The integration of corporate social responsibility into the strategy of technology-intensive firms: a case study*

This paper presents a new perspective which calls for an integration of ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) into the company strategy as a source of competitive advantages. The research question we pose is how a company can successfully carry out this integration of CSR into its strategic management, for which a model that includes three stages - introduction, implementation and generalization of CSR - is presented. Based on an exploratory case study within a Spanish technology-intensive firm (Indra), we show the way this company has developed and implemented an explicit plan for the integration of ethical values and CSR initiatives into its corporate and business strategies. Although this company has established its own methodology in order to develop and implement CSR plans, it fits in essence to our three-stage model of CSR integration. In general, our analyses show a beneficial impact of the development and implementation of CSR plan for this technology-intensive company. In particular, seems that the CSR plan enables companies to improve its' internal and external (competitive) context through a better exploration and exploitation of knowledge, its stable relationships with stakeholders and the development and improvement of intangible resources such as reputation or social capital. It is also shown that there are important factors to consider in order this process can successfully carried out, such as organizational culture, human resource practices or knowledge management systems. Future research will need to engage in largerscale confirmatory as well as longitudinal studies of the impact of CSR implementation for company performance. Key words: Corporate Social Responsibility, strategy, case study, Indra, Spain. JEL classification: M1. Kljucne rijeci: drustveno-odgovorno poslovanje, strategija, Indra, Spanjolska.

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