Some theorists as well as practitioners describe CSR as a form of corporate compliance with the spirit and the letter of the law; or, as a business approach that takes into account the manner in which the organization’s activities impacts upon its different stakeholders (Nehme & Wee, 2008:129). Pursuant to its legal mandate, CSR is seen as a condition where the corporation acts as a free agent of the state, to the extent that the expressed social objectives are imposed on the corporation by law (Manne & Wallich, 1972, p. 40).
On the other hand, more than just compliance with legal mandate, CSR is also thought to pertain to the corporation’s efforts above and beyond regulatory requisites, in effect finding an equilibrium between the needs of stakeholders on one hand, and those of making a profit for the investors in the other (Nehme & Wee, 2008:132). CSR is “[a] concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis” (European Commission, in Nehme & Wee, 2008:131).
CSR, from a market viewpoint, has been identified as a source of competitive advantage, as the company explores ways of approaching and engaging with their stakeholders (Corporation and Market Advisory Committee, 2006). “CSR is the result, implicit or explicit, of the nature of a firm, its role in society, and its relationships with its internal and external stakeholders” (Argandoña and Hoivik, 2009, p. 229).
The same activities, it is observed, may be undertaken whatever theory is adopted, as even community-focused activities may actually be undertaken in the service of corporate interests – a form of market development effort. Nevertheless, embarking on these activities which do not directly comprise the company’s main business operations are taken to be external manifestations of the company’s CSR program.
Ever since the advent of