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The concept of responsibility, since Aristotle first tried to give a systematic account, has ramified and developed throughout the years. Interestingly enough, an etymological perspective sheds some light on both modern Greek CSR appreciation, as well as CSR links to ancient Greece. The English term ‘responsible’ derives from the Latin respondēre, to respond, in the sense of answering questions about one's actions and explaining them in a moral context. In its turn, respondēre comes from the Latin spondēre (past particle of spondeo) which means ‘to pledge, to promise’, from the Greek word spondē (spondee), a ‘solemn libation’. In this context, the Greek connotation of responsibility goes beyond that of most modern European languages, and relates both to ‘responding’ as mentioned above, as well as to ‘blame’, ‘burden’ and ‘charge’. Consequently, one could argue, the appreciation of the concept of CSR in Greece has to some extent been influenced by this dual connotation which can perhaps most effectively be demonstrated by the existence of two different Greek words for the single English term ‘responsibility’.

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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