Though the relationship between business and society has been widely studied for decades, there are varying perspectives in the literature of a corporation’s responsibility to society, and many corporate managers have struggled with the issue of a corporation’s responsibility to a broader range of stakeholders beyond its shareholders. Contemporary advocates of corporate social responsibility (CSR) argue that business organizations have a responsibility not only to their respective shareholders but also to other stakeholders, such as, employees, customers’ suppliers, and the community in general, among others. However, a conservative view of corporate social responsibility (CSR) suggests that the only true purpose of a corporation is to generate maximum profits and promote the interests of its shareholders within the law by responding effectively to market demand through the production of goods or services. Though there is no singular universally accepted definition of CSR in the literature, in this descriptive and theoretical research paper, I synthesize the literature and identify many different forms of definitions of CSR from the point of view of various researchers. In this paper, I also attempt to further the theoretical debate about corporate social responsibility (CSR) by highlighting the main components and theories of CSR in the literature. Thereafter, I articulate the business case for CSR or the justification why business executives may be motivated to allocate resources to engage in CSR activities. I conclude this paper by outlining its contributions.
This study examined the different accounting theories and how they applied to corporate social responsibility (CRS). The accounting theories are stakeholder theory, social contract theory, legitimacy theory and signalling theory. These theories were explained and discussed from a corporate social responsibility point of view, this was done by identifying the conditions that best suits these theories. From the review done on these theories, the stakeholders theory applied to corporate social responsibility by explaining that a company is not just responsible to shareholders but to other groups of people who are affected or are been affected by the activities of the company and at that they should be responsible to them as well. The social contract theory pointed out that there is an invisible contract between the business enterprise and society and the contract contains some indirect obligations to be performed by the business organisation to the society and these obligations can be show cased through the corporate social responsibility report. This means that whether the company likes it or not the wellbeing of the society is part of their responsibility. The legitimacy theory expects that organisations should be legit in their business operations. They should always provide corporate social responsibilities activities to the society in which they operate, as it is through that means they will be obtaining approval to continue operations in that society and finally the signalling theory explains that there is a reward for reporting corporate social responsibility information voluntarily to the capital market, because the reported information could motivate investors and potential investors to invest in the company.