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CSR through the heart of the Bodhi tree

Purpose – This paper seeks to explore an alternative direction to break the theoretical impasse in CSR. Design/methodology/approach – The study employs ancient insights from the core of Buddhist teaching, featuring the Four Noble Truths and the concept of “me” and “mine”, for the modern application of CSR by investigating the crux of major related theories. Findings – The Noble Truths emphasize that suffering should be eradicated at its root. The Buddhist model of CSR suggests that beyond doing good such as supporting philanthropy and avoiding evil as mitigating the impact of corporate malpractice, which are consistent with major CSR theories, it is also crucial to purify the hearts of stakeholders from the “self” and “what belongs to self”, the genesis of suffering. Detachment is the key. Research implications – The shift from an institutional to an individual level, more specifically the transformation from a mindset of over‐consumption to one of conscious consumption, is an alternative direction to the progress of theory and practice in CSR. Practical implications – Defiled by greed and profitability, consumers and investors, who provide income and funding to an organization and define its business practice, are of the highest priority among all stakeholders to start the change according to the Buddhist model of CSR. Originality/value – This paper takes Buddhism as timeless insight, rather than a religious belief, to propose an alternative model and direction to development of CSR in theory and practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Responsibility Journal Emerald Publishing
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