CSR and Feminist Organization Studies: Towards an Integrated Theorization for the Analysis of Gender Issues

Kate Grosser, Jeremy Moon

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Although corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice increasingly addresses gender issues, and gender and CSR scholarship is expanding, feminist theory is rarely explicitly referenced or discussed in the CSR literature. We contend that this omission is a key limitation of the field. We argue that CSR theorization and research on gender can be improved through more explicit and systematic reference to feminist theories, and particularly those from feminist organization studies (FOS). Addressing this gap, we review developments in feminist organization theory, mapping their relevance to CSR. With reference to six major theoretical perspectives in CSR scholarship, we note feminist research relating to each. Drawing upon FOS theory and CSR theory, we then develop an integrated theoretical framework for the analysis of gender issues in CSR. Our framework enables us to identify research strengths in the gender and CSR literature, as well as gaps therein, to open new conversations and to posit future research directions for this emerging area of scholarship. Our paper illustrates how a better grounding of CSR in feminist theory can contribute to CSR research more broadly.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)321–342
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online: 23 March 2017


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Feminist organization studies
  • Feminist theory
  • Gender

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