Thursday, 4 August 2011

The stigma of CSR

Numerous studies in the last decade or so are supporting the view that brands and corporations involved in CSR are rewarded with a number of benefits: from increased brand preference and brand loyalty, to improved financial performance and stock prices. But from now, these CSR conscious brands and corporations will have also to carry a stigma: the stigma of being bad corporate citizens and.. irresponsible. According to a recent working paper by the National Bureau of Economics Research (USA)  " companies are engaged in CSR in order to offset Corporate Social Irresponsibility (CSI)". Authors Matthew Kotchen and Joe Moon suggest that their, more than 10 years, research shows that "harmful companies are those mostly involved in CSR. When companies do more harm (CSI) also do more CSR" , the authors suggest. Or to make it simple: companies do "good" in order to offset "bad". What a nice subject for a debate. Looking forward to hear your opinion. For the full text of the paper, click here . 


  1. Glad to post this comment from my LinkedIn friend Harsha Mukherjee:

    Honestly, a thought provoking subject to debate on. There are IT related service companies like Deloitte or telecom companies like Nokia conducting CSR, do they really fall in the category of CSI? No, but this may hold true to some sectors like oil companies, manufacturing companies or so. We can actually categorize them sector wise and am sure some more interesting question would come up.

    But CSR a stigma is very subjective to the nature of business the company is in and CSI would be positively correlated to CSR highly under the constraints of the sector the business is performed. In the paper there are only 14 different sectors that are mentioned and the companies researched on are not considered at a consistent basis as mentioned, which also raises questions.

    Although, undoubtedly a well researched paper.

    Related to the paper:

    The KLD system widely used which mentions approximately 80 indicators in seven major issue areas: community, corporate governance, diversity, employee relations, environment, human rights, and product quality and safety is impressive but the relevance of the system is questioned too.


    Posted by Harsha Mukherjee

  2. Glad to post this comment from my LinkedIn friend ibrahim attah:

    I only wish the Shell's of Nigeria will read these and back up thier CSI with Matching CSR. Only yesterday the Nigerian President recieved a reprot from the UN Enviroment cataloguing 30 year of willful negligence and total disregard for the enviroment of Ogoniland which they have subjected to oil spillage over and over. For company's like Shell I don't know if what they have agreed to do now in terms of cleaning up the mess the created can be called CSR.

    Posted by ibrahim attah