Liberal Thought in Reasoning on CSR

Journal of Business Ethics 97 (4):625 - 649 (2010)
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Abstract

In this article, I argue that conventional reasoning on corporate social responsibility (CSR) is based on the assumption of a liberal market economy in the context of a nation state. I build on the study of Scherer and Palazzo (Acad Manage Rev 32(4):1096-1120, 2007), developing a number of criteria to identify elements of liberal philosophy in the ongoing CSR debate. I discuss their occurrence in the CSR literature in detail and reflect on the implications, taking into account the emerging political reading of the firm. I conclude that the apolitical framework in the mainstream CSR literature has to be overcome since it does not reflect recent changes in the socio-economic conditions for economic actors in a globalizing world

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