Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 111, Issue 2, pp 147–156 | Cite as

The Icelandic Banking Crisis: A Reason to Rethink CSR?

Article

Abstract

In the fall of 2008, the three largest banks in Iceland collapsed, with severe and lasting consequences for the Icelandic economy. This article discusses the ‘Icelandic banking crisis’ in relation to the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR). It explores some conceptual arguments for the position that the Icelandic banking crisis illustrates the broad problem of the indeterminacy of the scope and content of the duties that CSR is supposed to address. In particular, it is suggested that the way the banks in question conceived of CSR, i.e. largely in terms of strategic philanthropy, was gravely inadequate. It concludes by proposing that the case of the Icelandic banking crisis gives us a reason to rethink CSR.

Keywords

CSR Strategic philanthropy Icelandic banking crisis Public policy PR 

Abbreviations

CBI

Central Bank of Iceland

CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility

IFSA

Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority

GDP

Gross Domestic Product

NGO

Non-Governmental Organisation

PR

Public Relations

SIC

Special Investigation Commission

WGE

Working Group on Ethics

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Applied EthicsLinköpingSweden

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