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CSR and international development

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The business of business is business, argued Milton Friedman in the 1970s. So, why should corporations be involved in international development? I purposely use the term “international development” to distinguish between development that can occur anywhere such as developing a high-speed rail network in, say, the USA, and international development, which touches on poorer countries. The chapter will focus on the private sector, following and updating some of the main ideas in my 2007 book on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and international development. There I looked at how governments and their international arms, the international agencies, grouped under the umbrella of the United Nations, had struggled to rid the planet of under-development and poverty. Today the consensus is that private investment rather than development aid will sharply reduce poverty over the coming decades. Thus the private sector, particularly large corporations with their power and economic strength, have now been given their head and therefore should (and will) take much more responsibility for international development than ever before.
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Keywords: CSR; corporate citizenship; corporate social responsibility; international development; management; sustainability; sustainable development; textbook; triple bottom line

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2015

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