Date of Conferral

2019

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Robert E. Levasseur

Abstract

Accountability for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its societal challenges is undetermined, and it is unclear whether business or society should carry these responsibilities. Despite severe criticism from some, many organizations continue to invest in and promote CSR. The purpose of this multiple-case study was to increase the understanding of the phenomenon from the perspective of a purposeful sample of participants who contribute to CSR execution and who were representatives of the 10 organizations identified as active promoters. The participant corporations (case studies), in Europe and North America, were mainly in the telecommunications industry. Study data came from 11 face-to-face, semistructured interviews with chief executive officers (CEOs) and other CSR key participants, a review of corporate archival records, and a review of other sources regarding the effective implementation of CSR in these organizations. The conceptual framework consisted of Carroll’s constructs of CSR based on economic, legal, social, and discretionary elements. The constant comparative method was used to analyze the interview data and identify factors leading corporations to continue to engage in CSR. These factors were economic, social impact, legal compliance, or good reputation, sponsored by transformational or adaptive leaderships and endorsed by visionary CEOs. The findings may enlighten and motivate other organizations to engage in CSR programs and connect stakeholders’ contribution to a broadened positive social change.

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