Organizing corporate social responsibility (CSR) on a collective, rather than on the individual firm level, results in a set of specific challenges for organizations. The aim of this article is to assess these challenges inherent in collective CSR and to conceptualize trust as an organizing principle within these networks. To do so, we explore and outline the chief challenges faced within horizontal cooperation between inter-organizational actors aiming to realize CSR efforts collectively. Subsequently, we draw from the literature on trust as an organizing principle in inter-organizational networks and go on to develop mechanisms through which trust can address these challenges. This article contributes a new analytical framework that informs future studies on the role of trust in collective CSR. It enables a differentiated analysis of the potential, but also the pitfalls, of trust-based CSR at the network level.
- corporate social responsibility
- inter-organizational relationships
- CROSS-SECTOR COLLABORATIONS
- GRAND CHALLENGES