What CSR is not: Corporate social irresponsibility

Timothy S. Clark, Kristen N. Grantham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


Purpose - By exploring what Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not, its opposite termed Corporate Social Irresponsibility (CSI), we raise understanding and focus awareness on the material differences and associated arguments for and against. Approach - Background, context, and theory introduce the concept of a continuum between CSI and CSR, which is illustrated in a progression of graphic figures. Findings - Focus on the affirmation of CSR has distracted attention and resources from a more addressable concern: identification and denunciation of antisocial business behavior. Focusing instead on the opposite, defined here as CSI, avoids much of the ambiguity of CSR and presents a clarifying continuum between the two. Originality - Using engaging logic, uncommon connections are made between such erstwhile polar-opposites as Friedman and Carroll to reveal broad agreement that CSI is destructive and can be universally opposed. Implications - While promotion of CSR remains contentious, a broader range of business and thought leaders can find common ground by focusing on the CSI side of the continuum and uniting against it. Practitioners, academicians, and activists alike can agree that social benefits are greater from focusing on reduction of CSI rather than on promotion of CSR. Copyrightr

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCorporate Social Irresponsibility
Subtitle of host publicationA Challenging Concept
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781780529981
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameCritical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability
ISSN (Print)2043-9059
ISSN (Electronic)2043-9067


  • Antisocial business behavior
  • Corporate social irresponsibility
  • Corporate social responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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