"Le imprese giapponesi: i pionieri della responsabilità sociale"
Lanna, Noemi (2009) "Le imprese giapponesi: i pionieri della responsabilità sociale". In: La responsabilità sociale di impresa in Asia. Le nuove sfide per l'internazionalizzazione. Unior, Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici, Napoli, pp. 103-134. ISBN 978-88-95044-439
The expression “Social Responsibility” referred to the business community has been apparently used for the first time in Japan, in 1956. In a pamphlet titled “Consciousness and practice of the Social Responsibility of the Businessmen”, the Japanese Association of Corporate Executives (Nihon Keizai Dōyūkai) described the social role of enterprises in a surprisingly up-to-date way. Which were the reasons leading to such a precocious interest in corporate ethics? When did CSR spread in Japan? In which way have Japanese enterprises responded to the challenge of accounting for their impact on society? To what extent did the Japanese institutional framework contribute to the adoption of CSR related practices?
This article tries to answer these questions. The first section analyses the debate on CSR in Japan, elaborating on the role of Nippon Keidanren and the CSR focused initiatives sponsored by the state. The second section provides an empirical analysis of Japanese enterprises’ attitude towards CSR related issues, based on reports by the main Japanese corporate organisations and on a survey by the author. A description of the main laws on welfare, wages, labour, safety and the environment completes the analysis. The findings of the article point to a role of Japan as a pioneer of CSR in Asia.
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