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Corporate social responsibility in the Canadian context: the new role of corporations in community involvement and social issues

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 11:01 by Mary K. Foster, Agnes B. Meinhard
[First paragraph of Introduction]: The rapidly growing literature investigating corporate social responsibility (CSR) attests to the world-wide interest in this trend, both from an academic perspective and as a legitimate component of commercial success (Burson-Marsteller, 2000; Waddock & Graves, 1997). To date, most of the research has been conducted in the US, and indeed research interest in this topic dates back to the 1930s and 1940s (Carroll, 1999). The body of knowledge about CSR in Canada is more modest and has mostly focused on investigating social disclosure from an accounting perspective (Levin, 1982; Zeghal & Ahmed, 1990). One reason for this narrow focus has been historical. Unlike in the US, the Canadian government has been the primary architect, builder and funder of the social safety net. Until very recently, this dominant role of government has preempted the need for widespread corporate participation in the provision of social services. Thus tracking the nature and scope of CSR activities in the private sector has not been a major area of interest for Canadian researchers. Indeed, as recently as the 1980s, much of the CSR focus in Annual Reports of Canadian companies was on internal human resource issues such as employee health, safety and training, and not on community and social service issues (Zeghal & Ahmed, 1990). Keywords: CVSS, Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Working Paper Series,TRSM, Ted Rogers School of Management Citation:

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