Corporate Social Contract: An Analysis of Corporate Perspectives on the Concept

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi; Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi



The purpose of our thesis was to comprehend how organizations approach the Corporate Social Contract that exists between them and society. The empirical data was gathered to reflect a comprehension of the Corporate Social Contract as a whole and as the product of its components, i.e.: Corporate Social Responsibility and Reciprocity. Other concepts interconnected with our main topic were also used in order to better comprehend the concept of Corporate Social Contract as well as our interpretations of the collected empirical data. These interconnected concepts were Corporate Sustainability, Corporate Citizenship, Shared Value, and Willingness to Pay.


The research work was approached from the qualitative standpoint. Considering that the perspective of our thesis was an organizational one, we approached 5 organizations within which to conduct interviews on the stated topic. Our aim was merely to understand the organizational perspective and approach to the concept of Corporate Social Contract, not to compare these perspectives and approaches.


Each of the chosen organizations met certain basic criteria mentioned in our work that permitted us to include them in our sample. The thesis’ conclusion reflected various organizational approaches towards Corporate Social Contract from the angle of Corporate Social Responsibility as well as varying perspectives on, and expectations of, society’s reciprocity. The study has shown that our view of the equal importance of the concepts of CSR and Reciprocity, within the framework of CSC fulfillment, is an under investigated area in both academics and in the practical business world. This has also been supported by our interviewees’ view on expectations, placed on society, as an implicit area in their organizations’ policies. Through our study we have uncovered practical reasons as to why CSC cannot be fulfilled all the time, how expectations between both organizations and society differ from project to project, and the importance of societal reciprocity in the aim of CSC fulfillment. And thus, through our study, we endeavor to comprehend how organizations fulfill the CSC and how they view society’s attempts to fulfill its end of the contract.


As a result of our work, future students and researchers stand to gain insights into the mentalities of organizations that hail from different industries and are based in different parts of the world. Future students and researchers could also derive their own interpretations of our respondents words based on the culture prevalent in the country in which the respondents are based. Apart from this, one can note that the respondents were also from a range of departments and their professionally skewed perspective on our topic makes for an interesting contribution to those seeking insights into our topic and those interlinked.


Key Words: Corporate Social Contract, Corporate Social Responsibility, Reciprocity, Corporate Sustainability, Corporate Citizenship, Shared Value, and Willingness to Pay.

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