Management challenge

The social domain and sustainability

Book review by Lowellyne James - The Social Domain in CSR and Sustainability: A Critical Study of Social Responsibility among Governments, Local Communities and Corporations, Monica Thiel

The Social Domain in CSR and Sustainability is arguably an area of limited research within business management. The absence of research in this area in the view of the author perpetuates social welfare rather than promoting sustainability due to a reliance on conventional theory and paradigms.

The book draws our attention to for knowledge gaps of social responsibility from the perspective of the social domain of sustainability i.e. socio economics as social responsibility, social well-being and social development as social responsibility, social responsibility of stakeholders, the unequal social responsibility among corporations, local communities and governments.

These knowledge gaps are reinforced by the narrow discourse of the social aspects of CSR in the literature review, innate human bias and the myriad of metrics and definitions of sustainability adopted internationally.

The author uses the weight of empirical research to recommend that in order to close the performance gap social responsibility methodologies from several companies be analysed to identify key risk and relevant indicators of best practice, as such corporations and governments should also examine the impact of their formal and relationships within the social domain on products and services.

However the inclusion of case studies providing examples of best practice may have enhanced the appeal of the book to a wider audience.

4 stars: Strong, strongly recommended for managers and leaders