Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 95-105

First online:

Concepts and Definitions of CSR and Corporate Sustainability: Between Agency and Communion

  • Marcel van MarrewijkAffiliated withVan Linden van den Heuvellsingel 7

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This paper provides an overview of the contemporary debate on the concepts and definitions of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Sustainability (CS). The conclusions, based on historical perspectives, philosophical analyses, impact of changing contexts and situations and practical considerations, show that "one solution fits all"-definition for CS(R) should be abandoned, accepting various and more specific definitions matching the development, awareness and ambition levels of organizations.

corporate social responsibility corporate sustainability spiral dynamics value systems Wilber