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At the turn of this century, Australia was widely considered as a lazy backwater when it came to CSR. A decade later, CSR is on the agenda of almost every company director and CEO of at least the larger enterprises in Australia.

In the years following World War II, industrialisation and increasing standards of living did not present acute issues for either business or its regulation. Australia followed the British model of a welfare state, where social needs and infrastructure have been primarily the responsibility of the state. Indeed, government expenditure on welfare and social security rose from 6.9% of Commonwealth budgetary outlays in 1970–71 to 35% in the late 1990s (CCPA 2000). Social issues such as aboriginal reconciliation and poverty remained outside the purview of ‘business as usual’. There was not much social unrest and the seemingly inexhaustible supply of natural resources led to little pressure on business or government for change.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 14, 2010

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  • The World Guide to CSR: A Country-by-Country Analysis of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility
    The World Guide to CSR is the first book to provide comparable national profiles that describe the evolution and practice of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) for 58 countries and 5 global regions. Each regional and national profile includes key information about the relevant CSR history, country-specific issues, trends, research and leading organisations. The purpose of the book is to give CSR professionals (including managers, consultants, academics and NGOs focusing on the social, environmental and ethical responsibilities of business) a quick reference guide to CSR in different regional and national contexts. This unique resource will be an essential acquisition for all organisations who need to benchmark their CSR strategies throughout different regions and cultures and want the best possible intelligence on the key issues and concerns relating to corporate social responsibility in all of the markets in which they operate.
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