Managers in the public sector consider corporate social responsibility (CSR) as strategically important for their organizations. A positive correlation between CSR and financial performance is well established in the literature. However, little research has been done to understand which factors lead to the positive correlation between CSR and business performance. This study aims to empirically analyze critical success factors (CSFs) for CSR in the Indian public sector. It seeks to evaluate the factors that make CSR successful. The research results show that ability to integrate CSR with other functional strategies is the most critical success factor for CSR. Other critical success factors are ability to manage stakeholder groups, ability to evaluate benefits of CSR and top management support. Based on the research findings, the study proposes some important managerial implications with respect to CSFs for CSR. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.