Defining corporate social responsibility
* This paper aims to provide a working definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR). It begins by describing how the lack of a widely agreed definition contributed to misunderstandings and cynicism towards the concept itself and argued that hence the need for a working definition. The paper then goes on to divide current literature on CSR, and current business practices, into two main categories depending on the way CSR is perceived—as an ethical position or as a business strategy. A brief overview on how CSR is practised in the real business world is also presented. The paper describes how practitioners seem to be practising CSR despite the lack of a universally agreed definition. Subsequently, based on the ongoing academic debates on CSR and on examples of what is happening in the real business world, the paper concludes with a proposed definition that reconciles ongoing academic debates with practice. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.