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Is corporate social responsibility still strong?

My faculty colleague at Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management, Dr. Seoki Lee, speaks globally on his research about the economic and managerial outcomes of corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts in hospitality organizations. He travels to conferences around the world sharing his findings, and he teaches our students to appreciate the theoretical and applied aspects of CSR. Dr. Lee produces compelling insights from his work with applications to many service industries, but particularly hospitality.

Recently, at least in the United States, I do not seem to be reading as many trade publication headlines or hotel brand press releases touting the virtues of and initiatives in CSR. Few appointments to executives with CSR responsibilities are hitting the trade press, although a quick search on LinkedIn resulted in more than 1,500 jobs labeled as CSR. So perhaps CSR is becoming mainstream management practice. Perhaps CSR is vigorously being practiced in various forms, and the noise around its initiation into our professional culture has simply subsided.

Has CSR as a focused strategy been absorbed by other functional offices such as HR, PR, marketing and others? Has this “hot trend” cooled or has the buzzword passed its shelf life? Which hotel companies are leading in best CSR practices today? 

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