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Fade, Integrate or Transform? The Future of CSR

CSR is at a crossroads. After a decade of evolution, the pathway forward defies easy prognosis. Will external events and company choices relegate CSR to a passing fad, leading to its fading from corporate and public agendas? Or will CSR reach full fruition as it becomes aligned, integrated, and fully institutionalized in company strategy and operations? Or, alternatively, is something more transformational on the horizon as CSR morphs into a deeper change mode, becoming a force for altering corporate purpose at the most fundamental and systemic level? This paper frames three potential scenarios, intentionally designed with stark differences in content and implications for companies and their stakeholders, and then assesses how the history of the CSR movement may inform its future.