Monday, December 13, 2010

The Age of Responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the New DNA of Business

By Wayne Visser

I wanted to share details of a new article of mine, "The Age of Responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the New DNA of Business", just published in the Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics. It distils the essence of my forthcoming book of the same title (out on 18 February 2011) and is downloadable as a Pdf below.


This paper argues that CSR, as a business, governance and ethics system, has failed. This assumes that success or failure is measured in terms of the net impact (positive or negative) of business on society and the environment. The paper contends that a different kind of CSR is needed if we are to reverse the current direction of many of the world’s most pressing social, environmental and ethical trends. The first part of the paper reviews business’s historical progress over the Ages and Stages of CSR: moving through the Ages of Greed, Philanthropy, Marketing and Management, using defensive, charitable, promotional and strategic CSR approaches respectively. The second part of the paper examines the Three Curses of Modern CSR (incremental, peripheral and uneconomic), before exploring what CSR might look like in an emerging Age of Responsibility. This new CSR – called systemic or radical CSR, or CSR 2.0 – is based on five principles (creativity, scalability, responsiveness, glocality and circularity) and forms the basis for a new DNA model ofresponsible business, built around the four elements of value creation, good governance, societal contribution and environmental integrity.


Visser, W. (2010) The Age of Responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the New DNA of Business, Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics 5(3): 7-22. November, Special Issue on Responsibility for Social and Environmental Issues.