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Company learning about corporate social responsibility


  • Jacqueline Cramer

    Corresponding author
    1. Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and National Initiative for Sustainable Development, The Netherlands
    • Erasmus Centre for Sustainability and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
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This article analyses the learning experiences gained by 19 Dutch companies when implementing the concept of corporate social responsibility in their own business practices. It is concluded that learning processes took place at individual level and, in certain cases, at group level. Learning at the level of the organization as a whole was still one bridge too far for practically all companies. Moreover, the analysis showed that transferring first-order learning experiences turned out to be relatively easy. Getting across the fundamentals behind corporate social responsibility that could lead to second-order learning was much harder. Much depended on the extent to which the concept of corporate social responsibility had become an integral part of the business culture. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.