Reasons to be cheerful? what we know about CSR's impact

Blowfield, Michael (2007) Reasons to be cheerful? what we know about CSR's impact. Third World Quarterly, 28 (4). pp. 683-695. ISSN 0143-6597

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Abstract

For all the claims made about the positive and negative consequences of corporate social responsibility (csr), there is surprisingly little information about the outcomes it delivers. This is especially true in the developing country context, where the claims made about the role csr can play in social and economic development are largely unsubstantiated. This is not to say that we know nothing about csr's impact: on the contrary, we know a considerable amount about certain areas of impact, but very little about csr's consequences for the intended beneficiaries in whose name it is being conducted. It is also not to claim we are unable to assess developmental impacts, although the wealth of experience of the international development community has not been adopted by csr practitioners. This paper demonstrates the limitations of current knowledge by identifying a framework that explains the types of impact we know about and how they primarily reflect business concerns. It makes clear that we know most about csr's impact on business itself and the benefits for business, and least about how csr affects the major societal issues it was intended to tackle. The paper concludes with a discussion of the consequences of this situation, and how it might be addressed in the future.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Citations on ISI Web of Science:21
ID Code:645
Deposited On:03 Dec 2008 14:21
Last Modified:12 May 2014 15:41

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