Society's demands for individual and corporate social responsibility as alternative responses to market and distributive failures are becoming increasingly prominent. We draw on recent developments in the psychology and economics of prosocial behaviour to shed light on this trend and the underlying mix of motivations. We then link individual concerns to corporate social responsibility, contrasting three possible understandings of the term: firms' adoption of a more long-term perspective, the delegated exercise of prosocial behaviour on behalf of stakeholders, and insider-initiated corporate philanthropy. We discuss the benefits, costs and limits of socially responsible behaviour as a means to further societal goals.