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Director Perceptions of CSR Impact: Long-Term Investment for Social Good or Necessary Cost?

Klomp, S. (2017) Director Perceptions of CSR Impact: Long-Term Investment for Social Good or Necessary Cost? In: 4th International Conference on CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance, 26 - 28 July, Perth, Western Australia


The importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for organisational success has been extensively researched. CSR has been found to benefit the organisation, stakeholders and community. The emergence of this strategy is due in part to the increase in ethical failures of companies and the related need for organisational transparency. Organisations are motivated to engage, at least nominally, in CSR spend due to extrinsic factors, and may justify these practices with a business case. The perceptions of those responsible for ultimate organisational decision-making, directors, have been largely left out of the discussion. This presentation will outline the findings from a pilot study conducted to explore directors' perceptions of the social, and environmental impacts of CSR spend in the community and its related longevity. The pilot study was qualitative in nature, involving interviews with directors and senior executives identified from the Australian Institute of Company Directors Western Australia (AICD) database. This study provides a snapshot of directors’ and senior management perceptions of the impact CSR has on the community and on from the intended recipients of the organisation’s largesse. This study contributes to the debate on issues which affect individuals, organisations and the wider community in regards to CSR. Participating in this study also permitted self-reflection and provided opportunities for learning and embracing diverse perspectives about this important topic. The findings include an exploration of some of the dissonant perceptions articulated by directors and senior executives and reveal some of the debates taking place in Western Australian boardrooms, particularly as they relate to the impact of CSR activities of companies. It concludes by framing the debates relevant to a stakeholder view of CSR, reflecting a governance perspective of the topic. The study also points to the need for further research into this area.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School Of Business and Governance
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