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Social responsibility

Florian Wettstein

In 1972, Dow Votaw, a pioneer in corporate social responsibility research, lamented the increasingly inflationary use of the term “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR). However, despite (or perhaps precisely because of) the term being referred to in excess there seemed little clarity about its meaning:

The term is a brilliant one; it means something, but not always the same thing, to everybody. To some it conveys the idea of legal responsibility or liability; to others, it means socially responsible behavior in an ethical sense; to still others, the meaning transmitted is that of “responsible for,” in a causal mode; many simply equate it with a charitable contribution; some take it to mean socially ...

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