Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to revisit the debate and reorient research on corporate social responsibility (CSR), empirically documents the political-ideological biases inherent in CSR. It concludes with possible remedies to this problem. Design/methodology/approach– The approach taken in this literature review is informed by the author’s viewpoint on the growing industry of social activists, who are pushing business toward the adoption of an ever-growing panoply of quasi-regulations commonly identified as CSR. The approach is complemented by a critique of stakeholder theory. Findings– The literature review provides empirical support for Milton Friedman’s (1970) claim that the values underpinning CSR are driven by a socialist-collectivist agenda, which is inherently opposed to capitalist/libertarian values of free enterprise and individualism. Practical implications– Without critical reflection on the leftwing ideology instantiated by CSR, the business community may unwittingly adopt and sustain values that undermine free markets. Originality/value– Without critical reflection on the leftwing ideology instantiated by CSR, business and research communities may unwittingly promote values that, stealth-like, undermine individual liberty and the capitalist foundations of free markets.
Annals in Social Responsibility – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 8, 2015
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