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Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility

Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility
Sustainable Value Creation

Fourth Edition

© 2017 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation (Fourth Edition) redefines corporate social responsibility (CSR) as being central to the value-creating purpose of the firm. Based on a theory of empowered stakeholders, this bestselling text argues that the “responsibility” of a corporation is to create value, broadly defined. The primary challenge for managers today, therefore, is to balance the competing interests of the firm’s stakeholders’ understanding that what they expect today may not be what they will expect tomorrow. This tension is what makes CSR so complex and demanding, but it is also what makes CSR integral to the firm’s strategy and day-to-day operations. As such, CSR is not something that firms choose to do—all firms do it—it is just that some firms do it better than others. In this new Fourth Edition, author David Chandler explores why some firms are better at CSR and how other firms can improve their CSR efforts.  


Keep your course content up-to-date!


Subscribe to David Chandler's 'CSR Newsletters' by e-mailing him at The newsletters are designed to be a dynamic complement to the text that can be used for in-class discussion and debate. Past newsletters are archived as a freely-available resource for instructors and students at:

List of Figures
Preface: Why CSR Matters
Plan of the Book
Chapter 1: What Is CSR?
A New Definition of CSR  
The Evolution of CSR  
Foundations of CSR  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 2: The Driving Forces of CSR
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 3: Corporate Rights and Responsibilities
Corporate Rights  
Corporate Responsibilities  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Part I Case Study: Religion
Religion and Capitalism  
Islamic Finance  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Next Steps
Chapter 4: Stakeholder Theory
Who Is a Stakeholder  
Which Stakeholders Should Be Prioritized?  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 5: Corporate Stakeholder Responsibility
CSR: A Corporate Responsibility?  
CSR: A Stakeholder Responsibility?  
Engaged Stakeholders  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 6: Who Owns the Corporation?
History of the Corporation  
Shareholders Own Stock  
Fiduciary Duties  
Shareholders Versus Stakeholders  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Part II Case Study: Impact Investing
Socially Responsible Investing  
Values-Based Funds  
Social Impact Bonds  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Next Steps
PART III: An Economic Perspective
Chapter 7: The Pursuit of Profit
Social Progress  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 8: Incentives and Compliance
Voluntary Versus Mandatory  
Behavioral Economics  
Is Walmart Good for Society?  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 9: Accountability
Defining CSR  
Measuring CSR  
Pricing CSR  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Part III Case Study: Financial Crisis
The Great Recession  
Moral Hazard  
Global Capitalism  
Occupy Wall Street  
Bank of America  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Next Steps
Chapter 10: Strategy + CSR
What Is Strategy?  
Competing Strategy Perspectives  
The Integration of Strategy and CSR  
The CSR Threshold  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 11: CSR as a Strategic Filter
The CSR Filter  
The Market for CSR  
The CSR Filter in Action  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 12: Strategic CSR
Defining Strategic CSR  
Strategic CSR Is Not an Option  
Strategic CSR Is Business  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Part IV Case Study: Supply Chain
An Ethical Supply Chain  
An Unethical Supply Chain  
A Strategic Supply Chain  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Next Steps
Chapter 13: Sustainability
Sustainable Development  
Beyond Sustainability  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 14: Implementing CSR
Strategic Planning  
Short- to Medium-Term Implementation  
Medium- to Long-Term Implementation  
The Socially Responsible Firm  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Chapter 15: Sustainable Value Creation
Values, Morals, and Business Ethics  
Creating Value  
Values-Based Business  
Strategic CSR Is Good Business  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Part V Case Study: Employees
The Gig Economy  
Employee-Centered Firms  
Strategic CSR Debate  
Questions for Discussion and Review  
Final Thoughts
Company Index
Subject Index
About the Author


Instructor Resource Site

Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for Chandler, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility, 4th edition. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title! 


Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

· Microsoft® Word test bank, is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.

· Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. Highlight essential content and features.

· Lecture notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.

· A sample course syllabus provides a suggested model for use when creating the syllabus for your course.

· Video and multimedia links appeal to students with different learning styles.

· Case notes assist instructors in expanding questions to students or initiate class discussion, including a brief summary of each case, and sample answers to case questions.

· Transition Guide provides a detailed overview of the changes between the previous edition and the current edition of the book. 
Student Study Site

Our Student Study Site at is completely open-access and offers a wide range of additional features.

The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:

· Mobile-friendly eFlashcards reinforce understanding of key terms and concepts that have been outlined in the chapters.

· Video and multimedia links appeal to students with different learning styles.

I’ve been using this text to support learning in two classes I teach, Managing for Sustainability and Global Corporate Social Responsibility. I found it to be a strong support for my approach, which involves situation studies and roundtable discussions pertinent to each course. David Chandler’s approach works well for many reasons.

• Current discussions in our US government particularly render it difficult to focus on public policy influences on sustainability and social responsibility, or to promote ethical actions based on altruism. Business administration students may be biased toward a tendency to perceive profits as paramount, and non-business students attracted to the course topics may end up affirming one another’s perceived goodness without learning how to negotiate corporate-influenced environments.
• A vision of perfection may supplant the good that can come of more strategic CSR approaches. A firm’s capacity to genuinely address social challenges ranging from environmental concerns to social equity need not preclude profitability. Corporations’ opening to, and funding of, design and innovation can be important drivers to managing the natural resources left in the world and creating new ways to benefit everyone.
• While taking some issue with Milton Friedman’s notions of what business responsibility comprises (solely to make money), Chandler believes that CSR students have much to learn from the Nobel-prize winning economist, and I agree. Profitability, however, does need to be viewed over the long term as much as the short term. What do we profit in a desolate, ruined environment? If corporations come to the table in meaningful discussion surrounding the balance we “sustainers” seek, perhaps we would move in the right direction. There would be no losers, only investors.
• Strategic CSR seeks to assure profitability through enhanced relationship with all stakeholders, not just shareholders. As Chandler asserts, CSR is a responsibility among firms to meet the needs of their stakeholders and it’s a responsibility among stakeholders to hold firms to account for their actions.

Today’s interplay of business and society is complex and fraught with nuance. Conversations and understanding must evolve further to ensure a sustainable global future. This book offers plenty of material – and outstanding faculty resources – to support an instructor’s approach to helping students learn to mindfully manage people and resources in the world as it is, to the benefit of all: people, planet, and economic stability.

Linda Clark-Borre
Lecturer, College of Business, California State University, Chico
Key features


  • A new 15-chapter structure is designed for more effective application throughout a long semester.
  • Greater focus on the unique concept of sustainable value creation unpacks how corporations can redirect their efforts in a way that creates value for the firm’s broad range of stakeholders.
  • New content includes extended discussions around the question Who owns the corporation? and covers behavioral economics, stakeholder prioritization, and value creation. The book’s end-of-chapter review questions and Strategic CSR Debate motions encourage classroom discussions and foster critical thinking skills among students.
  • Five extended and updated cases explore controversial CSR issues through the lenses of religion, impact investing, the financial crisis, supply chain management, and employee welfare.
  • Thoroughly updated content, including new discussions of the COP21 UN agreement in Paris, resilience, social impact bonds, and nudge economics, ensures that readers are up-to-date with the latest CSR discussions.


  • This textbook's unique approach redefines CSR as central to the value-creating purpose of the firm to show readers in both business education and business practice how firms that are good at CSR do it, and how others can improve.
  • Each of the book's 15 chapters and five cases has a Strategic CSR Debate Motion, as well as five Questions for Discussion and Review, that bring the scope and complexity of CSR to life in the classroom.
  • An international perspective, supported by multiple examples, emphasizes the multi-cultural challenges of CSR and conducting business in a global context.

The fourth edition of ‘Strategic CSR’ is a complete revision of the third edition. Beyond the usual updates, new Figures and Tables, and other unique ideas, the book has been radically re-organized. While the third edition had two parts and eight chapters, the fourth edition has five parts (each of which contains three chapters and a case-study). These changes are detailed below in the new Table of Contents. While the core of many of these chapters was drawn from material in the third edition, there are new parts in each chapter; there are also completely new chapters.

 This re-organization was made primarily in response to demand from instructors to adapt the book for easier assignment over a long semester of 16 classes. In essence, a larger number of shorter chapters was preferred to a smaller number of longer chapters. As part of this re-organization, the CSR Newsletters and many of the case-studies have been removed from the text. The Newsletters are archived and freely available on the author’s blog (, while the case-studies not included in the 4e are accessible to instructors on Sage’s companion website to the text. As a result of these changes, overall the 4e is 15-20 percent shorter than the 3e.

 The fourth edition of Strategic CSR is titled: Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.’ This title reflects the gradual movement of the book towards the ideas that are fundamental to CSR – value creation for the firm’s broad range of stakeholders. Talking about CSR in this way moves it from the periphery of the firm, to being central to strategic planning and core operations (and therefore central to everything the CEO and senior executives do). As such, this title better reinforces the book’s core philosophical message, while better positioning it for use as a core text across a range of functional areas.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

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For instructors

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