Gute Taten durch Selbstregulierung? Das Konzept CSR und seine Verbindung zu verantwortungslosem Unternehmensverhalten

If CSR is good for both business and society, then the adoption of CSR policies should prevent acts of corporate social irresponsibility (CSI). Drawing on Resource Dependence Theory, the following hypothesis is proposed in this dissertation: under the present circumstances, companies have both the opportunity and the incentive to merely symbolically suggest CSR with the help of self-regulatory CSR codes and policies. If this is the case, there should be no systematic relationship to CSI actions. This raises three research questions, which are answered in three consecutive papers: What might be a useful definition of CSR that is derived from theoretical considerations? What do we mean by CSI and how can it be measured in view of the low transparency of organisational action? Is the currently existing system of voluntary self-regulation suitable for effectively preventing CSI? This dissertation answers these questions by examining CSI activities of the 30 largest German companies over a period of 10 years (2004-2013). They are measured using a novel method for dictionary-based analysis of newspaper articles. The results show that not self-regulatory codes, but transparency and linking compliance with CSR norms to critical resources are negatively related to CSI.


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