Summary of Discussion on Corporate Social Responsibility and Economics

This discussion focused on the definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR). As several participants pointed out, the question of definition is of more than semantic interest. Answers to the core questions of this book hinge on this definition. Two topics dominated the discussion. The first was the adequacy of the definition offered by Paul Portney—that CSR consists of “firms doing more than they are required to do under applicable laws and regulations,” or, in the language adopted at the workshop, the beyond-compliance definition. The second major topic was the wisdom of incorporating into the definition the requirement—or at least the possibility—that corporations ...

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