Corporate Social Responsibility and Management in a Glocal Context

Corporate Social Responsibility and Management in a Glocal Context

Maria Luísa Silva (Universidade Aberta, Portugal), Marc M. Jacquinet (Universidade Aberta, Portugal) and Ângela Lacerda Nobre (CICE, Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, Portugal & CEFI, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3473-1.ch060
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a recurrent and global concept used by international and local corporations, with its supporters, skeptics, and critics. It is also a growing area of concern and practice for businesses for answering the challenges of the present century, such as fighting poverty or promoting sustainable development goals. There is need—almost consensual—for clarifying the impact and the policy setting related to complex areas, such as climate change, environmental issues, social responsibility and a whole array of ethical issues, at global and at the local level (i.e., through an unavoidable glocal perspective). The purpose of this chapter is, first, to review the literature and the main issues related to corporate social responsibility; second, to identify the current challenges this scientific area is facing; and, third, to pinpoint its relevance at the level of the digital economy setting, for the management of the emergent business models and of the information systems management of businesses.
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – both as a concept and an adopted practice – is ubiquitous and in widespread use by international, national and local corporations, and supporters, skeptics, and critics alike. It is also a growing area of concern and practice for businesses, in particular in relation to challenges such as poverty, sustainable development goals, climate change, environmental issues, and a range of diverse ethical issues. More recently the issue of corporate social irresponsibility has emerged and will be tackled here briefly in the next section (Section 1) and in the section on solutions and recommendations (section 4).

This chapter reviews the literature and the main problems related to corporate social responsibility, to identify the most important current challenges and their relevance to management and business information systems. Sustainability and social responsibility tools - such as the Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), SA8000 standards and ISO 26000 standards - have drawn our attention.

In the first section, we review the literature on the CSR concept and its context. In the second section, the focus is on the discussion of CSR issues. In the third section, the discussion focuses on the problem of communication, internal management of knowledge, stakeholder participation and management of information and knowledge systems. Finally, the last section emphasizes the main challenge for the near future.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Local Development: It is the process of developing a territory, by actors who belong to it or whose activity in it has an impact, which implies the formulation of strategies, decision-making, and implementation of actions that allow civic participation, society.

Communication of Social Responsibility: Communication of practices of an organization that contributes to economic, social development and environmental protection.

Stakeholders Management: A process that comprises the identification, planning, involvement management, commitments, and control of stakeholders in any organization.

Territory: Space that in a certain time has its own limits and where social relations are established.

Social Responsibility: Contribution of any organization to sustainable development.

Community: Local grouping of people living in the same geographical area, united by common interests.

Social Irresponsibility: Social irresponsibility for corporations can be defined as the increase of environmental costs, external costs for society, communities and stakeholders. It can include even shareholder as a subcategory of group who bear costs when the management of the organization is responsible for negligence or fraud or any behavior that can be considered non-righteous.

Creation of Shared Value: Policies and organizational practices that, besides contributing to the improvement of one’s own, promote better social and economic conditions in the communities where they operate and market their products and/or services.

Stakeholder: Interested party of any organization (examples: owners, shareholders, investors, employees, suppliers, customers, unions, business and other associations, community where the company operates, competitors, press, municipalities, government, consumers).

Corporate Social Responsibility: Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR can be considered in two ways: either as a theoretical or philosophical concept based on ethics and theories of right and wrong doing by corporations and corporation decision makers, incorporating more recently not just the production, but also the social and the environmental dimensions; or as a practice by corporations of integrating in their behaviors, decision processes, strategies and communication the responsibility towards all stakeholders and the environment.

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