Corporate social responsibility in the wake of COVID-19: multiple cases of social responsibility as an organizational value

Jashim Uddin Ahmed, Quazi Tafsirul Islam, Asma Ahmed, Anisur R. Faroque, Mohammad Jasim Uddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Although corporate social responsibility is a well-researched concept, very few studies have studied organizational social responsibility in the face of internal/external crises. Therefore, this paper aims to examine various firms' organizational social responses to COVID-19 as an external crisis, particularly in terms of the way organizations use their resources to address social problems and the real intention behind these, and the changing organizational drivers influencing such behaviors. Design/methodology/approach: The authors explore the initiatives of seven organizations from three different industries in several countries and their actions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A case study approach was taken to collect data and reach a conclusion. A combination of interviews, online communication using semi-structured questionnaires and documentary information available in the public domain was used to collect data and analyze and triangulate the events. Findings: Similar internal resources and capacities of the seven organizations resulted in similar responses as they launched proactive initiatives to prepare sanitizers. This research indicates that these organizations pursued other goals besides economic one. When society needed help, these organizations responded quickly, using and reorganizing their resources to assist communities in need. Different organizations from different sectors all behaved in a similar manner, making genuine contributions to the pandemic as each was uniquely capable of doing. These organizations also used their unique capabilities to offer their resources to local communities and governments. Originality/value: During the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts by corporate entities to facilitate social reform and recovery have been seen around the globe. The findings could help in understanding the responses of organizations engaging in socially responsible behaviors to overcome external crises. This paper also identifies changing organizational values and their possible impact on society and overall industry philanthropy practices in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-516
Number of pages21
JournalSociety and Business Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2021


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • COVID-19
  • Crisis
  • Philanthropy

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