Corporate Citizenship – Definition

Cite this article as:"Corporate Citizenship – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated December 4, 2019, last accessed September 26, 2020,

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Corporate Citizenship Definition

Corporate citizenship refers to the set of activities or responsibilities of an organization that help them make a positive contribution to society in general. Corporate citizenship also refers to standards that an organization puts in place to meet corporate social responsibility. In every country, there are certain responsibilities that are expected from businesses and organizations s a way of contributing to the development of a society, this is called corporate social responsibility. How well a company implements its social responsibilities and meet a certain set of standards in corporate social responsibility.

A Little More on What is Corporate Citizenship

Corporate citizenship is a crucial factor that investors look out for in companies before deciding whether to invest in them or otherwise. As a way of improving corporate citizenship, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has outlined a set of standards that will aid the implementation of corporate social responsibility by companies. Corporate citizenship is a recognition allotted a business when it meets social and environmental responsibilities through contributions made to the local community.

Businesses that have corporate citizenship have shown a steep commitment towards contributing to the growth of a local community. Corporate social responsibility os different from the legal responsibilities businesses are meant to perform, while not all businesses have corporate citizenship, but all of them must perform their legal and ethical responsibilities. Also, businesses do not earn corporate citizenship within a short while, there are certain processes that businesses undergo while developing their corporate citizenship.

Development of Corporate Citizenship

There are five developmental stages through which businesses and organizations attain corporate citizenship, they are;

  • Elementary stage: This is the basic stage where an organization begins to carry out certain projects tailored to corporate social responsibility. The elementary stage starts with compliance to the ISO standards and other occupational health safety standards.
  • Engagement stage: This is the phase in which the company develops conscious policies that mandate the involvement of its employees in activities that contribute positively to the community.
  • Innovative Stage: At this stage, a company devises creative means to implement corporate social responsibility. This is in a way to make them recognized and stand out among others.
  • Integrated Stage: This is when a company has fully blended with activities and processes involved in corporate social responsibility.
  • Transforming stage: This is the stage an organization has fully grasp what corporate citizenship entails, the standards and processes involved.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Not only does corporate social responsibility keeps a business socially accountable to its stakeholders and the public, but it is also a significant way of pursuing a good cause or giving back to society. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a major pathway to attaining corporate citizenship. Depending on the industry, sector and the company itself, there are many ways a company can contribute to society. While some companies embark on environmental projects, some companies make charitable donations, some, volunteering activities, some plants free, build recreational centers, and many others as their socially responsible projects.

CSR is a self-regulating business model that keeps a company significant in society and improve their recognition. There are diver CSR programs that companies can adopt, depending on their areas of interest. Large corporations often use corporate social responsibility as a way of pursuing the good cause and also to become more visible. It is a strategy that helps organizations grow their brands. Large organizations, through CSR, set standards that other smaller companies or competitors in their industry should follow.

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