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Drivers of support for corporate social responsibility: what matters most to Brazilian business leaders

Fernanda Sousa Gimenes (Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK)
Roberta Souza Piao (Department of Production Engineering, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 18 March 2022

Issue publication date: 26 January 2023




This study aims to examine the drivers prompting business leaders to support corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in Brazil.


The research design selected is a qualitative exploratory multiple-case approach. Data were collected through 16 in-depth interviews with leaders of Brazilian companies.


Evidence is found that the main drivers prompting leaders to support CSR in Brazilian companies are linked to firm performance (economic opportunities and risk management) rather than ethical or external drivers (national policies and stakeholder pressure). In addition to this, the study identifies that for Brazilian business leaders, CSR practices have little to do with individual responsibility and personal fulfilment, but rather with a search for better overall effectiveness of the firm.


This study adds to a relevant and increasing body of literature on organisational behaviour from a societal perspective, offering an understanding of what catalyses organisations to engage in CSR practices.



The authors acknowledge the collaboration of the interviewees, who shared their valuable time and thoughts, and would like to thank Dr Kirstie O’Neill and Dr Richard Perkins for their guidance and encouragement.


Gimenes, F.S. and Souza Piao, R. (2023), "Drivers of support for corporate social responsibility: what matters most to Brazilian business leaders", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 328-343.



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