From quality management to socially responsible organisations: The case for CSR

Shirley Ann Hazlett, Rodney Mcadam, Lisa Murray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on the growing interest of the role of business in society, commonly referred to as CSR. Historically CSR can be traced back to the 1950s, although in very recent times there has been a virtual explosion of interest in its use and applicability in organisations. However, there are many unresolved issues, most notably in terms of how CSR should or can be implemented and embedded in an organisation. This paper therefore seeks to explore the relationship and potential synergies between quality management and CSR. Design/methodology/approach – The qualitative exploratory study in this paper represents the first stage of an ongoing research programme, and is based on an in-depth analysis of quality award submission documentation from six case organisations that have recently been recognised as winners in relation to their quest for business improvement. Findings – The paper finds that substantial evidence from each of the case organisations demonstrates the breadth and depth of activities in which they are engaging under the broad headings of workplace, environment, social impact, and economic impact. However, whilst there is no doubting the sincerity of the actions, the approaches and activities, a strategic focus on CSR is still very much in its infancy. Research limitations/implications – In this paper there is a paucity of empirical research examining how existing management tools, techniques and methodologies can be used to further the CSR debate. This paper represents an important first step in redressing this imbalance. Practical implications – The paper suggests that the quality management and business excellence frameworks can offer a strong foundation from which to develop CSR strategies, behaviours and activities in an organisation. Originality/value – This paper represents an important first step in understanding how and where CSR “fits” into an organisation and potentially how existing quality methodologies, tools and frameworks can be used to aid the implementation of CSR.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)669-682
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Quality & Reliability Management
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 Aug 2007

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    • Ethics
    • Quality management
    • Social responsibility


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