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      An ethical perspective of business CSR and the COVID-19 pandemic

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      Society and Business Review

      Emerald

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          The purpose of this paper is to focus on business responses to the pandemic through an ethical lens and to make recommendations for future research in this unique environment. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presents many ethical implications for businesses’ responses in balancing individual health and firm risks during the initial and recovery stages. What decisions are businesses making in this pandemic environment? What ethical foundations most align with these decisions?

          Design/methodology/approach

          The authors review recent business actions taken in response to the pandemic in light of models of motivation for corporate social responsibility (CSR).

          Findings

          Businesses have engaged in a wide range of philanthropic CSR actions during the pandemic, likely motivated by both utilitarianism and deontological factors in response to the needs of internal and external stakeholders. The pandemic has disparate impacts, generally hurting lower-income individuals more, likely increasing inequality.

          Research limitations/implications

          There are many questions for future research to determine where pandemic-related CSR has different effects for businesses over the long term compared to the pre-pandemic environment.

          Social implications

          Businesses must act to benefit society, protect employees and maintain the trust of their stakeholders during the pandemic.

          Originality/value

          Existing models have examined corporate disaster philanthropic responses that were localized and acute. Business responses to the COVID-19 virus are unique given the severity, the widespread nature and the duration of the crisis.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 36

          • Record: found
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          THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY AND SHAREHOLDER WEALTH: A RISK MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVE.

           P. Godfrey (2005)
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            The relationship between corporate social responsibility and shareholder value: an empirical test of the risk management hypothesis

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              CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND FIRM PERFORMANCE: INVESTOR PREFERENCES AND CORPORATE STRATEGIES.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Society and Business Review
                SBR
                Emerald
                1746-5680
                1746-5680
                September 14 2020
                October 03 2020
                September 14 2020
                October 03 2020
                : 15
                : 3
                : 235-253
                Article
                10.1108/SBR-06-2020-0086
                © 2020

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