Exploring the Substance and Stakeholder Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility: An Expansion of Carroll’s Discretionary Expectations

By Shannon Peterson, Stacey Hills and Cassidy Williams.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Organizational Studies

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The research seeks to contribute to a more specific operationalization and measurement of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) construct as traditionally defined in the literature. In particular, we explore the expansion of Carroll’s (1979; 2008) seminal “philanthropic/discretionary” category of social responsibilities to include broader environmental, human rights and stakeholder interests. A new multi-dimensional scale is proposed and tested. The efficacy of this scale is examined by measuring CSR perceptions among a young college educated population at multiple levels of analysis. Internationally, we look at the CSR orientations of students in the United States and China. Within the United States, we focus on the states of Utah and Oregon. Our findings suggest that dominant existing frameworks could be improved through greater specification of substantive issues areas and stakeholder interests. Findings also suggest single level analyses may ignore important variation in CSR perceptions across geographical/cultural boundaries. In particular, significant subnational (within country) variation in attitudes and perspectives exist. Future research should include not only refinement of the scale introduced in this paper, but additional testing to determine whether the underlying measurement model holds and has explanatory power.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Stakeholders, Cross-cultural Analysis

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Organizational Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.19-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 707.811KB).

Dr. Shannon Peterson

Clinical Assistant Professor, Economics & Co-Director, Huntsman Scholars Program, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Logan, USA

Dr. Shannon Peterson is Co-Director of the Huntsman Scholar Program and Clinical Assistant Professor of International Political Economy at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

Dr. Stacey Hills

Clinical Associate Professor, Marketing & Co-Director, Huntsman Scholars Program, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Logan, USA

Dr. Stacey Hills is Co-Director of the Huntsman Scholar Program and Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

Cassidy Williams

MBA Graduate Student, University of Oregon, USA

Cassidy Williams completed her MBA at the University of Oregon and is working as a Project Coordinator at Ecova Inc. in Portland Oregon.