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Corporate Social Responsibility as Business Strategy

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  • Rowe, James

Abstract

I argue that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), particularly the corporate code of conduct, has been one of global business’ preferred strategies for quelling popular discontent with corporate power. By “business strategy†I mean organized responses, through organizations like the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), to the threat public regulation poses to business’s collective self-interest. Attention to CSR’s historical development reveals it has flourished as discourse and practice at times when corporations became subject to intense public scrutiny. In this essay I outline two periods of corporate crisis, and account for the role codes have played in quieting public concern over increasing corporate power: 1) When developing countries along with Western unions and social activists were calling for a ‘New International Economic Order’ that would more tightly regulate the activity of Transnational Corporations (1960-1976); and 2) When mass anti-globalization demonstrations and high profile corporate scandals are increasing the demand for regulation (1998-Present).

Suggested Citation

  • Rowe, James, 2005. "Corporate Social Responsibility as Business Strategy," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt5dq43315, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt5dq43315
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    Keywords

    Globalization and Regulation;

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