An evaluation of the state of the CSR field in Australia: Perspectives from the banking and mining sectors

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Comparative Perspectives on Global Corporate Social Responsibility, 2017, pp. 138-164
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While Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become established in the managerial lexicon, its meaning and application varies according to geographical and sector contexts. In this chapter, we focus on the application of CSR across the banking and mining sectors in Australia to analyse the ways in which this managerial mechanism, with its theoretical underpinnings of social, environmental and economic balance, has been strategically appropriated and applied. We pose the key questions of how has CSR been implemented in Australia's largest industries and, secondarily, why has CSR not been more effective in transforming business practice in Australia? To demonstrate the alternative purposes to which CSR has been put, we use two case studies drawn from Australia's two most visible industries. The purpose of these case studies is to illustrate the larger conceptual ambiguity or fragmentation endemic to CSR and how this ambiguity affects its application - and therefore effectiveness - across different contexts.
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