Epistemological evolution of corporate social responsibility in management: An empirical analysis of 35 years of research.


Alejandro Alvarado Herrera, Enrique Bigné Alcañiz, Rafael Currás Pérez* and Isabel Sánchez García

The epistemological evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within the management literature is analyzed from 1972 to 2006 to update and extend previous state-of-the-art research by de Bakker, Groenewegen and Den Hond (2005 and 2006). Results of the content analysis of 1082 featured articles published in indexed journals reveal that, in the first place, CSR construct has evolved from vagueness to testing of the theory fitting to a progressive view and allow discarding both suppositional stances attributed to CSR literature, Variegational and Normativist. Secondly, findings also show that, in quantitative terms, there has been a significant growing in the total number of papers amongst the whole studied period. Finally, the findings confirm that, epistemologically speaking, CSR and Corporate Social Performance (CSP) literatures mainly deal with the same core construct.

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