CSR and the "underserving": a role for the state, civil society and business?

Carole Parkes, Judith Scully, Susan Anson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the conceptual lens of corporate social responsibility (CSR), business and civil society can be used to explore “less popular causes” (in this case, a community-based public sector empirical study of initiatives with offenders) and, in particular, respond to the question used by Walzer “In which society can lives be best led?”
Design/methodology/approach – This is a formative and summative evaluation study of a National Offender Management “community payback” offender scheme based in the UK using a mixed method, predominantly qualitative approach that integrates theory and practice.
Findings – The paper finds that citizenship actions of front-line public sector employees, working in partnership with other agencies in the community, embody the essence of Walzer's notion of CSR and civil society by going beyond the call of duty to provide additional training and moral support for the community offenders.
Originality/value – The paper contributes towards an understanding of how CSR and civil society debates can inform wider aspects of public policy and business through its application to areas of society that are perceived to be “challenging” and “undeserving”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-708
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number11/12
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • corporate social responsibility
  • United Kingdom
  • society
  • local government
  • citizenship


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