What’s in a name?

When setting up this Community of Practice, I thought for some time about whether to use the term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ or just ‘Corporate Responsiblity’ or a derivation with the word ‘sustainability’ included. Then there’s ‘green’, or ‘citizenship’, etc, etc. Perhaps academics spend too long worrying about this sort of thing? It has been a topic of some debate amongst our community already, and the Chartered Management Institute has recently published an article saying that the ‘Social’ part of CSR should be dropped in order to focus on ‘responsibility’. Even within the term CSR, there are many definitions as shown in an article by Dahlsrud (2008 ) which analysed 37 different definitions of CSR found in the literature. So, should we be concerned with the terminology we use, or is action more important?

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4 Responses to What’s in a name?

  1. Lisa says:

    Definitely action is the best thing 🙂

    Well done on kick starting the blog – great links and I like the new theme! Looking forward to reading contributions from others in the group.

  2. zara says:

    i think the most important thing to focus is on is now. As we are always taught in lectures, the most common question that is asked of us is…what is the most constant thing in business, and the answer ironically is…CHANGE!!. i think if we get so hooked up in the ‘properness’ of definitions we tend to loose sight of purpose. If a job needs to be done then let it be done.
    Do not get me wrong, it is definately important to choose the right name, but then again it is not waht is the name but what the name stands for which is more important. At least i believe so anyway.

    This is great Ian, i will defintaely tell all my uni colleagues about it !!

  3. matt says:

    As someone who comes from outside the CSR sector my immediate reaction was to go for the term ‘Corporate Responsibility’. Such a term simplifies the name of a sector which actually covers a complex range of subject matter, which aren’t just social in nature but environmental as well.

  4. lorraine says:

    I think we should focus on doing stuff – people understand what CSR means even though they may differ about detail, so stick with the recognisability factor

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