City Research Online

How corporate social responsibility and sustainable development functions impact the workplace: A review of the literature

Gond, J-P. ORCID: 0000-0002-9331-6957, Augustine, G. ORCID: 0000-0003-0793-6816, Shin, H. , Tirapani, A. N. & Mosonyl, S. (2022). How corporate social responsibility and sustainable development functions impact the workplace: A review of the literature (ILO Working paper 71). Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization, ISSN 2708-3446.


This report sets out to analyse the emergence and distinctive impact of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development (CSR/SD) functions and professionals within organizations. By evaluating the literature on this topic, it seeks to clarify how leveraging the already established CSR/SD functions and professionals across organizations can contribute to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) objective of achieving a future of work that provides decent and sustainable work opportunities for all. An extensive and integrative review of the academic literature was undertaken and an interview with a panel of academic experts conducted in order to highlight various aspects of CSR/SD functions and professionals. The focus was on three core topics: the embedding of CSR/SD functions and professionals (Topic #1); their role in managing stakeholder relations (Topic #2); and, more specifically, their contribution to the shaping of interactions with employees and trade unions (Topic #3).

While CSR and SD have different historical roots, the two concepts overlap significantly. The umbrella term “CSR/SD” is therefore used throughout the report. “CSR/SD” itself is defined as encompassing corporate interactions with society and in particular with the multiple stakeholder groups from the corporate environment. “CSR/SD professionals” are defined as organizational actors either working within CSR/SD functions or whose role and activities at least have to do with managing CSR/SD issues. These functions are not a new phenomenon: a first wave emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Renewed managerial interest in CSR/SD matters triggered the second wave in the 1990s, which was, paradoxically perhaps, strengthened by the 2008 financial crisis.

Publication Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: This is an open access work distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 IGO License ( Users can reuse, share, adapt and build upon the original work, even for commercial purposes, as detailed in the License. The ILO must be clearly credited as the owner of the original work. The use of the emblem of the ILO is not permitted in connection with users’ work.
Publisher Keywords: decent work, future of work, social dialogue, human resources development, management development, public private partnerships, sustainable development, business, corporate responsibility, enterprise development, multinational enterprises, business strategy, private sector, governance, research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
[thumbnail of wcms_850856.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login