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Building blocks for alternative four-dimensional pyramids of corporate social responsibilities

  • Carroll shaped the corporate social responsibility (CSR) discourse into a four-dimensional pyramid framework, which was later adapted to corporate citizenship and sustainability approaches. The four layers of the pyramid— structured from foundation to apex as economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic (or discretionary) responsibilities—drew considerable managerial attention. An important criticism of the economic foundation of the Carroll pyramid concerns the identification and ordering of the four dimensions, which are inadequately justified theoretically. The authors of this article propose an alternative approach that builds on the public value concept, which integrates a microfoundation of psychological research into basic human needs. Drawing on their Swiss Dialogue process, the authors argue that a four-dimensional pyramid does have heuristic value for managers. The advantage of this alternative pyramid logic is that it may be contingently adapted to different cultural contexts, because it allows adaptive internal reordering.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Timo MeynhardtORCiD, Peter Gomez
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership
Parent Title (English):Business & society
Year of Completion:2019
First Page:404
Last Page:438
Tag:Basic needs; CSR pyramid; cognitive-experiential level; corporate social responsibility; heuristics; microfoundation; public value
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Peer Reviewed:Yes
Rankings:AJG Ranking / 3
VHB Ranking / B
SJR Ranking / Q1
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt