Mainstreaming Corporate Social Responsibility: Developing Markets for Virtue

by Ida Berger, Peggy Cunningham, Minette Drumwright



This article investigates what it means for corporate social responsibility (CSR) to be “mainstreamed” in a company. Rather than a single ‘best practice,’ narratives provided by managers revealed that mainstreaming can be understood in terms of three distinct CSR orientations: the business-case model, the syncretic stewardship model, and the social values-led model. These different orientations and approaches to mainstreaming CSR are the result of three inter-related factors: an “external market for virtue,” an “internal market for virtue,” and the established culture of the company. For business case and social values-led firms, incentives can be developed that encourage them to gravitate toward the syncretic stewardship orientation, which may well represent the most sustainable dimension of CSR.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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