9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN09 Economic Sociology

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Corporates, Networks, Actors Building AA, AA.228

Local Clusters and Corporate Social Responsibility

Local Clusters and Corporate Social Responsibility
This study examines the theme of clusters in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Based on the current state of art about CSR and on investigations that are being carried out in Portugal, this article shows the limitations that the current CSR practices have in overcoming social, economic and environmental problems at a global level. It deepens the theme of clusters as an integrated alternative of intervention, the several types of clusters and discusses aspects of their practices, as well as their potentiality and limitations.
In spite of CSR appearing associated to a competitive advantage with recognizable benefits in terms of global sustainability, it is possible to verify that its results are still insufficient, not only in terms of individual competitiveness, but mostly in terms of the global system?s alteration. This occurs mainly due to the fact that CSR practices have a ?micro? character, therefore limiting its action scope and global reforming effects.
According to studies, the positive impacts of the CSR can be improved if added to efforts of other enterprises, civil society and public sector. In this perspective, several authors have been integrating the Porter?s concept of clusters to evaluate the potentialities of CSR groupings for promotion competitiveness reinforcement sustainable development.
This concept (clusters in CSR) assumes that enterprise grouping located in the same territory will interact amongst themselves and with other local entities, to optimize practices which contribute to a sustainable development of the region, in an integrated and global perspective. The adoption of social goals shared by different entities articulated in a net can improve the development of actions that exceed the sphere of micro actions, with a lot of benefits to the local communities.
By taking into consideration the proposition for a larger intervention, which connects different social entities (enterprises, civil society organizations, local power), that are working for the construction of a sustainable development, it is possible to visualize the clusters? relevance in CSR. The analysis of these forms of social innovation, based in integrated networks of CSR, constitutes the central objective of the present research.