The_company_in_society_2018.pdf - This is the post print...

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The Company in Society: When Corporate Responsibility Transforms Strategy Abstract (250/ 250): Purpose This study identifies and analyzes the different roles corporate social responsibility (CSR) can play in corporate strategy. By acknowledging that one of the biggest challenges for companies in committing to sustainability is the strategy work, the authors outline specific strategic initiatives to achieve these roles and the strategic outcomes that will follow such initiatives. Design/methodology/approach Four illustrative case examples show how companies are recasting the role of CSR. The new CSR roles are characterized through two strategic dimensions: (1) an inside-out (firm-oriented) vs. outside-in (market-oriented) orientation, and (2) an emphasis on leveraging vs. an emphasis on prospecting activities. Findings The findings show that to realize the opportunities of CSR for business, the environment, and society at large, the role of CSR in the boardroom must be reconfigured. By recasting its role, CSR can become a driver for the strategy process and a transformative force generating strategic changes. Practical implications This paper aims to encourage top executives to take a proactive stance toward responsibility, recognize the new roles and potential impact that CSR can have in corporate strategy, and assist strategic decision-making regarding CSR. Originality/value The paper aims to move beyond integrating sustainability into existing strategies and business models by demonstrating how sustainability can also inspire strategic changes a priori when the role of CSR is recast in companies. By viewing CSR as a driver of corporate strategy and strategic initiatives, the authors suggest that besides helping the environment, the community, and society, CSR can take care of corporate strategy. Lahtinen Sonja, Kuusela Hannu, Yrjölä Mika This is the post print version of the article, which has been published in Journal of Business Strategy. 2018, 39 (4), 11-18..