Managers' personal values as drivers of corporate social responsibility

Christine A. Hemingway, Patrick W. Maclagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this theoretical paper, motives for CSR are considered. An underlying assumption is that the commercial imperative is not the sole driver of CSR decision-making in private sector companies, but that the formal adoption and implementation of CSR by corporations could be associated with the changing personal values of individual managers. These values may find expression through the opportunity to exercise discretion, which may arise in various ways. It is suggested that in so far as CSR initiatives represent individuals' values, so the “responsibility” in evidence is less obviously “corporate.” Our emphasis on personal initiative is intended to counter a tendency to view the corporation as the agent, and may serve to remind us that individuals can, indeed, make a difference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2004


  • corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • managerial discretion
  • motives
  • personal values
  • social responsibility

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