Understanding Historical Background of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Realizing Social Media as a New Horizon in CSR Communication

Understanding Historical Background of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Realizing Social Media as a New Horizon in CSR Communication

Melis Kaytaz Yiğit (Yiğit Metal, Turkey) and Özge Kirezli (İstanbul Bilgi University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5409-7.ch003

Abstract

With globalizing world, formal and the dimensional structure of market competition has been changing dramatically. In such a rapidly changing environment, companies should not just meet unlimited consumer needs, but also adopt a certain social responsibility philiosophy towards the society. In that sense, corporate social responsibility is one of the important concepts that play a role in formation of positive perceptions of the target groups. The purpose of this chapter is to understand the changing nature of corporate social responsibility (CSR) over years, and also find the effect of social media on communicating corporate social responsibility. In that sense, firstly the need for CSR is to be discussed in different perspectives. Alternative definitions are provided over years to sense the evolving nature of the concept. Then in the last part, new media and social media's impact on CSR, as of benefits/challenges provided and alternative social media tools to be used in communication, are discussed.
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Contemporary Corporate Social Responsibility: Historical And Definitional Evolution

For several decades, the concept of corporate social responsibility has been deeply discussed by academic and business professionals. However the history of the corporate social responsibility literaly roots back to 1950’s, it can be said that the appearance of corporate philanthropy or contributions in the late of Industrial Revolution were the first developments that supported emerge of the concept of corporate social responsibility (Carroll, 2008).

In Murphy’s (1978) work, corporate social responsibility was classified in four periods. The first period is up to 1950’s and was called “philanthropic” era which companies donation was just delimited to charities. Second period 1953-1967 was termed as “awareness” era, in which companies started to awaken of overall responsibilities of business and community affairs. The period of 1968-1973 was named as “issue” era; in these years companies began to center specific issues rather than general affairs. Finally the period 1974-1980 was named “responsiveness” in which companies started to take CSR issues in their management and organizational actions ((Carroll, 2008). Over the time with the social and technological developments, the definition and the understanding of the corporate social responsibility has changed as well.

In this part of the chapter, by deep literature review, the history and the definitional evolution of the corporate social responsibility is examined as a whole. Starting with the formal birth in 1950’s to up to now, all the historical stages and developments of corporate social responsibility are presented in detail.

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