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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2222-3436
Print version ISSN 1015-8812

S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. vol.13 n.2 Pretoria Jan. 2010




A road to organisational perdition? Business, ethics and corporate social responsibility



DAL Coldwell

School of economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand




The paper delineates a heuristic device comprising relationships between levels of instrumentality towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) implicit in differential theoretical organisational approaches, associated managerial freedom in ethical decision making, and corresponding managerial moral orientations. Prominent theoretical approaches to CSR including: criticalism, fundamentalism, social corporatism, social institutionalism and moralism identified in the extant literature are delineated. These approaches are synthesised and articulated with the concepts of degrees of CSR instrumentality, ethical freedom and managerial moral orientations to produce a composite heuristic device with specific potential practical implementations. Ramifications of the analysis in terms of developing managers with ethical acumen and providing organisational circumstances allowing this to flourish are briefly discussed.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, moral, amoral, immoral management, instrumentality, criticalism, fundamentalism, social corporatism, social institutionalism, moralism.

JEL: M14



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Accepted March 2010

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