Guest Editor: Prof. Kanji Tanimoto, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
Overview of the theme
How is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) understood and managed in Japanese business, and how is it part of ‘good’ Corporate Governance?
The debate on CSR has grown rapidly and internationally over the last two decades, in both business and academic communities. The current CSR movement has been developed in European and Anglo-American contexts based on principles of the market, industrial, business and social structures. However, CSR has taken root in other countries and areas as well and increasingly in Japan. The Japanese economic system has been traditionally structured by relational trading between firms, relational banking, and a long-term relationship with employees for mutual consideration. It has always been an advantage of the Japanese economy. Now, however, we must explore whether it is a strength or weakness for globalization and in embedding CSR into Japanese corporate society. There is much debate on how to incorporate the concept and philosophy of CSR into the context of different countries. Since the early 2000s there have been a growing number of studies offering alternative perspectives on CSR, deriving from Asia and other regions. We need to examine how CSR management and practical wisdom in organisations works in various countries/regions, rather than simply highlighting the differences amongst regions.