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Does Corporate Social Responsibility Hit the Mark? A Stakeholder Oriented Methodology for CSR Assessment


Correspondence to: Armando Calabrese, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, Department of Enterprise Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Via del Politecnico 1, 00133, Rome, Italy.



Is corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment effectively disclosed through a company's sustainably report? Moreover, in what measure is a company's CSR commitment really acknowledged by its stakeholders? Because it has been observed that stakeholders' recognition of a company's social and environmental conduct highly impacts the business returns of CSR initiatives, it is therefore not surprising that measurement of the stakeholder perception is a key issue for CSR assessment.

In this paper, we propose a method enabling companies to evaluate the effectiveness of their CSR policies both in terms of disclosure and capacity to fulfill both stakeholder social and environmental expectations. The method we propose compares, through a gap analysis, three measures as follows: the company commitment disclosed through its sustainability report, the company CSR commitment perceived by its stakeholders, and the CSR commitment that stakeholders require to the company. The outcome of the proposed methodology provides managerial insights for evaluating the effectiveness of ongoing CSR practices and for formulating CSR strategies. An application illustrates the use of the methodology in practice. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.