Feminist Corporate Social Responsibility: Reframing CSR as a Critical Force for Good

Laura J. Spence, Scott Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While corporate social responsibility (CSR) research is now impressively broad, we identify fresh opportunities at the intersection of feminist and critical analysis to reframe this field as a force for good. We focus on the epistemological grounding of CSR in its potential to understand and change how managerial activity is interpreted and influenced for progressive ends. We approach this through a reading of the debate on CSR's limited practical use, to imagine a better methodological and purposeful future for CSR. This involves a different, feminist, political and ethical stance for researchers in relation to CSR as an object, to bring CSR theory and practice into alignment to revive its sense of purpose as a driving organizational force for good through a critical, feminist CSR. Our change‐orientated approach is based on a reading of Judith Butler's notion of critique as praxis of values; it is politically aware, reflexive, and focused on the goal of good organization to address grand, often existential, challenges. We conclude by showing how this approach to CSR brings a more transparent way of analysing practice, requiring reflexive action on the part of those working with CSR initiatives both as practitioners and as researchers to co‐produce better futures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Early online date1 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2024


  • feminisms
  • critique
  • corporate social responsibility
  • praxis
  • Judith Butler
  • reflexivity

Cite this