Corporate social responsibility and information technologies: an information technologies company as a case study
Embargo Lift Date: 2020-01-23
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CSR expands as an area of interest both for the business and for social scientists. While some researchers believe in the transformative power of CSR strategies, others see it as a ‘marketing strategy’. Firstly, this study presents the literature on CSR to see where we are in the academic debate. In the field of CSR; there are many studies which name and shame corporations from various industries. However, Information Technologies (IT) companies are rarely in the ‘shame lists’. As IT sector is not one of the ‘conventional bad guys’, the debates around CSR often disregard the sectoral wrongdoing in IT. The aim of this study is to adress this research gap in this field. Without a clear academic critique directed towards the CSR activities of IT sector, can IT companies rightfully engage in self-criticism and adress to the potential environmental and human rights violations? While remaining on the safe side, do IT companies remember to adress these CSR issues? These questions will be answered through an analysis of a single IT company, whose name is kept anonymous. This study analyzes the company’s response to the key areas of concern in IT sector such as energy consumption, e-waste, data security and privacy, and labor standards.. The chosen company is one of the IT companies with a clear ‘criminal record’ in terms of its corporate operations. Thus, any wrongdoing that is found out in this case study will provide valuable insights in order to understand where we are in IT sector in terms of CSR.