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: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6192-7.ch056
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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).

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