Corporate Social Responsibility: A capitalist ideology?
Samuel O. Idowu
International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vol. 1, No. 3 (2012) pp. 239 – 254
The field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been embraced globally by modern corporate entities of all shapes and forms. Advocates of the field argue that corporations that are perceived by society as being socially responsible are likely to derive enormous benefits from being so. They argue that most stakeholders whether primary or secondary, internal or external, local or national offer their support of the actions of these socially responsible corporations. Most would agree that corporate responsibility is an excellent idea, but from where did the ideology of CSR originate? An examination of the literature has given no conclusive evidence as to whether CSR is a capitalists’ doctrine; in fact the literature is unusually silent in this respect, perhaps it is assumed that we all know. However, after examining the activities that stem from the ideology and considering the presence of the word ‘social’ in its very name one may deduce that CSR is a socialist doctrine. What history has preceded the evolution of CSR in today’s corporation? Why are multinational corporations from these capitalists’ states now exporting the ideology throughout the world? Is CSR representative of a new form of capitalist ideology? These are some of the issues that this study will explore in depth in order to establish the origins of CSR practiced by capitalist corporations in the 21st century.
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