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A toolkit for designing firm level strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives

Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya (Doctoral Level Research Fellow working in the Area of Strategic Management, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)
Arunditya Sahay (Professor and Head Strategic Management Area, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)
Ashok Pratap Arora (Professor of Marketing, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)
Abha Chaturvedi (Professor of Human Resource Management, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 1 August 2008




The purpose of this paper is to attempt to develop a framework that will help managers to design firm level corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives which can be of strategic interest for an organisation.


The paper reviews concepts from the domains of strategic management and CSR literature. The concepts are deliberated and analyzed to build up a strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) framework. The article starts by identifying the salient stakeholders of a firm, based on the three stakeholder attributes of power, legitimacy, and urgency. The framework then talks about the identification of a firm's interest in CSR, on the basis of firm value chain, context of competitiveness and intention of creating new business opportunities. Finally, this literature talks about the expected benefits to be achieved by carrying out strategic CSR initiatives.


In a competitive atmosphere, it is important to utilize the firm resources in a proper manner and for a worthy cause. The undertaking of CSR initiatives calls for the sacrifice of firm resources. Resources are scarce and valuable. Managers can design CSR initiatives in a number of ways. But the real challenge for managers is to design firm CSR strategy in such a manner that it helps address a social issue and also provides the organization with some business benefits.


Though managers are aware of the need and benefits of undertaking strategic CSR, a comprehensive theoretical framework which can guide CSR managers to design and implement CSR activities for strategic gains is not present. This study provides for such an integrated framework from the stage of identification of stakeholders, to the design of CSR, to the nature of strategic gains to be incurred.



Sekhar Bhattacharyya, S., Sahay, A., Pratap Arora, A. and Chaturvedi, A. (2008), "A toolkit for designing firm level strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 265-282.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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