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(Re)discovering the Social Responsibility of Business in Germany


  • Ariane Berthoin Antal


  • Maria Oppen


  • André Sobczak



The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a relatively recent addition to the agenda in Germany, although the country has a long history of companies practicing social responsibilities. The expectations of society had remained stable for many years, encapsulated in laws, societal norms, and industrial relations agreements. But the past decade has seen significant changes in Germany, challenging established ways of treating the role of business in society. This contribution reviews and illustrates the development of diverse forms of social responsibility in German corporations and analyzes how actors in business and society can build on traditional strengths to find new institutional arrangements for sharing tasks and responsibilities in the interests of achieving a better balance between societal, economic, and environmental needs.
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Suggested Citation

  • Ariane Berthoin Antal & Maria Oppen & André Sobczak, 2009. "(Re)discovering the Social Responsibility of Business in Germany," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(3), pages 285-301, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:89:y:2009:i:3:p:285-301
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0390-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dierkes, Meinolf & Berthoin Antal, Ariane, 1986. "Whither corporate social reporting: is it time to legislate?," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 106-121.
    2. Dierkes, Meinolf, 1974. "Die Sozialbilanz: ein gesellschaftsbezogenes Informations- und Rechnungssystem," EconStor Books, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 122927.
    3. Simon Zadek, 2004. "On Civil Governance," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 47(3), pages 20-28, September.
    4. Berthoin Antal, Ariane & Dierkes, Meinolf & MacMillan, Keith & Marz, Lutz, 2002. "Corporate social reporting revisited," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Organisation and Technology FS II 02-105, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Liedekerke & Geert Demuijnck, 2011. "Business Ethics as a Field of Training, Teaching and Research in Europe," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 29-41, April.
    2. Antonio Argandoña & Heidi Hoivik, 2009. "Corporate Social Responsibility: One Size Does Not Fit All. Collecting Evidence from Europe," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(3), pages 221-234, November.
    3. repec:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2810-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Blanca de-Miguel-Molina & Vicente Chirivella-González & Beatriz García-Ortega, 2016. "Corporate philanthropy and community involvement. Analysing companies from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(6), pages 2741-2766, November.
    5. repec:eee:advacc:v:29:y:2013:i:2:p:299-311 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ulf Richter, 2011. "Drivers of Change: A Multiple-Case Study on the Process of Institutionalization of Corporate Responsibility Among Three Multinational Companies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(2), pages 261-279, August.
    7. Ariane Berthoin Antal & André Sobczak, 2014. "Culturally Embedded Organizational Learning for Global Responsibility," Post-Print hal-01074565, HAL.
    8. André Sobczak & Ligia Coelho Martins, 2010. "The impact and interplay of national and global CSR discourses: insights from France and Brazil," Post-Print hal-00771164, HAL.
    9. François Maon & Valérie Swaen & Adam Lindgreen, 2017. "One Vision, Different Paths: An Investigation of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives in Europe," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 143(2), pages 405-422, June.


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