African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4092

Full Length Research Paper

Corporate social responsibility in fortune magazine’s top 50 companies: State of action and salient trends

  Cheng Wenhao* and Kenneth Kaufman  
School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P. R. China.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 July 2011
  •  Published: 23 November 2011



The concept of corporate social responsibility constantly adapts to the needs of global business. Given the recent development of corporate social responsibility and sustainability ideologies, along with methodologies and criteria used to meet the standards of a “responsible” company, it becomes necessary to examine their realization in practice, by focusing on those responsible for the trends: the fortune 500 companies. This article addressed both of these needs by comparing the corporate social responsibility reports of Fortune Magazine’s Top 50 companies. The article tried to evaluate each company’s performance against a defined set of criteria in order to test for the didactic nature of the competitive relationships between Fortune’s Top companies and their influence on smaller companies. It then tried to answer three important related questions concerning corporate social responsibility now and in the future: 1) to what extent have Fortune’s Top 50 companies embraced the concept of corporate social responsibility? 2) What is their understanding of corporate social responsibility? 3) What are the current trends of corporate social responsibility? The article concluded with analyses of future trends that may assist companies to develop their corporate socialresponsibility practices on an ongoing basis.


Key words: Corporate social responsibility (CSR), fortune 500, fortune’s top 50.