Corporate Social Responsibility: The Comparison of Scientific Production in Web of Science and in Scopus Over the Last Three Decades (1988-2018)

Corporate Social Responsibility: The Comparison of Scientific Production in Web of Science and in Scopus Over the Last Three Decades (1988-2018)

Luciana Aparecida Barbieri da Rosa (Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil), Maria Carolina Martins-Rodrigues (CIEO, Universidade do Algarve, Portugal), Tais Pentiado Godoy (Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil), Waleska Yone Yamakawa Zavatti Campos (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Clandia Maffini Gomes (Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil) and Larissa Cristina Barbieri (Faculdade de Educação São Luis, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2128-1.ch003


Corporate social responsibility is conceptualized as a voluntary activity of organizations, which evidence the inclusion of environmental and social objectives in the interactions with stakeholders, as well as in their operational activities. Thus, the general objective was to analyze the characteristics of the publications related to the topic corporate social responsibility in the last three decades, in the Web of Science and in Scopus databases. There was an increase in the number of articles published per year with the “boom” in the years 2013 to 2018, in both databases. The authors at the Copenhagen Business School (79; 129) and York University (92; 104) were where the most scientific articles published on the subject on both databases. Regarding the main research areas in publications on corporate social responsibility, there seems to be a convergence in the main research areas of most published articles.
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The concern to provide the necessities of the present generations guaranteeing that the future generations the satisfaction of their primordial characterizes the definition of sustainable development. The attribution of the companies as intermediaries that enjoy the assets, play a fundamental role what we call Corporate Social Responsibility. The theme Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been researched since the beginning of the 20th century, but began to have importance in the 1950s (Bowen, 1957).

For Melo Neto and Froes (2001, p. 217) “social responsibility is more than a concept. It is a personal and institutional value that is reflected in the attitudes of companies, entrepreneurs, and all their employees and partners.”

In Brazil, the studies intensified in the 70's, the first insights in the academic environment began with some random researches, however in the companies the practical inexistence was notorious. Only in 1980 did the organizations intensify community-oriented actions and thus started the Brazilian studies on the subject (Ashley et al., 2000; Landrum & Ohsowski, 2018). This situation was maintained until the mid-1990s, when the subject regained social responsibility forces and practices, and began to be adopted by some companies.

In this scenario, Ribeiro et al. (2001) and El Akremi et al. (2018) emphasizes that in the 1990s, the intensification and importance of Social Responsibility in Brazil began, and an alliance between government, companies, and society began to be developed worldwide; thus, promoting the third sector whose objective was to reduce inequalities between the individuals. Thus, organizations that are aware of their role began to share with the State the responsibility to reduce social problems, such as the creation of foundations, institutes, and partnerships with public and private institutions.

Since then there is a growing interest in the subject, both by the entrepreneur and by the academic community (Fischer, & Mendonça, 2002; Aznar-Sánchez et al., 2019). The rise of the theme shows that the adhered nomenclature thrived from social responsibility to corporate social responsibility, spreading to corporate citizenship (Carroll, 1999). Borger (2001): complements that:

“CSR can be seen as a moral obligation of business management or as a result of the pressure of society organized by policies and legislation that protect human rights, promote better working conditions and preserve the environment for present and future generations” (p. 7).

In this perspective, Albuquerque (2009), Landrum and Ohsowski (2018), and Wang et al. (2018), complement that Corporate Social Responsibility is an instrument that helps identify Social Responsibility methods in relation to the elements that cover them, such as: investment, conflicts, representation and sustainability.

Given this situation, Tachizawa (2011) emphasizes that CSR is being considered as a criterion and a reference to excellence for the business environment, being a way of solving social and environmental problems, with the purpose of guaranteeing sustainability for business. Argenti (2014), complements that:

“While corporate social responsibility is assuming a central role thanks to a business environment that is facing increasing risks, adopting a socially responsible strategy can offer a compelling advantage for large companies. Responsible business practices do not necessarily undermine a company's profits” (p. 145).

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