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Paper information

A purpose-action framework for corporate social responsibility in times of shock

F.J. Forcadell, E. Aracil

Journal of Cleaner Production Vol. 312, pp. 127789-1 - 127789-12


Extreme events undermine progress towards social sustainability and urge an immediate and broad response from the private sector. Nevertheless, corporate interventions in the face of a shock differ from traditional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) actions in some essential aspects not addressed by the literature. To solve this gap, we propose a purpose-action framework to examine and categorize 218 post-shock CSR interventions from 111 companies operating in Spain during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The framework allows assessing their heterogeneous social sustainability impact. We identify a set of firm dynamic sustainability capabilities -leadership, intentionality, prior stakeholder engagement, and partnership building-underpinning corporate purpose and action to develop an effective and efficient post-shock CSR. This exploratory study extends the literature on the company–society interface and provides a guide to foster social sustainability through CSR in times of shock.

Original layman's summary:

Proponemos un marco propósito-acción para examinar las intervenciones corporativas en la primera ola por COVID en España. El marco evalúa su diferente impacto en la sostenibilidad social y las capacidades dinámica sostenibles que sustentan las intervenciones más efectivas socialmente. 

English layman's summary:

We propose a purpose-action framework to examine post-shock corporate interventions in Spain in the first wave of the COVID pandemic. The framework assesses their heterogeneous social sustainability impact and dynamic sustainability capabilities underpinning effective post-shock interventions.  

Keywords: CSR; Social sustainability; Emergency relief; Pandemic; COVID-19; Dynamic capabilities; Stakeholder orientation; Partnerships

JCR Impact Factor and WoS quartile: 7.246 - Q1 (2019)

DOI reference: DOI icon 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.127789

Published on paper: August 2021.

Published on-line: June 2021.

F.J. Forcadell, E. Aracil. A purpose-action framework for corporate social responsibility in times of shock. Journal of Cleaner Production. Vol. 312, pp. 127789-1 - 127789-12 August 2021. [Online: June 2021]

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