Purpose – The objective of this paper is to address the question whether and how firms can follow a standard management process to cope with emerging corporate social responsibility (CSR) challenges? Both researchers and practitioners have paid increasing attention to the question because of the rapidly evolving CSR expectations of stakeholders and the limited diffusion of CSR standardization. The question was addressed by developing a theoretical framework to explain how dynamic capabilities can contribute to effective CSR management. Design/methodology/approach – Based on 64 world-leading companies’ contemporary CSR reports, we carried out a large-scale content analysis to identify and examine the common organizational processes involved in CSR management and the dynamic capabilities underpinning those management processes. Findings – Drawing on the dynamic capabilities perspective, we demonstrate how the deployment of three dynamic capabilities for CSR management, namely, scanning, sensing and reconfiguration capabilities can help firms to meet emerging CSR requirements by following a set of common management processes. The findings demonstrate that what is more important in CSR standardization is the identification and development of the underlying dynamic capabilities and the related organizational processes and routines, rather than the detailed operational activities. Originality/value – Our study is an early attempt to examine the fundamental organizational capabilities and processes involved in CSR management from the dynamic capabilities perspective. Our research findings contribute to CSR standardization literature by providing a new theoretical perspective to better understand the capabilities enabling common CSR management processes.
- Dynamic capabilities
- CSR report
- CSR management
- Corporate sustainable development