The ‘2.0’ postfix has been used and misused to ‘sex up’ a lot of things lately. Now we propose the same to Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. We believe CSR 2.0 earns its ‘upgrade’ by tying corporate responsibility tightly to Web 2.0 characteristics such as participation, transparency and many-to-many communication. This is a summary of a working paper by Mikkel Sørensen and Nicolai Peitersen, on new ways of uniting business goals with greater societal engagement through direct stakeholder involvement.

Luckily, Web 2.0 is not all ‘push’ of demands. There are many motivational ‘pulls’ and reasons to embrace the new empowered stakeholders in an invigorated approach to CSR. CSR 2.0 is all about opening the corporate membrane to let humanity shine out for stakeholder affiliation to reach in. More and more companies have realized the innovative potentials of tapping into lead-user knowledge and opinions. Likewise actively engaging stakeholders on CSR issues to identify better ways of reducing waste, identifying unmet needs and changed consumer preferences is likely to be accepted. But it must be done fair and sincere far away from old-fashioned one-way marketing. Many stakeholders have a very real interest in a company’s operations; stakeholders inhabit the very same threatened globe and would rather have their consummation part of the solution than part of the problem. Besides, stakeholders might have special knowledge on specific issues from chemistry to local demographics in southern American mountain villages. Or the next visitor to the company website might simply have witnessed breaches to the company codes on a factory during travels in India and help conduct supply chain management by letting the company know.

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