CSR: a case study approachJune 2010
Ed. Christine Mallin. Hardcover. 287 pages. Edward Elgar. £75.
Finally, a book that crosses the great divide between academia and practice – a rare feat, especially in edited volumes with scholarly contributors. This is partly due to its focus on CSR case studies, but credit must also go to the ‘invisible hand’ of the editor. Although a case study approach is hardly a first, the book is strengthened by its geographical coverage and diverse contributions.
The book consists of 11 chapters divided into four parts: CSR in Europe; CSR in Central and Eastern European Countries; CSR in Asia and Australia; and ‘Additional Dimensions’. While the gaps are immediately evident – no sections, for instance, on Africa and the Americas – and the final section seems like a leftovers bin, there is much to like about what the book does cover.
First, the chapters are relatively light on academic referencing and theorising, thus making the book more accessible and readable. Second, each chapter concludes with sub-sections on ‘Key Learning Points’ and ‘Discussion Questions’, which will be useful for busy practitioners skimming through to find the nuggets, as well as for teachers wanting to use the chapters as the basis for discussion.
The country-specific chapters provide a much needed ‘glocal’ context for CSR. We also see culture and religion playing a more important role, as the chapter on CSR in Islamic financial institutions in the Middle East illustrates. As the era of standardisation draws to a close, these national, cultural and sectoral brush strokes start to paint a refreshingly diverse and colourful picture of CSR in practice.