Individual competencies for corporate social responsibility: A literature and practice perspective

E.R. Osagie*, R. Wesselink, V. Blok, T. Lans, M. Mulder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Because corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be beneficial to both companies and its stakeholders, interest in factors that support CSR performance has grown in recent years. A thorough integration of CSR in core business processes is particularly important for achieving effective long-term CSR practices. Here, we explored the individual CSR-related competencies that support CSR implementation in a corporate context. First, a systematic literature review was performed in which relevant scientific articles were identified and analyzed. Next, 28 CSR directors and managers were interviewed. The literature review complemented with interview data resulted in the following eight distinct CSR-related competencies: (1) Anticipating CSR challenges; (2) Understanding CSR-relevant systems and subsystems; (3) Understanding CSR-relevant standards; (4) CSR management competencies, including (4a) Leading CSR programs, (4b) Managing CSR programs, and (4c) Identifying and realizing CSR-related business opportunities; (5) Realizing CSR-supportive interpersonal processes; (6) Employing CSR-supportive personal characteristics and attitudes; (7) Personal value-driven competencies, including (7a) Ethical normative competencies, (7b) Balancing personal ethical values and business objectives, and (7c) Realizing self-regulated CSR-related behaviors and active involvement; and (8) Reflecting on personal CSR views and experiences. Based on these results, implications for further research on this topic, as well as implications for practitioners, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-252
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Competencies
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • CSR manager
  • Interview
  • Sustainable development
  • Systematic literature review


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