"The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility"

CSR – not just a Western Concept

In a globalised world, the capacity of the state to regulate economic behaviour is in decline. This implies an increasing role of economic self-regulation mechanisms, the power of consumers and civil society monitoring. In "The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility", leading experts in the field provide insights into the current academic CSR discourse. It also becomes clear that CSR in developing countries follows different priorities.

While in industrialised countries the focus is on consumer protection, fair trade, eco-marketing, mitigation of climate change, and socially responsible investment, CSR in developing countries focuses on poverty alleviation, improvements in health care, education, and infrastructure. CSR concepts that have been developed locally are usually better suited than "imported" concepts to address the most pressing problems. This is true especially if they are deeply rooted in the culture of the respective region. For CSR is not just a "Western" concept. In developing countries, it draws strongly on cultural traditions of philanthropy, business ethics, and community embeddedness which can be found in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Often, however, CSR is used to fill governance gaps of weak and/or corrupt governments with meagre financial resources.

The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. By Andrew Crane et al., Oxford University Press, 2009. 590 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-957394-3.