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Corporate Social Responsability

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Business & Society http://bas.sagepub.com Corporate Social Responsibility: Evolution of a Definitional Construct
Archie B. Carroll Business Society 1999; 38; 268 DOI: 10.1177/000765039903800303 The online version of this article can be found at: http://bas.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/38/3/268

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Carroll / CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY BUSINESS & SOCIETY / September 1999

Corporate Social Responsibility
Evolution of a Definitional Construct

ARCHIE B. CARROLL
University of Georgia

There is an impressive history associated with the evolution of the concept and definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In this article, the author traces the evolution of the CSR construct beginning in the 1950s, which marks the modern era of CSR. Definitions expanded during the 1960s and proliferated during the 1970s. In the 1980s, there were fewer new definitions, more empirical research, and alternative themes began to mature. These alternative themes included corporate social performance (CSP), stakeholder theory, and business ethics theory. In the 1990s, CSR continues to serve as a core construct but yields to or is transformed into alternative thematic frameworks.

The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a long and varied history. It is possible to trace evidences of the business...

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