This paper explores the role of NGOs in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through an analysis of the perceptions by different stakeholders as well as by NGOs themselves. Through a qualitative methodology based in Spain, we found that the perceptions of the role of NGOs form four categories: recognition of NGOs as drivers of CSR, concerns about their legitimacy in relation to CSR, difficulties in the mutual understanding between NGOs and trade unions, and self-confidence of NGOs as important players in CSR. Each of these categories is composed of different elements that are analyzed in the paper. We found some discrepancies in the perception by others and the self-perceptions of NGOs, which explain why their role is often found controversial. The research confirms that secondary stakeholders such as NGOs are key players in CSR, but that their role is still regarded as controversial and their legitimacy still contested. This deep-seated misunderstandings and mistrust among different stakeholder groups (particularly between NGOs and trade unions) can be a possible cause of blockage for concrete CSR initiatives and the integration of social and environmental concerns in business activity and corporate governance in the Spanish context and similar ones.

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Arenas Vives, Daniel; Lozano Soler, Josep M; Albareda Viv, Laura

The role of NGOs in CSR: Mutual perceptions among stakeholders

This paper explores the role of NGOs in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) through an analysis of the perceptions by different stakeholders as well as by NGOs themselves. Through a qualitative methodology based in Spain, we found that the perceptions of the role of NGOs form four categories: recognition of NGOs as drivers of CSR, concerns about their legitimacy in relation to CSR, difficulties in the mutual understanding between NGOs and trade unions, and self-confidence of NGOs as important players in CSR. Each of these categories is composed of different elements that are analyzed in the paper. We found some discrepancies in the perception by others and the self-perceptions of NGOs, which explain why their role is often found controversial. The research confirms that secondary stakeholders such as NGOs are key players in CSR, but that their role is still regarded as controversial and their legitimacy still contested. This deep-seated misunderstandings and mistrust among different stakeholder groups (particularly between NGOs and trade unions) can be a possible cause of blockage for concrete CSR initiatives and the integration of social and environmental concerns in business activity and corporate governance in the Spanish context and similar ones.
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The role of NGOs in CSR: Mutual perceptions among stakeholders
Arenas Vives, Daniel; Lozano Soler, Josep M; Albareda Viv, Laura
3rd International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility: Corporate Responsibility and Governance, Berlin 2008
Universitt zu Berlin
Berln (Germany), 08/10/2008 - 10/10/2008

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