During the last decade, an increasing number of scholars and practitioners have adopted the discourse of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Academics and consultants sing its praise in speeches, articles, conference papers, and books; companies formulate codes of conduct and report on the social and environmental impacts; and socially responsible investors place huge amounts of money in socially responsible companies. Likewise, governments and international organizations increasingly integrate CSR in policy papers, and voluntary organizations take part in designing and maintaining a wide range of social and environmental management standards, labeling schemes, and reporting systems.
In other words, CSR has swept across the world and has become one of the buzzwords of the new millennium. In spite of its current popularity, however, CSR remains an ambiguous and much debated construct. For instance, the proper dimensions of a company’s social responsibilities and the relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and financial performance (FP) are still the subject of lively controversy.