Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 27, 2016

Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Meeting

Maria J. Murcia
Pages 180-186

May Corporate Social Responsibility Have a Bearing Upon the Shifting Boundaries of the Firm?

Whereas ‘strategic’ Corporate Social Responsibility (henceforth, CSR) scholars (e.g.: Husted & Allen, 2006, 2007; McWilliams, Siegel, & Wright, 2006; McWilliams & Siegel, 2000) have studied CSR as a competitiveness and/or differentiation tool (Panwar, Nybakk, Hansen, & Pinkse, 2016) -this is, a competitive strategy’s outcome-, CSR has remained ‘out of the loop’ of the broader corporate strategy choice discussion and, in specific, unexplored as an antecedent of firm’s scope. Granted that firms formulate different governance strategies to effectively implement corporate objectives (Harrigan, 1985), my ongoing investigation focuses on how CSR may come to play into decisions pertaining to vertical scope, that is, how firms organize internal or external supplier-buyer relationships along their value chains (Jacobides & Billinger, 2006). The need for this research stems from the fact that in a context of global dispersion of production, normative pressure concerning the need for environmental protection and growing demands to redress social concerns compel firms to reconsider their vertical relationships.