What’s in a name?

April 4, 2008

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?