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Corporate Citizenship Towards an Extended Theoretical Conceptualization

In: Business and Management

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No. 04-2003 ICCSR Research Paper Series - ISSN 1479-5124

Corporate Citizenship: Towards an extended theoretical conceptualization

Dirk Matten & Andrew Crane

Research Paper Series International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility ISSN 1479-5124 Editor: Dirk Matten International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility Nottingham University Business School Nottingham University Jubilee Campus Wollaton Road Nottingham NG8 1BB United Kingdom Phone +44 (0)115 95 15261 Fax +44 (0)115 84 66667 Email

Corporate Citizenship: Towards an extended theoretical conceptualization
Dirk Matten & Andrew Crane Abstract Corporate citizenship (CC) has emerged as a prominent term in the management literature dealing with the social role of business. This paper critically examines the content of contemporary understandings of CC and locates them within the extant body of research dealing with business-society relations. Two conventional views of CC are catalogued – a limited view which largely equates CC with strategic philanthropy and an equivalent view which primarily conflates CC with CSR. Significant limits and redundancies are subsequently identified in these views, and the need for an extended theoretical conceptualization is highlighted. The main purpose of the paper is thus to realize a theoretically informed definition of CC that is descriptively robust and conceptually distinct from existing concepts in the literature. Specifically, the extended perspective on CC exposes the element of “citizenship” and conceptualizes CC as the administration of a bundle of individual citizenship rights – social, civil and political – conventionally granted and protected by governments. The implications of this view of CC for management theory and practice are suggested. Keywords: Corporate citizenship;...

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