Corporate Social Responsibility Of Large Urban Museums: The Contribution Of Volunteer Programs

Cognizant Communication Corporation
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Tourism Review International, 2007, 11 (2), pp. 167 - 174
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Out of a growing concern about the erosion of social infrastructure has come an increase in pressure on business to take up more of the responsibility to invest in building strong communities. While many tourism organizations have been slow to involve themselves in any long-term and meaningful way with communities, the volunteer programs of large Australian museums unintentionally create partnerships of engagement, participation, and involvement between the museum and their urban communities. These volunteer programs represent a contribution to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Drawing on the author's previous work, the CSR literature, and museum reports and information posted on the Internet, this article discusses why and how this occurs. First, the article explores the relationship between CSR and social capital. Second, the contribution that museums make to social capital through their volunteer programs is outlines. Third, it is considered whether museums could do more in terms of their CSR and volunteer programs. Finally, suggestions are made for the way in which museums can continue to fulfill and advance their CSR activities. Museums, in acknowledging and documenting the CSR activities of their volunteer programs, can improve CSR outcomes and enhance the social and economic outcomes for both the community and the museum.
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