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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Social and environmental problems are increasingly being addressed by for-profit organizations. Yet for-profit organizations’ efforts to help solve social and environmental problems, prominently including corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, are often studied not to determine their effectiveness in helping their intended beneficiaries, but instead to ascertain their effects on organizations’ financial bottom line. To help overcome this failing in the literature, this chapter discusses the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of CSR initiatives in addressing social and environmental issues. Because CSR initiatives are akin to forms of humanitarian assistance, best-practice principles from the field of humanitarian aid are used to develop a model that represents what a CSR initiative will need to do to be successful in helping its intended beneficiaries. Based upon this model, recommendations are made for what broad types of CSR initiatives appear most likely to benefit their intended beneficiaries.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, evaluation, aid effectiveness, psychological empowerment, socio-structural empowerment

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