The changing landscape of Corporate Social Responsibility in Korea
Abstract: This paper examines the changing landscape of corporate social responsibility (CSR ) in Korea, paying attention to the rapid shifts in the national institutional arrangements and corporate governance since the 1997 Asian financial crisis and its implications for CSR . Prior to the crisis, CSR in Korea was largely characterized by developmental CSR, typical of State-led developing market economies. But since the crisis, the Korean economy has been under great pressure to move toward corporate governance of stockholder capitalism, which would be accompanied by a competitive motivation for CSR. However, corporate governance reforms have been far from complete and have also created a number of problems. In the context of income polarization and divergent performance between large and smaller companies, both the public and the State have started to demand greater social responsibility on the part of large Korean firms. Consequently, this study suggests that the current CSR landscape in Korea is characterized by a mixture of developmental CSR of the past and competitive CSR of emerging stockholder capitalism.
Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, Corporate governance and CSR, Developmental CSR, Stockholder capitalism.
1 PhD Associate Vice President for Global Affairs. Professor, Graduate School of International Studies. Director, Center for Global Social Responsibility. Ewha Womans University, South Korea. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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