Note on Corporate Social Responsibility: A Debate

by: Aneel Karnani, Pietra Rivoli, Sandra Waddock

Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Length: 10 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-177

Core Disciplines: Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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This note is a summary of the articles originally published in the Winter 2011 issue of the California Management Review, vol. 53, No. 2. Professor Aneel Karnani from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business debated against Professors Pietra Rivoli from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Sandra Waddock of Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. They debated the definition and value of corporate social responsibility (CSR), otherwise referred to as corporate responsibility (CR).Corporate social responsibility is commonly defined as operating a business in a manner that takes into account its social and environmental impact. This may include a company actively taking measures to reduce its negative social and environmental impacts, or a company going further by aiming to create a positive social or environmental impact, either through a corporate foundation or by integrating social and environmental impact into its core business.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Students will gain an understanding of two distinct perspectives on corporate social responsibility. This conceptual note can be used in conjunction with a variety of CSR or social enterprise case studies found on WDI