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Corporate Social Responsibility a Three-Domain Approach

Corporate Social Responsibility a Three-Domain Approach

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Corporate Social Responsibility: A Three-Domain Approach
Author(s): Mark S. Schwartz and Archie B. Carroll
Source: Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Oct., 2003), pp. 503-530
Published by: Philosophy Documentation Center
Stable URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/3857969

Accessed: 05/07/2010 03:52
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Business Ethics Quarterly.

fourdomainsofcorporatesocial responsibility(1979) and Pyramidof CSR(1991),analternativeapS proach toconceptualizingcorporate socialresponsibility(CSR)is proposed. AthreeSdomainapproachispresented inw h i c ht h ethree coredomainsofeconomic, legal,and ethicalresponsibilities aredeH picted in aV e n nm o d e lframework.

The Vennframeworkyieldsseven CSRcategoriesresultingfromtheoverlap of the threecoredomains. Corporateexamples are suggested andclassifiedaccordingtothe newmodel,followed byadiscussion oflimitationsand teachingand researchimplications.

Eor thepastseveraldecades, thedebate overthe properrelationshipbetween
rbusiness and society has focused on the topicofcorporatesocialresponsi-

bility(CSR)(Klonoski 1991).In themodernera,the stagewas set forthis debate by Keith Davis, whoposedtwointriguing questions in the1960s:"Whatdoes thebusinesspersonowesociety?" (Davis 1967)and "Canbusinessafford to ignore itssocialresponsibilities?"(Davis 1960).Althoughmany haveattempted todefineCSR overthe years,theconcept hasremainedvague anda m b i g u o u st o some(Makower 1994: 12).Definitions of CSR fall into two generalschoolsof thought, those thatargue thatbusinessisobligated onlytomaximize profits within theboundariesof thelaw andminimalethicalconstraints(Friedman1970; Levitt 1958), and those thathavesuggested abroaderrange ofobligations to- wardsociety(Andrews 1973;Carroll1979; DavisandBlomstrom1975; Epstein 1987;McGuire1963).

Animportantattempttobridge thegapbetweeneconomics andother expec- tations was offeredby Archie Carroll(1979). His efforts culminated in the followingproposeddefinitionofcorporatesocialresponsibility:

expectationsthat society has oforganizationsat a
givenpoint in time. (1979:500,emphasisadded)

As ahelpful wayofgraphicallydepicting the componentsof hisCSR defini- tion andexpoundingupont h e m ,h e l a t e rincorporatedhisfour-partcategorization into a"PyramidofCorporateSocialResponsibility" (1991; 1993).Carroll's PyramidofCSR ispresentedin Figure1.

C)2003.Business EthicsQuarterly,Volume 13, Issue 4. ISSN1052-1SOX.
pp. 503-530
Figure 1
Carroll's (1991) Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility
Be a good
corporate citizen
Be ethical
Obey the law /
Be profitablf

Source: A. B. Carroll, "The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders," Business Horizons (July-August 1991): 39-48.

Carroll'sfour categories or domainsof CSR have been utilized by numerous theorists (Wartickand Cochran 1985; Wood 1991; Swanson 1995, 1999) and empiricalresearchers(Aupperle1984;Aupperle,Carroll,andHatfield 1985; Bur- ton and Hegarty 1999; Clarkson1995; Ibrahimand Angelidis 1993, 1994, 1995; Mallott 1993; O'Neill, Saunders,andMcCarthy1989; PinkstonandCarroll1996; Smith, Wokutch,Harrington,

and Dennis 2001; Spencerand Butler 1987; Strong and Meyer 1992). Several business and society and business ethics texts have incorporatedCarroll'sCSRdomains(Boatright1993;Buchholz1995;Weiss 1994) or have depictedthe CSR Pyramid(Carrolland Buchholtz2000, 2003; Jackson, Miller, and Miller 1997; Sexty 1995; Trevino and Nelson 1995). According to Wood and Jones (1996: 45), Carroll'sfour domainshave "enjoyedwide popular- ity among SIM (Social Issues in Management)scholars."Such use suggests that Carroll'sCSR domains and pyramidframeworkremain a leading paradigmof CSR in the social issues in managementfield. Due to the acceptanceand impact of Carroll'sCSR contributions,

it may be appropriateto re-examinehis model to determinewhetherit can be modifiedor improvedor if thereis a possible alterna- tive approachto conceptualizingcorporatesocial responsibility.

In a quest to propose an alternativeapproachto CSR that strives to augment and amendthe Carrollmodel, the following paperwill consist of four parts:(1) a brief discussion of some issues or limitationsof Carroll'smodel; (2) a presen- tation of the new alternativemodel, the "Three-DomainModel of CSR"; (3) a discussion of the limitations of the new model; and (4) future teaching and re- search implications of the new model.

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