Stages of Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Responsibility
Knowledge Center

Best Practices

Sign up

Anneke Zwart
Student (University), Netherlands

Stages of Corporate Social Responsibility

According to Kreitner (2009), there are FOUR STRATEGIES for responding to social responsibility that companies can utilize (p.124). Beginning with the least responsibility and moving toward the greatest CSR:
  1. REACTION: A reactive CSR approach is taken when a company "resists change" and defers "responsibility," commonly used by tobacco and oil companies (Kreitner, 2009, p.124).
  2. DEFENSE: This approach relies on developing a positive corporate identity through advertising and publicity to avoid taking on greater responsibilities (Kreitner, 2009, p.124). These organizations are often politically active in the hopes of preventing legislation resulting in greater legal obligations.
  3. ACCOMMODATION: Organizations utilize this approach when they take steps in response to governmental or political pressures (Kreitner, 2009, p.124).
  4. PRO-ACTION: The greatest CSR is apparent in organizations that initiate "progressive programs" to set the bar for the industry in which they operate (Kreitner, 2009, p.124). Altough this stance requires time and money to constantly monitor social issues, the potential benefits to companies include: attracting "socially responsible" investors and employees, improving brand recognition, and adding value, not only for customers and shareholders but also for the groups who benefit from the programs (Kreitner, 2009, p.126).
Companies should move away from less responsibility and toward a proactive approach to reap the benefits for society and themselves (Caudron, 2000).

In 2012, researchers Angelo et al. broadly identified 3 environmental management stages in organizations. Since environmental management is an intrinsic part of CSR, these stages are also important to understand the development of CSR-processes. The stages are:
  1. REACTIVE: In this stage the first CSR initiatives are taken. This stage has a relatively low level of environmental commitment. This stage is called reactive in that CSR initiatives are taken as a result of legal requirements by way of internal adjustments. Examples are investing in equipment for regulating pollution, inspecting the waste of resources and collecting internal residues.
  2. PREVENTIVE: This stage is a bit more evolved. Now CSR initiatives are not only taken because of legal requirements, but also because of evolving social-environmental requirements in a new market with customers that are more aware of these issues. As a result, the efficiency of implementing CSR-initiatives is higher when compared to the reactive stage. Therefore the number of organizations involved in CSR implementation has risen in this stage. The level of environmental commitment in this stage is also higher than the reactive stage.
  3. PROACTIVE: In this stage, environmental management has developed to an integrated strategy in order to discover new chances and innovations to create competitive advantages and to maximize environmental commitment and social participation. Environmental problems are not seen as a threat anymore. Rather, they have become opportunities for organizations regarding technologies, market and production.

Martinuzzi and Krumay (2013) mention 4 stages of Corporate Social Responsibility implementation. Each of these stages reflects a business operation in which CSR can be integrated. The 4 CSR stages are ranked on the effect on competitiveness that each kind of CSR-implementation has: the first stage has the smallest impact and the last stage has the biggest impact on the competitive advantage of an organization:
1. Project-oriented CSR: Organizations can approach CSR by starting projects which are socially and environmentally responsible. The aim is to "do good" and set up projects in order to achieve their goals. Projects typically do not affect the whole organization, but only the project. Furthermore, they often have a short or limited duration and in bad times most companies will cancel these kinds of activities quickly.
2. Quality-oriented CSR: This stage integrates CSR in an organization's quality management system. This stage is somewhat more powerful than the first stage because quality-oriented CSR at least leads to some changes in the organizations' structure/processes.
3. Strategic CSR: This stage is about "rethinking your business". Strategic CSR strives to incorporate environment and society in the strategy and business decision making of an organization, so as to create the potential to innovate. Therefore, strategic CSR has an even stronger link with competitiveness.
4. Transformational CSR: The environment and society are continuously changing in this world, which makes flexibility highly desirable in organizations. Transformational CSR strives to create new capabilities that makes the organization able to adapt to changes. It integrates CSR with the transformations the organization is undergoing and with the learning processes of an organization.
Sources:
Caudron, Shari. (2000, October 1). The "Greening" of Corporate America, Business Finance
Kreitner, R. (2009). Management. (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Angelo, F.D, Bartocci, L. Amui, L. Caldana, A.C.F and C.J.C. Jabbour (2012) "Towards a strategic CSR: a Brazilian case study" Business Strategy Series Vol. 13 Iss.5 pp. 224-238
Martinuzzi, A. and B. Krumay (2013) "The Good, the Bad, and the Successful How Corporate Social Responsibility Leads to Competitive Advantage and Organizational Transformation, Journal of Change Management, Vol 13, Iss 4, 2013

  Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands
 

Stages of Corporate Social Responsibility by Martinuzzi and Krumay

Thanks for your summary Anneke of this new CSR mod (...)

  JOSEPH SOLA ONIFADE
Manager, Nigeria
 

Analysis of 4 Stages of CSR

Your thoughts on this subject are illuminating. CS (...)

  Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

Start CSR with Limited Scale and Focus

While I stipulate entirely to the 4 stages of CSR, (...)

  Ajaya Shankar Gupta Ainapur
Management Consultant, India
 

4 Stages of CSR Implementation

Good analysis. One more analysis is the different (...)

  Johnny Michael Tan
Management Consultant, Malaysia
 

4 Stages of CSR Implementation in NGOs

Interestingly, I led a Non-Governmental Organizati (...)

  Sergey Pavlov
Director, Russian Federation
 

Assessment of the Russian CSR Situation

Good analysis. It is a pity that while in fact tru (...)

  kvssiyer
Consultant, India
 

Corporate Social Responsibility Awareness

Corporate social Responsibility has become an indi (...)

  Mathew Paul
 

Corporate Responsibility Maturity Stages

Thank you Anneke for this summary. All these stage (...)

  Ismael Bena MBA
Management Consultant, Netherlands
 

Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility

Anneke, nice introduction to this CSR implementati (...)

  zandisile Ntlube
 

Corporate Responsibility Development Cycle?

Thank you Anneke for your summary of this approach (...)

  De Monte
Canada
 

6 Global Responsibilities

Running a business/corporation and considering soc (...)

  Ismael Bena MBA
Management Consultant, Netherlands
 

CSR Implementation and Meaning

@De Monte: I believe CSR to be a far greater attem (...)

  ISAAC BARASA BATOYA
Kenya
 

Transformational CSR

The fourth stage is the 21st century dream. Govern (...)

  Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

5th Wave High Performance is a 21st Century Reality of Transformation

@ISAAC BARASA BATOYA: Isaac, the US Constitution i (...)

  Suman Rao
Turnaround Manager, India
 

Transformational CSR - Joint Efforts of Industry and Government

I agree Isaac that goverments alone cannot be left (...)

  Teun Wolters
Professor, Netherlands
 

4 Stages of Corporate Social Responsibility are not Necessarily Steps

I believe the four types of CSR implementation (as (...)

  Ken Sylvester
 

Frameworks for Corporate Social Responsibility

I appreciate the Martinuzzi and Krumay framework y (...)

  ISAAC BARASA BATOYA
Kenya
 

Transformational CSR should be Driven by the People

@Tom Wilson: I totaly agree with you but most gove (...)

  Ismael Bena MBA
Management Consultant, Netherlands
 

CSR Implementation and Meaning

@Suman Rao: In regard to TBL being idealistic; are (...)

  Mathew Paul
 

4 Stages of CSR are not Necessarily Steps

@Teun Wolters: Anneke does not say that these are (...)

  janekariuki
HR Consultant, Kenya
 

Involve the Community and the Stakeholders to Select CSR Stage

Understanding the importance of CSR for every buss (...)

  De Monte
Canada
 

The Geometric Construct for Governance in Relation to CSR, Etc

@Ismael Bena MBA: We have no corroborated / agreed (...)

  Ismael Bena MBA
Management Consultant, Netherlands
 

Governance in Relation to CSR

@De Monte: Dear De Monte, on balance of the substa (...)

  Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

Governance as Solution

@Ismael Bena MBA: In the exchange between you and (...)

  De Monte
Canada
 

Governance Requires Corroboration of Values in All for All to Be Consistent Globally

@Ismael Bena MBA: Corroboration is the the first p (...)

  Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

We Work Because we are Self-actualizing Creatures

@De Monte: CSR is, in no small degree a process of (...)

  De Monte
Canada
 

Move Governance Forward by Actually Doing It

@Tom Wilson: Thinking global is by this forum. My (...)

  Tom Wilson
HR Consultant, United States
 

Emergent Strategies

@De Monte: My original response (i.e., Start CSR w (...)

  De Monte
Canada
 

Keeping Emergent Strategies Simple, One Human Being at the Time

@Tom Wilson: Your sympathetic perception means I h (...)

  melchiorre calabrese
Manager, Italy
 

'Umbrella' for Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility

I have always considered that the four phases of C (...)

Start a new forum topic

 

More on Corporate Responsibility:
Summary
Special Interest Group

Do you have a keen interest in Corporate Responsibility? Become our SIG Leader

Corporate Responsibility
Knowledge Center



About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
2021 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.8 - Last updated: 25-9-2021. All names of their owners.