History of corporate social responsibility

By on September 8, 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility is as old as the evolution of business itself even though the concept was not formulated formally until presently. Raad (2005) describes that corporate social responsibility is not a new topic.

The CSR genesis may be traced back to 50 years. In 1960, Davis has mentioned the CSR concepts as “the actions and decisions taken for reasons at least partially beyond the organization’s technical or direct economic interest. In 1961, Walton and Eells defined corporate social responsibility as “the issues that emerge when the corporate organization throws its shadow on the social scene, and the ethical principles that owe to rule the relationship between the society and corporation”.

In the 1980s Committee for Economic Development described a 3 tier approach: Tier 1 determines the sudden relation that is economic functions which consist of development jobs and products. The next level of the relation is that the economic functions must be conducted with a sensitive awareness of altering social priorities and values. The third level mentions newly developing and still amorphous responsibilities that businesses must consider becoming involved more actively in developing the social environment. This idea was criticized that CSR as one focusing on motivation and obligation and lacking the action part (Asongu, 2007).

Later, in the 1990’s, corporate social responsiveness emphasized pro-action, implementation, and action of social rule. This was followed by the context of corporate social performance (Phadtare, 2011). Today, corporate social performance takes into assumption the behavioral processes, observable results and encouraging principles or managerial and corporate actions similar to the organization’s relationships with its external surroundings.

Thus it can be understood that CSR has an authentic history and has been considered as one of the important strategies of organizations, right from the beginning.


  • Asongu J J (2007),“Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility in Practice”, Greeview Publishing, USA, pp 28.
  • Raad S E (2005) Corporate social responsibility: a Dutch approach, Van Gorcum, Netherlands, pp 23.
  • Phadtare M T (2011),“ Strategic Management Concepts and Cases”, PHI Learning Private Limited, New Delhi, pp 178-179.


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