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Project Resource Management and Project Procurement Management are the two knowledge areas in the PMBOK (PMBOK® Guide) that provide standards for managing the human and non-human resources for a project. Procurement has been widely researched and written about in the context of CSR, specifically as it relates to sustainable and responsible sourcing. The topic of human resource management as a strategy for social responsibility in business is emerging as more organizations appreciate the value of human capital as a business resource. The PMBOK (PMBOK® Guide) is not explicit on how to incorporate sustainability and social responsibility principles into resource management for projects. Project managers must rely on organizational process assets that provide guidance in these areas.

For this Discussion, use the Walden Library and/or search the Web to find an organization that has a stated policy/approach for CSR. 

1- In what ways is ethical human resource management included in the policy or approach?

2- In what ways is sustainable and responsible sourcing included in the policy or approach?

3- What guidance is provided for managing project resources?

4- What evidence is there that the organization has realized benefits (e.g., increased profitability) as a result of its CRS initiatives?

@@ Please Read the Attached Subjects Before Start Answering the Questions.

Required Reading :

Project Management Institute. (2017). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Sixth edition. Newtown Square, PA: Author.

Chapter 6, “Project Schedule Management” 

Section 6.2, “Define Activities” (pp. 173–182) 

Section 6.3, “Sequence Activities” (pp. 183–186) 

Section 6.4, “Estimate Activity Durations” (pp. 187–194) 

Section 6.5, “Develop Schedule” (pp. 205–221) 

These sections of the PMBOK (PMBOK® Guide) describe the process and steps for developing a project schedule.

The rationale for responsible supply chain management and

stakeholder engagement Mark Anthony Camilleri

Department of Corporate Communication, Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

and University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

Abstract Purpose – Firms are increasingly resorting to responsible supply chain management as they align their economic success with socially responsible initiatives in their value chain. This contribution aims to suggest that there are opportunities for global corporations who are keen on integrating responsible practices into their business operations. It is in their interest to report about their responsible supply chain management, social performance and sustainable innovations to their stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach – This paper identifies future research avenues in the promising areas of responsible procurement and global supply chain management. Findings – The corporations’ differentiated strategies as well as their proactive engagement in responsible supply chain management can lead them to achieve a competitive advantage in the long term. The low-cost producers may be neglecting the marketplace stakeholders, including suppliers, distributors among others. Moreover, the smaller businesses’ could not be in a position to follow responsible procurement practices, as they may lack the scarce resources to do so. Originality/value – This paper raises awareness about the integration of socially responsible behaviours and sustainable practices in business operations. It contends that a responsible supply chain management necessitates an improved relationship with suppliers and distributors in the value chain. This stakeholder engagement with ultimately create value to the businesses themselves.

Keywords Corporate reputation, Supply chain management, Stakeholder management, Responsible procurement, Responsible supply chain management

Paper type General review

Introduction The globalised supply chain is strongly shaping both the production and the consumption of products in different markets as the international markets have been (or are being) liberalised and deregulated. In this light, very often businesses source their materials or products from developing and/or transitioning countries to reduce their production and distribution costs. Consequentially, there may be perceived shortcomings in the companies’ procurement of materials and products and in their supply chain’s regulatory capacity. At the same time, many stakeholders including consumers are increasingly inquiring on the regulation of unwanted economic, social and environmental side-effects of low-cost production. This is a globalisation phenomenon that has triggered new views on the firms’ responsible supply chain management and genuine stakeholder engagement (Gold and Heikkurinen, 2013).

The multi-national brands that are usually based in the developed world play a central role in the organisation of global supply chains. Big companies focus on activities such as product design, marketing and brand management in their home country. However, they may decide to outsource their operations in low-income countries. The third world countries’

The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at: www.emeraldinsight.com/2041-2568.htm

Supply chain management


Received 17 February 2017 Accepted 24 February 2017

Journal of Global Responsibility Vol. 8 No. 1, 2017

pp. 111-126 © Emerald Publishing Limited

2041-2568 DOI 10.1108/JGR-02-2017-0007

suppliers are often accused for their social and environmental deficits, as they are pressurised to enhance their productivity levels. Of course, their irresponsible behaviours towards employees and their surrounding environment could negatively affect their competitiveness in the long term. Unfair employment conditions and work practices are very likely to occur in industries where production is labour intensive and where the automation is limited. Notwithstanding, there are increasing competitive pressures to lower production costs by using subcontractors. This way, the big brands could not control the lower echelons in their production chain.

This paper provides a comprehensive review of contributions on the responsible supply chain management. It also explains how firms use responsible procurement and supply chain management to protect and enhance their corporate reputation. This contribution takes into account a wide range of issues, including the stakeholder and legitimacy theories (Sarkis et al., 2011; Donaldson and Preston, 1995). Hence, it discusses about the regulatory forces on labour market issues and describes the changing roles of consumers, industry peers and media in their endeavour to safeguard socially responsible and sustainable practices in the supply chain.

The procurement of materials and products from the global supply chain There has been a wide array of contributions on supply chain management from a variety of fields, including marketing (Closs et al., 2011; Piercy and Lane, 2009), supply chain (Awaysheh and Klassen, 2010; Simpson et al., 2007) and industrial marketing (Liu et al., 2012; Ewing et al., 2010; Helm and Salminen, 2010). A thorough literature review suggests that academia have often conducted case-based studies that focused on the social performance of suppliers (Hoejmose et al., 2013; Egels-Zandén, 2007). Others reported on the consequences of irresponsible social practices on customers (Phillips and Caldwell, 2005). It may appear that the recent research is concerned with the processes through which buyers manage social issues in the supply chain rather than focusing on the social performance of suppliers (Hoejmose et al., 2013; Klassen and Vereecke, 2012; Awaysheh and Klassen, 2010). The “process” literature has provided considerable insights on the role of social management capabilities, including monitoring, collaboration and innovation (Klassen and Vereecke, 2012); internal and external barriers and enablers (Walker and Jones, 2012); supply chain structures, namely, transparency, dependency and distance – for the adoption of socially responsible practices (Awaysheh and Klassen, 2010); inter-organisational resources as a “collaborative paradigm” in supply chain management (Gold et al., 2010); and third-party certification standards (Ciliberti et al., 2009) among other perspectives.

Other authors have investigated the impact of institutional factors on the adoption of socially responsible supply chain practices (Park-Poaps and Rees, 2010). Recent studies suggest that responsible supply chain management should be related with the firm’s strategy, as it leads to significant outcomes, including improved relationships with stakeholders as well as reputational benefits (Yawar and Seuring, 2015; Monczka et al., 2015; Hoejmose et al., 2013; Carter and Rogers, 2008; Seuring and Müller, 2008; Tetrault Sirsly and Lamertz, 2008; McElhaney, 2009; McManus, 2008).

The responsible supply chain management Firms are often facing increased stringent government regulations on their supply chain (Xia et al., 2015). Arguably, there are a number of governments hailing from the most advanced economies that have already redefined their conceptions of responsibility beyond their own national borders. However, the poorest countries may not possess the same legal frameworks and regulatory policies on responsible supply chain management. Even if they have policies, guiding principles and codes of conducts in place, they will not necessarily enforce them in

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their workplace environments. For instance, in 2013, there were more than 1,100 victims when a building collapsed on the factory workers in Bangladesh. This tragic case has raised awareness about responsible procurement from global supply chains. As a result, many stakeholders have become more concerned about the responsible sourcing of materials and products (Gold and Heikkurinen, 2013). Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and customers themselves are constantly demanding for an increased focus on corporate responsibility practices in the value chain. This is especially the case for brand-owning companies, as they are likely to come under pressure from diverse stakeholders, including NGOs.

The bigger companies are expected to consider their environmental and social responsibility across their entire supply chain. The stakeholder pressures are often being manifested both in conflict (e.g. name-and-shame campaigns and consumer “boycotts” targeting big brands) and in the pro-active developments of multiple institutional and regulatory innovations towards “sustainable supply chain management”, including eco-labelling, codes of conduct, auditing procedures, product information systems, procurement guidelines and eco-branding. Therefore, the purchasing and supply chain managers of the global brands are increasingly recognising the importance of integrating social and environmental responsibility in their day-to-day operations. Some businesses are also embedding certain NGOs’ standards (e.g. ISO 14001 and ISO 26000) in their daily tasks. Such triggers have increased corporate interest in fair trading, environmental management and responsible supply chain management.

The responsible supply chain management is an issue affecting the businesses’ production, supply and distribution of materials. In the past, many big corporations, including Adidas, Benetton, BP, CandA, Disney, Levi Strauss, Nike and Primark among others have been blamed for their irresponsible or unethical behaviours (Jones et al., 2009; Winstanley et al., 2002). Very often, these companies’ suppliers or distributors were based in third-world countries, where they offered inhumane conditions for employees in their work place environments (Hemphill and Kelley, 2016). Alternatively, these businesses were accused of contaminating the (local) natural environment. Their irresponsible behaviours often translated to a tarnished corporate images and significant losses in revenue. Notwithstanding, both business-to-consumer firms that have experienced such reputational damage at times and the business-to-business markets have experienced negative publicity because of poor supply chain practices (Lefevre et al., 2010), although such businesses could be better placed to put pressure on suppliers to take their responsible behaviours more seriously (Sharma et al., 2010). Such contentious issues have led several customers, including businesses to become increasingly wary of the social and environmental impact of their purchases. Moreover, many consumer groups and NGOs have often set their agenda towards a socially responsible transition. Many campaigns are raising an awareness on organically grown foods, anti-sweatshop labour codes, fair trading, as they promote locally produced goods.

Xia et al. (2015) indicated that stringent government rules could drive firms to proactively improve their responsible supply chain performance. Historically, firms were often deemed reactive in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement. It may appear that the notion of proactivity in this context is a recent phenomenon. Very often, the businesses may be more concerned on their legislative compliance than on their genuine commitment to embedding responsible procurement practices at the firm level (Preuss, 2001). In this light, in 1997, President Clinton had initiated the Apparel Industry Partnership which involved the introduction of a code of conduct and relevant principles that were intended to monitor operational activities in work place environments. Evidently, the US president has


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responded to the numerous stakeholder pressures regarding unfair labour conditions in the US supply chain. Since then, many corporations have adopted voluntary codes and engaged in various social initiatives such as monitoring systems and/or vendor certification requirements.

Other parties, such as media and independent NGOs, including the Fair Labor Association and Social Accountability’s SA 8000 in the USA and the Ethical Trading Initiative in the UK among others, also played an important role in improving the responsible supply chain performance in different contexts. In particular, they were critical to the monitoring of any social transgressions and for informing and educating consumers about the global production and supply environments (Park-Poaps and Rees, 2010; Roberts, 2003).

In the past few decades, several companies are increasingly taking social and sustainable performance into account when selecting their suppliers. For instance, Wal-Mart has created a global sustainability index in 2009. This index rates products according to their environmental and societal impacts of their manufacturing and distribution. Generally, responsible supply chain management is being quantified by using ratings that incorporate social, ethical, cultural and health footprints (also known as SECH ratings).

Interestingly, President Obama has endorsed the US Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. This act contained a supply chain sustainability provision in the form of a Conflict Minerals law. In a nutshell, this law requires SEC-regulated companies to conduct third-party audits on their supply chains to determine whether they were procuring conflict minerals (including tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The SEC-regulated firms were mandated to create a report detailing their due diligence efforts as well as the results of their audits (which ought to be disclosed to the general public and SEC). The chain of suppliers and vendors of these reporting companies are expected to provide appropriate supporting information to their stakeholders.

In a similar vein, the state of California passed legislation that became effective as of the 1 January, 2012. This bill mandated that the Californian retailers and manufacturers (who generated more than $100,000,000 in annual worldwide gross receipts) to disclose their non-financial reporting (in terms of social and environmental performance). These entities are expected to report (in their annual corporate statements) how they are eradicating slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains for tangible goods offered for sale (Hemphill and Kelley, 2016; Pickles and Zhu, 2013).

Engaging with responsible suppliers The supply chain management is influenced by different stakeholders that may be considered as the “consumers” of businesses. Therefore, it is important to identify both primary and secondary stakeholders (Maignan et al., 2005). Businesses are increasingly realising that customers, competitors, regulators, agencies, media, suppliers and NGOs are their primary stakeholders of socially responsible corporate behaviours (Buysse and Verbeke, 2003; Freeman and Reed, 1983). For this reason, there is scope in forging strategic buyer–supplier relationships as they rely on each other for their individual success (Gray and Balmer, 1998; Mohr and Spekman, 1994). Hence, the firms’ proactive stance on the responsible supply chain management (in conjunction with their stakeholders) will help them enhance their reputation, as they promote fair practices in the labour market. At the same time, it is in their interest to protect the natural environment throughout their distributive value chain.

According to the stakeholder theory, businesses are responsible towards various stakeholders, as they are expected to respond to their different claims as an attempt to

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legitimise their existence (Park-Poaps and Rees, 2010; Freeman, 1999). Firms tend to favour those stakeholders who are powerful and important to them (Freeman, 1999). They must not only identify who their stakeholders are but also determine whether their stakeholders’ claims are manageable, considering the firm’s limited and scarce resources. Their socially responsible supply chain orientation consists of both internal organisational direction as well as external partnerships. In their study in the apparel industry, Park-Poaps and Rees (2010) indicated that consumer and industry peer pressures were significantly related to the companies’ internal direction, whereas the industry peers and media were significantly related to their external partnerships. Curiously, they found that regulation was not significantly related to either internal direction or external partnerships. Relevant studies have reported that such initiatives to control labour issues are still somewhat inefficient and ineffective because of hierarchal communication approaches (Fawcett and Magnan, 2002).

Other scholars have suggested that socially responsible initiatives require incorporating values of fair labour into the organisational core (Andersen and Skjoett-Larsen, 2009; Howard-Grenville and Hoffman, 2003). Very often, commentators argued that the development of partnerships among stakeholders could facilitate both internal and external communication, including mutual understanding and cooperation on labour issues (Lim and Phillips, 2008). Therefore, the stakeholder engagement is expected to affect the lower levels in the supply chain (Park-Poaps and Rees, 2010). The socially responsible supply chain performance will ultimately influence stakeholder management, corporate image, consumer choices and reputation (Tate et al., 2010).

Given the development of current stakeholders’ expectations and demands, the contemporary subject of responsible behaviour is becoming an important instrument for the enhancement of corporate reputation (Fan, 2005; Caruana, 1997; Fombrun and Shanley, 1990). As businesses are socially responsible they minimise their risk and improve their stakeholder relations (Husted and Allen, 2001). In a similar vein, Fombrun and Shanley (1990) argued that the businesses’ social and environmental responsiveness will bring reputational benefits.

The responsible supply chain management and its effect on corporate reputation Corporate reputation has often been defined as “a set of attributes ascribed to a firm, that is inferred from the firm’s past actions” (Weigelt and Camerer, 1988, p. 443). Fombrun and Shanley (1990, p. 233) argued that reputation “signals publics about how a firm’s products, jobs, strategies and prospects compare to those of competing firms”. The value of reputation has been subject to extensive research by many scholars (Fombrun et al., 2000; Caruana and Chircop, 2000; Caruana, 1997). Relevant theoretical underpinnings have indicated how reputation influences the stakeholders’ perceptions (Money et al., 2011), the customers’ choices and their purchase intentions (Keh and Xie, 2009; Siegel and Vitaliano, 2007; Mohr and Webb, 2005). Therefore, corporate reputation is related to corporate financial performance (Camilleri, 2012; Flanagan et al., 2011). Much of the work on corporate social – financial performance also implicitly assumes that this relationship is positive because an improved reputation facilitates revenue and profit growth (Orlitzky et al., 2003; Surroca et al., 2010).

Extant work suggests that reputation is important because it establishes credibility (Greyser, 1999; Herbig et al., 1994). The notion that reputation is related to credibility has also been noted in the wider corporate social (and environmental) responsibility literature. McWilliams and Siegel (2001) argued that building a reputation of “responsibility” can signal an improved reputation (Husted and Allen, 2007; Brammer and Millington, 2005; McWilliams and Siegel, 2001; Fombrun and Shanley, 1990). Hence, responsible corporate


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behaviour “builds trust and enhances the firm’s reputation, which in turn attracts customers, employees, suppliers and distributors, not to mention earning the public’s goodwill” (Lantos, 2001, p. 606). In a similar vein, Lewis (2003) also held that responsible behaviours can establish trust and ultimately develop a company’s reputation. Social and environmental activities not only can enhance the reputation of the firm but also enhance the goodwill trust of stakeholders (Carlisle and Faulkner, 2005; Siltaoja, 2006).

Therefore, corporate reputation is fundamentally a signal to stakeholders (Ponzi et al., 2011) and is particularly important in markets where there is imperfect information (Hoejmose et al., 2014.; Weigelt and Camerer, 1988). The market signals, including engagement in social and environmental issues could help to improve corporate image (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001; Bagnoli and Watts, 2003). Markley and Davis (2007) also noted that responsible behaviours could send positive market signals. Therefore, current businesses are expected to implement responsible supply chain practices by their stakeholders. If they will not, they are at the risk of damaging their corporate reputation and image. Hence, there is scope for firms to implement socially and environmentally responsible practices in their supply chains (Ansett, 2007). Responsible supply chain management encapsulates social issues (e.g. child labour, working conditions, human rights, etc.) and/or environmental matters (e.g. environmental protection, waste management, recycling, reusing natural resources, etc.) (Hemphill and Kelley, 2016; Hoejmose et al., 2013; Carter and Rogers, 2008; Seuring and Muller, 2008). Such responsible behaviours shield the firms from negative media attention and consumer boycotts (Hoejmose et al., 2013). The companies’ stronger engagement in socially responsible supply chain management enables them to manage exposure to risk (Tate et al., 2010; van de Ven and Jeurissen, 2005). Thus, the businesses’ stakeholder engagement and their responsible procurement of materials and products is linked to corporate reputation, which in turn allows them to target discerning customer groups (Phillips and Caldwell, 2005; Roberts, 2003).

Kleindorfer et al. (2005) suggested that responsible supply chain practices can lead to increased profitability, as customer satisfaction and loyalty will improve as a result of a stronger reputation. Conversely, the firms risk losing customers to rival companies if they fail to be responsible in their supply chain. In fact, Harwood and Humby (2008) findings suggested that suppliers were adhering to specific CSR requirements to reduce their exposure to risk. It may appear that ongoing CSR behaviours and environmental management protect the firms’ reputation. This reflects Burke’s (2011) argumentation as he suggested that the firms’ positive actions including CSR programmes and the other tangible things enhance their corporate reputation.

Therefore, the distinction between reputation protection and enhancement is subtle but important. Corporate reputation protection is concerned with evidencing the firms’ efforts to meeting the stakeholders’ expectations, whereas reputation enhancement goes beyond a purely evidential basis which encompasses embedded practice. Corporate reputation protection occurs when firms can prove to stakeholders that they took reasonable steps to prevent certain incidents from happening (Coombs, 2014). In fact, corporate reputations could be jeopardised by irresponsible supply chain practices which may “directly harm business contracts, marketing and sub-sourcing, and damage the corporation’s brands and the trust they have established with their business customers” (Lee and Kim, 2009, p. 144). The companies’ failure to manage their supply chain in a responsible manner could result in negative repercussions for their bottom line. Conversely, the corporations’ reputation and credentials in socially responsible supply chain management could lead them to achieve a competitive advantage in the long term (Ansett, 2007; McWilliams et al., 2006).

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The link between responsible supply chain management and a differentiated strategy Firms should seek to “have their reputation stand out from their group” (Ferguson et al., 2000, p. 1211) to increase their chances of building a competitive advantage (Porter, 1986; Porter and Kramer, 2006). Consequently, an improved corporate reputation may be considered as an important lever for the businesses’ long-term prospects. A growing body of literature has noted the relationship between supply chain practices and business strategy (McManus, 2008; Cousins, 2005; Fombrun and Shanley, 1990). Those firms that implement and develop responsible supply chain practices are clearly pursuing differentiation strategies (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001). Therefore, “the supply chain function cannot be viewed in isolation from the firm and its competitive advantage” (Knudsen, 2003, p. 720; Watts et al., 1995). This suggests that the organisational goals could guide the supply chain practices (Power, 2005) and that the two variables must be coordinated (Tamas, 2000). Narasimhan and Carter (1998) argued that the supply chain strategy must support product and market characteristics for firms to achieve a competitive advantage. They held that those firms, who adopted a differentiation/customisation strategy were choosing those suppliers who were characterised for their product innovation, technological leadership, total quality management and internal organisational integration.

In contrast, they contended that the firms that pursued traditional manufacturing- oriented strategies (low-cost) prioritised on rapid volume change, fast delivery, low prices and external organisational integration. The low-cost firms generally consider the role of the supply chain function to be one of cost reduction, whereas the firms pursuing differentiation strategies view supply chain management as a central function for them (Narasimhan and Carter, 1998). The low-cost firms are less likely to collaborate with suppliers on their shared responsibilities towards conflict resolution (Park and Dickson, 2008, p. 52). At times, they may seek to exploit the labour market in search of lower prices (Park and Dickson, 2008). Such firms are unlikely to manage labour issues in their supply chain, as this would increase their costs. Very often, low-cost retailers are being pressurised to lower their prices and to provide added value. For these reasons, they may frequently change suppliers and make them bid against one another. Therefore, the low-cost suppliers may not be motivated to comply with the guiding principles and responsible codes of conduct (Hoejmose et al., 2013; Fearne et al., 2005). For instance, some of the major low-cost retailers regularly exploit other businesses, as they may have bargaining power over their suppliers. They may force them to bear cost increases in the supply chain.

Under such circumstances, the low-cost firms often try to exploit all sources of cost advantage. They may not engage in socially responsible activities, as this will result in higher discretionary costs for them. Very often, low-cost producers will neglect socially responsible supply chain management because it is costly for them, and they do not consider CSR engagement as core to their business strategy (Hoejmose et al., 2013). Empirical evidence suggests that social responsibility is often neglected in low-cost sourcing contexts (Andersen and Skjoett-Larsen, 2009; Boyd et al., 2007; Gugler and Shi, 2009). The stakeholder engagement (with suppliers) could be problematic for many businesses because they operate in highly competitive environments, where the focus is on price (Barrientos and Smith, 2007). In these cases, the firms that pursue low-cost strategies will inevitably neglect responsible behaviours in the value chain.

On the contrary, the firms that pursue differentiation strategies often engage with their suppliers These firm develop highly collaborative relationships and foster joint market strategies with them. The engagement with suppliers is stronger and deeper when the firms pursue differentiation strategies (Porter and Kramer, 2006). González-Benito (2007) found that the fit between business strategy and purchasing strategy significantly moderates the


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relationship between purchasing efficacy (as measured by the fit between purchasing strategy and capabilities, and firm performance). It may appear that focal firms invest in building relationships with suppliers to improve their effectiveness and to gain potential collaborative advantages (Hoejmose et al., 2013). Interestingly, Baier et al. (2008) noticed that innovative firms were emphasising on supplier management, talent management, integration and core processes, as they compared them to low-cost firms that were more focused on information and knowledge management (rather than cross-functional collaboration). Very often, the low-cost producers consider the supply chain as a source of cost savings and invest less in supplier development (Hoejmose et al., 2013).

The firms that pursue differentiation strategies resort to socially responsible activities, along with other marketing activities, such as advertising as a signalling tool (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001). In a similar vein, van de Ven and Jeurissen (2005) argued that firms that pursue differentiation strategies tend to engage more proactively …


The Good, the Bad, and the Successful – How Corporate Social Responsibility Leads to Competitive Advantage and Organizational Transformation


Institute for Managing Sustainability, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria

ABSTRACT This paper presents a referential stage model for corporate social responsibility (CSR) implementation by linking CSR to four business operations: project management, quality management, strategic management and organizational learning. Companies try to cope with societal demands by integrating them into these business operations: (1) integrating societal demands into project management by initiating a project in an area that is perceived as ‘good’; (2) avoid ‘bad things’ by applying quality management for CSR implementation; (3) strategic CSR perceives societal demands as opportunities to create shared value and (4) transformational CSR helps to overcome constraints like low materiality and developing the capabilities of a company. While the first two stages aim at ‘doing good’ or ‘avoiding bad’, strategic and transformational CSR are key for ‘being successful’. Based on extended literature review and well-documented studies, our referential framework offers insights into underlying patterns, potentials and limitations of linking CSR to business operations. Companies can assess the stage they have reached, strive for higher materiality, boost their competitiveness, and evolve in terms of CSR maturity. Hence, the referential framework adds a new and application-oriented perspective to the discussion of the business case for CSR and demonstrates how stages lead to competitive advantage and organizational transformation.

KEY WORDS: Social responsibility of business, stage model, CSR business case, responsible competitiveness, organizational learning, strategic management, quality management, project management

Journal of Change Manag