Kotler & Lee (2005)

General Review:

Offer practical information, decision support and best-practice guidelines to executive’s managers and staff responsible of CSR decisions. Several case studies illustrate possible initiatives and highlights potential benefits and concerns.

Core Theory (logical explanation or testable model of interaction):

Core concepts (abstract idea or a mental symbol ):

P3 Corporate Social Initiatives under the umbrella of CSR

P3 CSR is discretionary not the mandated by law or moral and ethical expected. CSR is voluntary commitment in choosing and implementing practices.

Long term CSR strategy must be linked to mainstream trends relevant to the industry. Initiatives must be appealing to target segment customers, employees and media. Demonstrate a documented difference with tangible outcomes for business and society. Ensure key stakeholder commitment (participation/relationships/partnerships) to communication objectives and campaign goals and manage expectations. (p70)

Core framework (structure used to outline, address or solve complex issues):

Describes and illustrates by cases a framework of six CSR initiatives that are to be managed by deliberate strategic decisions. The strategic decisions are to align the CSR initiatives to business values, objectives, products, markets and brands.

Major FocusStrategies ElementsKeys for Success
Corporate Cause Promotion (p53-54)Persuasive CommunicationExternal Promotional strategies (p78-79).Cause – Target Audience – Activities – PartnersLong term partnership – Relate to products and values
Cause Related Marketing (p85-86)Consumer Response to AdvertisingDonation linked to sale or profit (p112).Cause – Apparent Target Audience – The Offer – PartnersChoose a large partner – Research idea – Large visibility – Keep message simple
Corporate Social Marketing (p 117-118)Behaviour ChangePromoting behaviours addressing specific issues (p141).Desired Behaviour – Target Audience – Activities – PartnersLong term planning and commitment
Corporate Philanthropy (p148-149)Direct contributionDonation of cash and/or in-kind services (p172-173)Cause – Major contributions – Recipent(s) – PartnersMultiyear partnership – Find a way to make a difference
Community Volunteering (p179)Employee interactionTeambuilding – Personal development – Employee recognition – Community interaction (p201-204)Cause – Activities – SupportConnect effort and core of the business – Keep focus on customers (community) – Promotional strategies – Measure and improve
Socially Responsible Business PracticesDiscretionary activities and investment in well-beingExceed regulations – Process improvements – Discontinue product offering – Selecting suppliers – Choosing materials and full disclosure – Ethical guidelines and accounting – Decision making on plant and outsourcingCause – Target Audience – Activities – Partners/OthersManagement encourage others to decrease scepticism and criticism by being, preemptive and initiating initiatives that benefits all stakeholders

Core models (pattern, plan or description showing main object or workings of concept):

Table for Major Potential Benefits from Corporate Social Initiatives (p242-243)

Table for Major Potential Concerns in Undertaking Initiatives (p248-249)

Summary of Best Practices (p256-257)

Table with summary of Major Strengths to Maximize and Concerns to Minimize (p258-259)

Methods used:

Constructive research based on Case analysis. Benefits supported by secondary research.


P3 “Corporate social responsibility is a commitment to improve community well-being through discretionary business practices and contributions of corporate resources”

P3 “Corporate social initiatives are major activities undertaken by a corporation to support social causes and to fulfil commitments to corporate social responsibility”

P16 The influence of reputation on government policy quoting AT&T addressing the nation by appointment of president Clinton (Smith, 1994 in Kotler & Lee)

Kotler, Philip, Roberto, Ned and Lee (2002) Nancy Social Marketing: Improving the Quality of Life, Thousand Oaks, CA; SAGE Publications (p115) CSM “the use of marketing principles and techniques to influence a target audience to voluntarily accept, reject, modify or abandon a behaviour for the benefit of individuals, groups or society as a whole.”

Relatedness to objective:

Driving and restraining forces in adopting a CSR strategy could be the Benefits and Concerns

The Best Practice Guideline could enable a best practice recommendation

Relatedness to questions:

Evaluating the benefits of CSR – page 21 could be relevant under implications and in the review.

Arguments/points made (set of one or more declarative sentences):

P3 “voluntary commitment”

P11 BEBEFITS Increased sales and market share. Strengthened brand positioning. Enhanced corporate image and clout. Increased ability to attract, motivate and retain employees. Decreased operating costs. Increased appeal to investors and financial analysts.

P18 CHALLENGES Choosing a Social Issue. Selecting an Initiative to Address the Issue. Developing and Implementing  Program plans. Evaluation. Quoting several surveys as strong evidence, makes a clear point on several benefits of CSR.




Shift from obligation to Strategy (Smith, Craig The New Corporate Philanthropy, Harvard Business Review, 1994)


Marketing focused. Statistical limitations to evidence not brought to attention. Benefits of the full market and competitors not taken into account. Consumer orientated not B2B.