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strategic option can best be represented as an act of goodwill, without any direct benefits being measured.

CSR strategic option 3: Reciprocal strategy The reciprocal strategy is pragmatic and seeks to resolve the conflicts between economic objectives

and social, moral and environmental expectations of society by focusing CSR efforts on projects benefiting the firm and society. In this strategy, firms are more proactive with respect to social responsibility. CSR strategy may be tied to partnerships with specific community groups or NGOs in order to result in social welfare and simultaneously benefit the firm’s sales or reputation. CSR is regarded as an investment that requires a medium to long-term horizon to result in benefits. Activity- based reporting is an important part of this strategy because firms can track a given CSR investment to actual return.

CSR strategic option 4: Citizenship strategy The citizenship strategy entails a broader scope as the company recognizes that various stakeholders

have different interests and expectations and that the company has responsibilities to potential external stakeholders beyond its shareholders and internal constituents. A key feature of this strategy is that firms have a proactive dialogue with their stakeholders and integrate these findings into decision-making. Stakeholder needs are integral to corporate strategy and social objectives are integrated with economic goals. It is a long-term focused strategy as a result of the great complexity inherent in managing multiple stakeholder needs. Citizenship strategies develop means of managing and measuring their accountability to those stakeholders and are transparent regarding CSR. It is suggested that this strategy can offer tangible rewards such as improved financial results as well as intangible rewards, such as outstanding reputations.

5.2.4 Responsibilities as integral elements of strategy Carroll divides a company's social responsibilities into a pyramid (see Figure 4) with four different

layers, starting from the bottom: economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibilities.227 Philanthropy is defined as corporate actions in response to society’s expectations that companies be good corporate citizens and includes actively engaging in acts or programs that promote goodwill or welfare such as giving resources to the community. Companies must thus be profitable, obey the law and be ethical in terms of avoiding harm. These responsibilities are not expected in an ethical or moral sense. Whilst companies can be ethical without being philanthropic but the reverse is not true. Philanthropy is in this sense less important than the other three categories of social responsibility. The philanthropic category is likened to the “icing on a cake”, or rather of the pyramid.


Carroll, A. (1991).


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