Examining distinctions and relationships between Creating Shared Value (CSV) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Eight Asia-based Firms

Asian Journal of Business Ethics 11 (2):327-357 (2022)
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Corporate activities conducted under the banner of creating shared value (CSV) have gained popularity over the last decade, and some MNCs have espoused that CSV has entered the heart of their practices. There has, however, been criticism about the lack of a standard definition of CSV. The purpose of the current study was to develop a working definition of CSV by identifying distinctions between CSV and various conceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR). We conducted 26 semi-structured interviews with managers and stakeholder representatives of five multinational corporations (MNCs) and three small and medium enterprises (SMEs), all headquartered or rooted in Asia. These firms had received public recognition for their CSV engagement. We compared and contrasted interviewees’ conceptions and descriptions of CSV and traditional CSR (philanthropy) and mapped these against Carroll’s four-layer model of responsible corporate management. Interviewees tended to frame CSV as a sustainable business model that generates social and economic value simultaneously. Traditional CSR was characterized as “giving back” some of the surplus from economic returns. In addition, interviewees described examples of strategic CSR, which involved pump-priming interventions for empowering and enabling stakeholders of the CSV practices of the focal firm to participate in the associated wealth and well-being co-creation. Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, creating shared value, qualitative, Asia.


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