From CSR to Corporate Citizenship: Anglo-American and Continental
Corporate social responsibility
Corporate citizenship
Issue Date: 
Springer Academic Publishers
Sisón, A.J.G. (2009): ""From CSR to Corporate Citizenship: Anglo-American and Continental"", Journal of Business Ethics (Dordrecht: Springer Academic Publishers), 89 (3), 235-246
Beginning with the question of who constitutes the firm, this article seeks to explore the historical evolution of concepts such as corporate social responsibility, corporate accountability, corporate social responsiveness, corporate social performance, stakeholder theory, and corporate citizenship. In close parallel to these changes are differences in interpretation from AngloAmerican and Continental European perspectives. The author defends that the ultimate reasons behind these differences are of a philosophical nature, affecting both the anthropology and the political theory dominant in each of these cultures. Philosophically, anglo-american culture may be described as individualistic, legalistic, pragmatist and with an understanding of rights as freedom from state intervention. Continental European culture, on the other hand, is more community-oriented, more dependent on unwritten laws or customs, less resultsdriven or more appreciative of the intrinsic value of activities and with an understanding of rights as freedom to participate in social goods and decisions. In the end, a twist is introduced in the meaning of corporate citizenship: beyond referring to the firm as a citizen of the state, it now signifies and analyzes the rights and responsibilities of the different ―citizens comprising the corporate polity. This new proposal constitutes the author‘s normative response to the initial research query.

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