Corporate Social Responsibility Practices in the Retail sector: a Multiple Case Study Analysis of US Retailers


  • Laura Bravi Carlo Bo University of Urbino, Department of Economics, Society, Politics



Corporate Social Responsibility, Retail sector, US Retailers, Corporate Strategy


Over the last few years, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become a central theme in corporate management and is a relevant element of competitiveness for businesses. However, it is difficult to find a sustainable business model that fits perfectly to all companies, therefore, the aim of this study is to analyze the social responsibility balances of some of the major American companies in the retail sector through a multiple case study analysis, to verify similarities and differences in their approach to defining a socially responsible strategy. The methodology used is a multiple case study analysis that compares the Social Reports of 5 American companies selected as a sample as they are leaders in the Retail sector, considering the Deloitte rankings. The commitment on the social and environmental front of companies considered is aimed at producing long-term collective benefits and is not reduced to formal and facade interventions adopted in the short term mainly for opportunistic purposes.  Sometimes companies consider sustainability as a goal to be achieved, but from the results of the study, analyzing the different time period 2012-2018, it can be seen that it is not an achievable goal, but a prolonged path, during which the company and its stakeholders try to improve each other continuously.


Anderson, T., Liu, Z., Cruz, J., & Wang, J. (2020). Social and environmental sustainability: An empirical analysis of supply chain profitability and the recession. Operations and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 176 - 193.

Arrigo, E. (2005). Corporate Responsibility and Hypercompetition: The Ikea Case. Symphonya. Emerging Issues in Management, (2), 37-57.

Bertazzaghi, E., Guerci, M., & Vinante, M., (2010). La valutazione stakeholder-based della formazione continua. Modelli, processi, strumenti, [The stakeholder-based assessment of continuing education. Models, processes, tools]. Franco Angeli, Milano.

Carter, C. R., & Jennings, M. M. (2002). Logistics social responsibility: an integrative framework. Journal of business logistics, 23(1), 145-180.

Chatzoglou, P., Chatzoudes, D., Amarantou, V., & Aggelidis, V. (2017). Examining the antecedents and the effects of CSR implementation: an explanatory study. EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 189-206.

Creswell, J.W., (2013). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. Sage Journals, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Elkington, J. (1994). Towards the sustainable corporation: Win-win-win business strategies for sustainable development. California Management Review, 36(2), 90-100.

Elkington, J. (2013). Enter the triple bottom line. In The triple bottom line (pp. 23-38). Routledge.

Gheribi, E. (2017). The activities of foodservice companies in the area of corporate social responsibility–on the Example of International Fast Food Chain. Journal of Positive Management, 8(1), 64-77.

Golding, J., Pembrey, M., & Jones, R. (2001). ALSPAC--the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. I. Study methodology. Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology, 15(1), 74-87.

Jadhav, A., Orr, S., & Malik, M. (2019). The role of supply chain orientation in achieving supply chain sustainability. International Journal of Production Economics, 217, 112-125.

Kopel, M. (2021). CSR leadership, spillovers, and first-mover advantage. Decisions in Economics and Finance, 1-17.

Księżak, P. (2016). The Benefits from CSR for a Company and Society. Journal of Corporate responsibility and leadership, 3(4), 53-65.

KsiężaK, P., & FischBach, B. (2017). Triple Bottom Line: The Pillars of CSR. Journal of corporate responsibility and leadership, 4(3), 95-110.

Maloni, M. J., & Brown, M. E. (2006). Corporate social responsibility in the supply chain: an application in the food industry. Journal of business ethics, 68(1), 35-52.

Murmura, F., Bravi, L. (2020). I sistemi di gestione per la qualità, l'ambiente e l'etica. Aracne Editrice, Roma. ISBN: 978-88-255-3022-3

Popoli, P. (2011). Linking CSR strategy and brand image: Different approaches in local and global markets. Marketing Theory, 11(4), 419-433.

Souza-Monteiro, D., & Hooker, N. (2017). Comparing UK food retailers corporate social responsibility strategies. British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 3, pp. 658-675.

Zaid, A. A., Jaaron, A. A., & Bon, A. T. (2018). The impact of green human resource management and green supply chain management practices on sustainable performance: An empirical study. Journal of cleaner production, 204, 965-979.