Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Social Responsibility and Sustainability

  • Chelsey HarmerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_299

Definition

Social responsibility is a duty borne by every individual and organization to be accountable for the impact they have on the environment and the well-being of others. It is an ethical framework that outlines the obligation for every entity to act for the benefit of society at large.

Introduction

The origins of social responsibility are relatively modern. Before the twenty-first century, the notion that organizations had any responsibility other than the financial duty to the shareholder was not widely recognized. In 1970, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman wrote “there is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud” (Friedman 1970). Friedman suggests that the only responsibility an entity has is to maximize profits within the bounds of the law. The...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Browne KE, Milgram BL (2009) Economics and morality: anthropological approaches. In: Economics and morality: anthropological approaches. AltaMira Press, Lanham, p 190Google Scholar
  2. Delmas MA, Burbano VC (2011) The drivers of greenwashing. Calif Manag Rev 54:64–87.  https://doi.org/10.1525/cmr.2011.54.1.64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Devinney TM, Auger P, Eckhardt G, Birtchnell T (2006) The other CSR: consumer social responsibility. SSRN Electron J.  https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.901863
  4. Elkington J (2013) Enter the triple bottom line. In: The triple bottom line: does it all add up. Taylor and Francis, Hoboken, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  5. Elkington J (2018) 25 years ago I coined the phrase “Triple bottom line.” Here’s why it’s time to rethink it. In: Harvard business review. https://hbr.org/2018/06/25-years-ago-i-coined-the-phrase-triple-bottom-line-heres-why-im-giving-up-on-it
  6. Friedman M (1970) The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. The New York TimesGoogle Scholar
  7. Garriga E, Melé D (2004) Corporate social responsibility theories: mapping the territory. J Bus Ethics 53:51–71.  https://doi.org/10.1023/b:busi.0000039399.90587.34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gemmill-Herren B, Bamidele-Izu A (2002) Global environmental governance: options & opportunities. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  9. Governance & Accountability Institute (2018) FLASH REPORT: 85% of S&P 500 Index® Companies publish Sustainability reports in 2017. In: GlobeNewswire News Room. https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/03/20/1442952/0/en/FLASH-REPORT-85-of-S-P-500-Index-Companies-Publish-Sustainability-Reports-in-2017.html
  10. Hege E, Demailly D (2018) NGO mobilisation around the SDGs. IDDRI, ParisGoogle Scholar
  11. Ho C-W (2017) Does practicing CSR makes consumers like your shop more? Consumer-retailer love mediates CSR and behavioral intentions. Int J Environ Res Public Health 14:1558.  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. ISO (2010) ISO 26000: 2010 guidance on social responsibility. International Organization for Standardization. https://www.iso.org/standard/42546.html
  13. Kang J, Hustvedt G (2014) Building trust in the consumer-company relationship: the role of consumer perceptions of transparency and social responsibility. J Bus Ethics 125:253–265.  https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa_proceedings-180814-834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Laufer WS (2003) Social accountability and corporate greenwashing. J Bus Ethics 43:253–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lin-Hi N (2010) The problem with a narrow – minded interpretation of CSR: why CSR has nothing to do with philanthropy. Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics 2010, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  16. Memery J, Megicks P, Angell R, Williams J (2012) Understanding ethical grocery shoppers. J Bus Res 65:1283–1289.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.10.042CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Micheletti M, Stolle D (2007) Mobilizing consumers to take responsibility for global social justice. Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci 611:157–175.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716206298712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Morrison E, Bridwell L (2011) Consumer social responsibility – the true corporate social responsibility. In: Semantic scholar. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/93e4/c4fbd3be37309c7b2ae7d75bc979198bf0fd.pdf.
  19. Nash RF, Mccormick J (1991) Reclaiming paradise: the global environmental movement. Am Hist Rev 96:831.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2162445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nielsen (2008) Corporate ethics and fair trading. Nielsen. https://ceo.ethicsworkshop.com/images/tr_200811_CSR_Fairtrade_global_reportOctober08.pdf
  21. Öberseder M, Schlegelmilch BB, Gruber V (2011) “Why don’t consumers care about CSR?”: a qualitative study exploring the role of CSR in consumption decisions. J Bus Ethics 104:449–460.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0925-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Öberseder M, Schlegelmilch BB, Murphy PE, Gruber V (2014) Consumers’ perceptions of corporate social responsibility: scale development and validation. J Bus Ethics 124:101–115.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1787-yCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Parguel B, Benoît-Moreau F, Larceneux F (2011) How sustainability ratings might deter ‘Greenwashing’: a closer look at ethical corporate communication. J Bus Ethics 102:15–28.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0901-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pigors M, Rockenbach B (2016) Consumer social responsibility. Manag Sci 62:3123–3137.  https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2015.2279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ramasamy B, Yeung M (2008) Chinese consumers’ perception of corporate social responsibility (CSR). J Bus Ethics 88:119–132.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-008-9825-xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ramasamy B, Yeung MCH, Au AKM (2010) Consumer support for corporate social responsibility (CSR): the role of religion and values. J Bus Ethics 91:61–72.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-010-0568-0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sahlin-Andersson K (2006) Corporate social responsibility: a trend and a movement, but of what and for what? Corp Gov 6:595–608.  https://doi.org/10.1108/14720700610706081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sen S, Bhattacharya C (2001) Does doing good always lead to doing better? Consumer reactions to corporate social responsibility. J Mark Res 38:225–243.  https://doi.org/10.1509/jmkr.38.2.225.18838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Slaper TF, Hall TJ (2011) The triple bottom line: what is it and how does it work? In: Indiana business review. http://www.ibrc.indiana.edu/ibr/2011/spring/article2.html#ftn2
  30. Spitz G, Kamphof R, Ewijk EV (2015) Wait and see or take the lead? Approaches of Dutch NGOs to the sustainable development goals. Kaleidos Research, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  31. Taylor R, Corry O (2011) Defining and theorizing the third sector. In: Third sector research. Springer, New York, pp 11–20Google Scholar
  32. Torres CAC, Garcia-French M, Hordijk R et al (2012) Four case studies on corporate social responsibility: do conflicts affect a company’s corporate social responsibility policy? Utrecht Law Rev.  https://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.205
  33. UN (2015) Sustainable development knowledge platform. SustainableDevelopmentUN.org. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300
  34. Venkatesan M, Luongo G (2019, forthcoming). SDG8 – sustainable economic growth and decent work for all. Emerald Publishing, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  35. Weyzig F (2008) Political and economic arguments for corporate social responsibility: analysis and a proposition regarding the CSR Agenda. J Bus Ethics 86:417–428.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-008-9855-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. World Economic Forum (2013) The future role of civil society. World Economic Forum. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_FutureRoleCivilSociety_Report_2013.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BostonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Madhavi Venkatesan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA