The origins of corporate social responsibility (CSR) have been widely attributed to the work of scholars, and business managers as well, in North America and Western…
The origins of corporate social responsibility (CSR) have been widely attributed to the work of scholars, and business managers as well, in North America and Western Europe. Inevitably, however, as the economic interaction of individual firms and entire nations has grown over the past several decades — call it globalization — so too has the concept and the practice of CSR spread throughout the world. It is certainly time to explore how CSR is being incorporated into the practice of business management in other regions and other countries. Therefore, in this chapter we will focus on Asia: specifically on Japan, South Korea, India, and China. It is interesting for academicians to understand how CSR is being absorbed and adapted into the business cultures of these four countries. Perhaps of even greater importance, it is vital that business managers know what to expect about the interaction between business and society as well as the government as their commercial activities grow in this burgeoning part of the world.
For each of these four countries, we will provide an overview of the extent to which CSR has become a part of the academic community and also how it is being practiced and incorporated in everyday management affairs. We will see that there are very significant differences among these countries which lead to the natural question: why? To answer this question, we will use an eight-part analytical framework developed specifically for this purpose. We will look at the history, the dominant religious beliefs, the relevant social customs, the geography, the political structures, the level of economic development, civil society institutions, and the “safety net” of each country. As a result of this analysis, we believe, academicians can learn how CSR is absorbed and spread into commercial affairs, and managers can profit from learning more about what to expect when doing business in this increasingly important region.