Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre for Applied Research on Business and Economics

CSR processes in governance systems and structures

the development of mental modes of CSR


When corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a sensemaking process is assessed from a corporate governance perspective, this implies that stakeholders do not only influence companies by promoting and enforcing regulations and other corporate guidelines. They also influence companies by promoting regulation on influence pathways, by demanding that companies develop formal mechanisms that allow companies and stakeholders to discuss and in some cases agree on changes to principles and policies.

This perspective suggests that regulation is an outcome of power relations and is, as such, a reflection of certain mental models. As such, mental models reveal the political bias in corporate governance perspectives.

For this reason, CSR research needs to be clear about the underlying assumptions about corporate governance, and corporate governance research needs to disclose which mental models of CSR influence the outcomes. Taking a governance perspective on the development of mental models of CSR helps to understand the interaction between CSR and processes of sensemaking at the institutional, organizational and individual levels.

Reference de Graaf, F. J. (2019). CSR processes in governance systems and structures: the development of mental modes of CSR. Business and Society Review, 124(4), 431-448. https://doi.org/10.1111/basr.12183

Publication date

Dec 2019