understanding of the complex CSP construct.

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