In this paper, we draw upon the emerging view of strategic cognition and issue salience and show that CSR giving has evolved into more than an altruistic response to being asked for support, to one which is embedded in the strategic frames of management and which supports organizational identity. The managerial action as a result of such strategic cognition suggests that modern organizations are seeking to develop CSR giving processes that provide them with a competitive advantage. We draw on the resource-based view of organizations and the VRIO framework to provide the theoretical foundations for our argument that CSR implementation in the form of corporate giving to charities can be developed as a dynamic capability. This can provide a competitive advantage by allowing organizations to manage key stakeholder relationships (external and internal) more effectively with benefits which could lead to increased organizational productivity and the ability to execute strategy more effectively. We interview CSR implementation managers from large organizations in Australia and find that the CSR giving process in many firms is evolving into a more sophisticated and strategically motivated process with expectations of a return. Central to this evolution is the appointment of a CSR implementation manager who acts as a boundary spanner between the organization and its key stakeholders. We posit that this corporate investment in their role and supporting structures can lead to the better management of stakeholders by organizations through the dynamic capability of the CSR giving process. We develop a table of best practise to help guide managers entering this sphere.
Cantrell, J. Ehsman., Kyriazis, E. & Noble, G. (2015). Developing CSR giving as a dynamic capability for salient stakeholder management. Journal of Business Ethics, 130 (2), 403-421.