CSR and Corporate Governance: The Role of CSR Managers
The number of corporate social responsibility (CSR) managers within business organisations has increased noticeably in recent years. To date, research examining the role and experiences of CSR managers is scarce, owing primarily to its relatively new status within management. Drawing on interview data collected as part of qualitative study on the understanding and implementation of CSR and human rights within UK companies, this paper provides an insight in to the work of CSR managers. It explores what CSR managers ‘do’ in everyday practice as well as their views about their role, purpose, goals, challenges and achievements. Based on this (descriptive) data, the paper highlights and discusses three key themes. First, to implement and deliver an effective CSR strategy, CSR managers use a range of strategies to influence the sensemaking of others: thus they represent significant change agents and ‘sense-givers’ within their organisations. Secondly, the development CSR as a distinct profession within the business and management fields signals, in part, a company’s commitment to CSR. More broadly, it represents an increasing recognition by the business sector that they impact on, and are accountable to, a much broader range of stakeholders. Thirdly, noting that the CSR and corporate governance fields have primarily developed along separate paths, CSR managers not only represent a new corporate governance mechanism, but they also provide a visible bridge between the respective fields, thus simultaneously encompassing the twin pillars of sustainability (responsibility and governance). The paper then concludes by highlighting the implications of this research for the governance and CSR field(s) within both scholarly work and business practice.
Citation : Obara, L.J. (2017) CSR and Corporate Governance: The Role of CSR Managers. The 16th International Conference on CSR and 7th Organisational Governance Conference, 30 August - 1 September 2017, University of Derby, UK.
Peer Reviewed : No