Corporate Social Responsibility As Institutional Hybrids


Neo-institutional Theory
Social Context

How to Cite

Boxenbaum, E. (2006). Corporate Social Responsibility As Institutional Hybrids. Journal of Business Strategies, 23(1), 45–64.


This paper empirically examines the impact of societal context on constructs
of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The empirical analysis is informed by
neo-institutional theory, which conceptualizes CSR constructs as potential or
actual institutions. A case study from the Danish business setting identifies the
steps that a project group of business actors took to develop a new CSR construct.
The steps include the transfer and translation of a foreign institution in response
to a field-level problem, major events, and partial deinstitutionalization of an
established CSR construct. The findings suggest that the new CSR construct is an
institutional hybrid, a combination of foreign and familiar institutions that make
a new CSR construct innovative, legitimate, and continuous with existing practice
in the business setting. The paper proposes that CSR constructs are malleable
institutional hybrids that are most easily implemented if tailored to the social
context. It concludes with implications for managers who want to select, design
and implement CSR constructs in their own business settings.

This article is distributed using a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 license. Copyright remains with the author(s).