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The Perspective of Social Business for CSR Strategy

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The growing practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has led to increasing research attention in the literature to the role of CSR strategy. CSR strategy is a concept for maximizing profits or benefits for both society and the company. Studies of CSR strategy during the 1990’s and the early 2000’s were mainly limited to examining the concept of CSR, and merely discussed the needs and importance of the strategic development of CSR. Recently, strategy researchers have proposed more specific CSR strategies by applying their knowledge of strategic management. This paper first summarizes these CSR strategy studies and then proposes an approach to CSR strategy from a new perspective. This paper also identifies issues that a company may face when implementing CSR and suggests approaches to CSR strategy to overcome these issues. To overcome the CSR issues, the paper discusses (1) a framework for recognizing the contribution that CSR activity makes to corporate performance, and (2) approaches to CSR strategy for resolving tradeoffs inherent to the CSR activity. This paper proposes that a company design its CSR activity so that it expands the company’s stakeholders, resources and capabilities. Secondly, because the impact of CSR activity occurs both through external factors, such as legitimacy and reputation, and through internal factors, such as implementation and learning, efforts to stimulate the processes are discussed. Lastly, based on the above considerations, the outcome of CSR, corporate performance and the resolution of tradeoffs inherent to CSR are further examined. This paper concludes by pointing out that, from the perspective of CSR strategy, it is most important for a company to implement CSR activity regarding it as a social business, based on a careful review of its core business.

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Keiko Yokoyama

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