Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business

Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business

Ioana Duca (Titu Maiorescu University, Romania) and Rodica Gherghina (The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8182-6.ch051
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In this article, the authors propose an analysis of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) concept together with an emphasis on the role it plays in the context of sustainable development. The article includes a synthesis of the various theoretical approaches to CSR, an overview of the development of CSR practices at a national and an international level, certain authors' for and against arguments are related to generalising these practices, trends regarding CSR practices at international level, as well as an analysis of the CSR practices in Romania. The research conclusions express the author's own points of view on the development of corporate social responsibility initiatives at company level and the related benefits thereof.
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Theoretical Ideas Regarding Corporate Social Responsibility

The specialised literature has recorded in time various and eve contradictory definitions of and approaches to this concept.

A chronological presentation of the main authors who contributes to the CSR concept development was made by Carroll. In 1999, Carroll published a vast research whose topic was the evolution of the definitions given to the concept of corporate social responsibility. Although he identifies theoretical references dating back to the 1930s – 1940s, he decides to place emphasis on the intervals after 1950, namely what he considers to be the modern era of corporate social responsibility (Carroll, 1999). Thus, Carroll considers Howard Bowen to be the father of the theoretical CSR concept, with reference to the latter’s paper written in 1953 and titled Social Responsibilities of the Businessman. Bowen defined corporate social responsibility as being “… the obligations of businessmen to implement those policies, to make those decisions, or to take those directions which are accepted by society in terms of values and objectives…” (quote in Carroll, 1999).

In 1973, other authors, Eilbert and Parket wrote “…that the best way to see social responsibility is that of a good neighbour. On the one hand, it means not doing things that cause damage to the neighbourhood. On the other hand, it can be seen as the voluntary acceptance of the obligation to help solve the neighbourhood’s problems…” (Eilbert & Parket, 1973).

Carroll, in a paper published in 1979, considered that CSR “… implies managing the business in such a way that it is economically profitable and it observes the law, ethical principles and social matters.” Carroll brought into discussion four aspects of the concept and called them the corporate social responsibility pyramid:

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