Doing good for its own sake : recasting CSR in the light of Catholic Social Teaching
Catacutan, Maria Rosario G.
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This paper argues that the view of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as advanced in management theory and practice is flawed due to its theoretical underpinnings in individualism, a position which upholds the primacy of the individual and provides legitimacy to individuals’ active pursuit of self-interest to the detriment of society. This view, however, significantly diverges from CSR perspectives which prescribe the duty and obligation inherent in every member of society to contribute to the promotion of the common good. This paper therefore suggests the need for an alternative model and presents the view of CSR advanced by Catholic social teaching (CST) as a more comprehensive and coherent framework to correctly articulate the relations between business and society, and the consequent duty of business to contribute toward promotion of the common good. The paper also offers a critique of some CSR practices which it considers unacceptable from the perspective of CST.