What are we talking about?

Several specific terms are used to talk about social responsibility, depending on the type of organisation concerned.


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) , the first term used in this context, came to be strongly associated with large organisations. Small and medium-sized enterprises did not identify with the corporate scale of CSR, so the term business social responsibility (BSR) also came into use. Though broader in scope, BSR also has limitations for non-business organisations, including government agencies, associations, NGOs and foundations. Consequently, these entities tend to use the broader term social responsibility (SR). In the context of higher education, the term university social responsibility (USR) is often used.


Whatever term is used, social responsibility is concerned with management practices and systems that promote economic and environmental sustainability and contribute to improving society.