Innovation through Corporate Social Responsibility: Insights from Spain and Poland

Innovation through Corporate Social Responsibility: Insights from Spain and Poland

M. Isabel Sánchez-Hernández (University of Extremadura, Spain), Dolores Gallardo-Vázquez (University of Extremadura, Spain), Piotr Dziwiński (University of Bielsko-Biala, Poland) and Agnieszka Barcik (University of Bielsko-Biala, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8216-0.ch015
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Abstract

In this chapter, the authors address institutional efforts in CSR carried out in two big European countries with different backgrounds but the same responsible goal for business and competitiveness: Spain and Poland. To illustrate how CSR pays off, the authors have selected two emblematic cases, one from each country: La Caixa Group and PKN Orlen. Although the degree of implementation of CSR is still different in the European countries in the European Union, and the institutional framework in Spain and Poland is clearly different, the two case-studies presented as best practices suggest promising new developments of CSR in both countries in the near future as CSR could be considered a vital component of innovation in national economies and a strategic variable of core's business determining future competitiveness through the social trend.
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Theoretical Framework And European Background

CSR has a long tradition in business rooted in the notion of philanthropy. Bowen (1953) is considered the founder of CSR thinking. Later Wood (1991) and Carroll (1991, 1999) considered CSR as a form of business response to new demands on society. Nowadays the business and the academic world have embraced the CSR logic. CSR today implies that businesses have responsibilities beyond profit-seeking and must to conduct their businesses in a manner that meets also social and environmental standards according to the Triple Bottom Line (Elkinton, 1994). In addition, and according to the Theory of Stakeholder (Freeman, 1984) a company must meet its responsibilities towards shareholders but also towards internal and external stakeholders such as employees or customers for instance. Furthermore, it is expected that companies behave ethically and engage also in philanthropic activities.

Moving to a more responsible behavior in businesses could be considered an organizational innovation looking for competitiveness (Gallardo-Vázquez & Sánchez-Hernández, 2014). The business case for CSR has been concretized in reducing costs and risks, developing reputation and legitimacy and creating strategic win-win situations able to gain and consolidate competitive advantage (Porter & Kramer, 2006).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Corporate Social Responsibility: The moral obligation and voluntary action of any company to satisfy their stakeholders and to compensate them the economic, social and environmental impact.

Business Ethics: Moral principles which guide the way a business is carried on.

Mission Statement: Set of values ??emphasizing the specific role of the organization in favor of its environment, thus justifying the existence of the entity.

European Periphery Countries: Countries in the European Union big enough to be important geographically place in the periphery of the European Union territory: Spain and Poland.

Corporate Stakeholder: A person who can affect or be affected by the actions of a business.

Business Innovation: New value or quality introduced by the human regarding its objectives and means of implementation applicable in business.

Sustainability: A state in which humans and environment can exist in productive harmony and which permits fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

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