The concept of CSR has had a long and diverse history in the literature (Carroll 1999). It came into a common use in the late 1960s and early 1970s as many multinational corporations were formed that time. In the beginning, it refers to the obligations of businessmen to pursue those policies, to make those decisions, or to follow those lines of actions which are desirable in terms of objectives and values of our society (Bowen 1953). After 1960s, the literature on CSR developed considerably and that time it defined as the new concept of social responsibility which recognizes the intimacy of the relationships between the corporation and the society, and realizes that such relationships must be kept in mind by the top managers as the corporation and the related groups pursue their respective goals (Walton 1967). In its broadest sense, corporate social responsibility represents a concern with the needs and goals of society which goes beyond the merely economic one. Recently corporate social responsibility movement represents a board concern with business’s role in supporting and improving the social order (Eells & Walton 1974). Social responsibility usually refers to the objectives or motives that should be given weight by the business in addition to those dealing with economic performance (e.g., profits). Backman (1975) identified CSR activities as: “employment of minority groups, reduction of pollution, greater participation in programs to improve the community, improved medical care, improved industrial health and safety-these and other programs designed to improve the quality of life are covered by the board umbrella of social responsibility” (Backman 1975).
In 1980 Thomas M. Jones entered the CRS discussion with an interesting perspective. He defined corporate social responsibility as “the notion that corporations have an obligation to constituent groups in society other then stockholders and beyond that prescribed by law and union contract” (Jones 1980). Two facts of this definition are crucial. First, the obligation must be voluntarily adopted; behavior influenced by the coercive forces of law or union contract is not voluntary. Secondly, the obligation is a broad one, extending beyond the traditional duty to shareholders to other societal groups such as customers, employees, suppliers, and neighboring communities.
Moreover, “corporate social responsibility relates primarily to achieving outcomes from organizational decisions concerning specific issues or problems which (by some normative standard) have beneficial rather than adverse affects on pertinent corporate stakeholders” (Epstein 1983: 104). The term stakeholder, meaning those on whom an organization's activities have an impact, was used to describe corporate owner beyond shareholders as a result of an influential book by R. Edward Freeman, Strategic management: a stakeholder approach in 1984 (Bansal & Roth 2000). Proponents argue that corporations make more long term profits by operating with a perspective, while critics argue that CSR distracts from the economic role of businesses. CSR activities so far are merely implemented for maintaining business policy without really fostering social and benevolent intentions and social responsibility (Fouad 2012). Others argue CSR is merely window-dressing, or an attempt to preempt the role of government as a watchdog over powerful multinational corporations. Some other studies have found out that anything imposed from the top on the organizations without any real commitment from inside often doomed to failure, as has been demonstrated in the microcredit programme of non-governmental organizations in Bangladesh (Saiful 2004; 2010).
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is also variably called as corporate conscience, corporate citizenship, social performance, or sustainable responsible business (Wood 1991), is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. The goal of CSR is to embrace responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. Furthermore, CSR-focused businesses would proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. Finally, Corporate Social Responsibility is an effective way of functioning on particular issues relating to responsibility for looking after relations with all interested parties and working towards long-term sustainable development.