From the Margins to the Core

Academic literature agrees that there is a patent need for more and better CSR, and that to fulfill that need CSR ought to be moved from the margins of business (risk and reputation management) to the core (strategy, value proposition).

Yet is still unclear how best to meet this stricture in a globalized business environment, where the social and ethical claims made on business vary drastically and at times contradict one another sharply. Our paper addresses this difficulty of confliction claims and norms by exploring normative stakeholder dialogues as an instrument to align societal goals with business objectives in rapidly changing environments. We argue, first, that the postulate to move CSR from the margins to the core is best realized by a cosmopolitan view of CSR; and second, that only normative stakeholder dialogues allow firms to adjust today’s strategies to tomorrow’s demands for responsible corporate conduct.