The business case for corporate social responsibility has become increasingly influential. It is the central message of most books on CSR, it is widely believed by executives and many business students, and it underlies the business model of socially responsible investment funds. It is attractive to many CSR advocates, since if CSR "pays," then the profit motive will drive corporations to act increasingly responsibly. However, the business case for CSR is weak. The results of studies that seek to correlate social and financial performance are inconclusive: socially responsible investment funds perform no better than non-socially screened funds and many relatively responsible companies have not been financially successful.
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