THE BUSINESS CASE REFERS TO THE UNDERLYING ARGUMENTS OR RATIONALES SUPPORTING OR DOCUMENTING WHY THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY SHOULD ACCEPT AND ADVANCE THE CSR ‘CAUSE’. THE BUSINESS CASE IS CONCERNED WITH THE PRIMARY QUESTION: WHAT DO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND ORGANIZATIONS GET OUT OF CSR?

THE BUSINESS CASE REFERS TO THE UNDERLYING ARGUMENTS OR RATIONALES SUPPORTING OR DOCUMENTING WHY THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY SHOULD ACCEPT AND ADVANCE THE CSR ‘CAUSE’. THE BUSINESS CASE IS CONCERNED WITH THE PRIMARY QUESTION: WHAT DO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND ORGANIZATIONS GET OUT OF CSR?
The business case refers to the underlying arguments or rationales supporting or documenting why the business community should accept and advance the CSR ‘cause’. The business case is concerned with the primary question: What do the business community and organizations get out of CSR?
The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research and Practiceijmr_275 85..106 Archie B. Carroll and Kareem M. Shabana1 Director, Nonprofit Management & Community Service Program & Robert W. Scherer Professor Emeritus, Department of Management, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA, and 1 Assistant Professor of Management, School of Business, Indiana University Kokomo, 2300 S. Washington Street, Kokomo, IN 46904, USA Email: acarroll@uga.edu; kshabana@iuk.edu In this review, the primary subject is the ‘business case’ for corporate social responsibility (CSR). The business case refers to the underlying arguments or rationales supporting or documenting why the business community should accept and advance the CSR ‘cause’. The business case is concerned with the primary question: What do the business community and organizations get out of CSR? That is, how do they benefit tangibly from engaging in CSR policies, activities and practices? The business case refers to the bottom-line financial and other reasons for businesses pursuing CSR strategies and policies. In developing this business case, the paper first provides some historical background and perspective. In addition, it provides a brief discussion of the evolving understandings of CSR and some of the long-established, traditional arguments that have been made both for and against the idea of business assuming any responsibility to society beyond profit-seeking and maximizing its own financial wellbeing. Finally, the paper addresses the business case in more detail. The goal is to describe and summarize what the business case means and to review some of the concepts, research and practice that have come to characterize this developing idea. Over the decades, the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has continued to grow in importance and significance. It has been the subject of considerable debate, commentary, theory building and research. In spite of the ongoing deliberations as to what it means and what it embraces, it has developed and evolved in both academic as well as practitioner communities worldwide. The idea that business enterprises have some responsibilities to society beyond that of making profits for the shareholders has been around for centuries. For all practical purposes, however, it is largely a postWorld War II phenomenon and actually did not surge in importance until the 1960s and beyond. Therefore, it is largely a product of the past half century.

 
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