Corporate social responsibility was one of the most consequential business trends of the twentieth century. Having spent decades burnishing reputations as both great places to work and generous philanthropists, large corporations suddenly abandoned their commitment to their communities and employees during the 1980's and 1990's, indicated by declining job security, health insurance, and corporate giving.

Douglas M. Eichar argues that for most of the twentieth century, the benevolence of large corporations functioned to stave off government regulations and unions, as corporations voluntarily adopted more progressive workplace practices or made philanthropic contributions. Eichar contends that as governmental and union threats to managerial prerogatives withered toward the century's end, so did corporate social responsibility. Today, with shareholder value as their beacon, large corporations have shred their social contract with their employees, decimated unions, avoided taxes, and engaged in all manner of risky practices and corrupt politics.

This book is the first to cover the entire history of twentieth-century corporate social responsibility. It provides a valuable perspective from which to revisit the debate concerning the public purpose of large corporations. It also offers new ideas that may transform the public debate about regulating larger corporations.

Editorial Reviews
  • "Through sophisticated analysis, copious evidence, and deep historical grounding, Eichar argues persuasively that corporate social responsibility is not only inherently limited but indeed a central ideological plank in justifying the expansion of corporate power and domain over the last century. A must read for anyone who wants to understand how corporate social responsibility is actually part of the problem, not the solution, when it comes to protecting society and the environment from corporate harm."--Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation
  • "Eichar has written an extremely important book that makes crucial contributions to the expanding literature on corporate social responsibility. He provides a historical account of the strategies employed by corporate America to avoid responsibility for their organizational behaviors and exposes the deep-seated flaws in contemporary regulatory structures that have become increasingly reliant on voluntary adoption of socially responsible corporate practices."--Harland Prechel, author of Big Business and the State
About the Author

Douglas M. Eichar is an associate professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Hartford.

Product Details

Author:  Douglas M. Eichar
ISBN:  1412856906   
Publisher:  Transaction Publishers
Publish Date:  August 20, 2015
Pages:  392 pages
Dimensions:  0.98" H x 9.26" L x 6.13" W (1.5 lbs) 

The Rise and Fall of Corporate Social Responsibility

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