Critical Management Studies and Corporate Social Responsibility: A Synthesised Analysis and a Research Note

Gideon Jojo Amos


Critical management studies (CMS) has made great strides towards a better appreciation of the ‘fact’ that in management research and management practice, emphasis has been placed more on organisational performance to the detriment of societal welfare (or expectations). This conceptual paper responds to calls to better integrate CMS and corporate social responsibility (CSR) and provides an integrated critique and expansion of CSR research in developing countries. This conceptual paper uses a CMS lens, in turn, drawing on the CSR literature to integrate, critique and argue for the need for a critical research agenda for CSR in developing countries. The author argues that the contradictions between the normative CSR approach, i.e., to further societal good and the instrumental CSR approach, i.e., to further firm success calls for a critical research agenda for CSR in developing countries that should attempt to recover and re-embed the social into the economic. In other words, the pursuit of both the instrumental CSR approach and the normative CSR approach should find opportunities for the simultaneous advancement of society and firm, i.e., towards a win-win situation. The paper contributes to theoretical development of CSR in the context of developing countries.

Keywords:Critical management studies, Corporate social responsibility, Developing countries, Instrumental corporate social responsibility, Normative corporate social responsibility, Business firms

DOI: 10.7176/EJBM/15-17-11

Publication date:October 31st 2023

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