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The potential of CSR to contribute to the implementation and integration of EU strategies

Final Activity Report Summary - CORE (The potential of CSR to contribute to the implementation and integration of EU strategies)

The four-year CORE project was designed according to a main research question, namely to understand whether and how corporate social responsibility hold the potential to stimulate public and corporate actors in contributing to the achievement of EU strategies goals. In the course of the series of conferences, we have broken down the main research question into several and more specific sub-questions, each related to the European strategy analysed. The following sub-questions lead the four conferences:
1. Can CSR contribute to competitiveness? (Lisbon)
2. Can CSR become a viable way to reach sustainable objectives? (Gothenburg)
3. Can CSR contribute to the integration of new Member States into European Union? (Enlargement)
4. How could CSR link up with policy integration on the political level? (last conference)

Business and academic researcher have shown increasing level of interest in CSR in recent years, being CSR a flexible and multifaceted concept that can be interpreted in very different ways: instruments, practices, actions and measures at company level, but also incentives, regulations and governmental mechanisms at a public-political level.

Moreover, being CSR a transversal issue it became relevant in different fields: private sector strategies, public and governmental policies, education and training for employees and stakeholder, territorial impacts.

According to the complexity of the concept, CORE adopted a multidisciplinary viewpoint through the integration of disciplines and the mobilisation of existing and on-going research on CSR across and extra Europe, asking researchers coming from all over the world to present their latest insights and findings in the field, thus identifying the frontiers of CSR research and the potential research vacuums.

In this light, the four conferences represented a unique opportunity for young researchers to get acquainted with key research concepts and results of business case studies.

The principal results of the training actions can be summarised as follows:
1. improved knowledge base of young researchers;
2. contribute to establishing the research fabric in term of human capital (enhancing capacity to work in interdisciplinary and diverse environment) and social capital (favouring networking, development of projects and relationship between participants and their institutions);
3. helping CSR to emerge as an established research field in its own right for the near future.

Each conference maximised the training opportunities of interaction between young researchers and top scientist and practitioners by guaranteeing a fruitful atmosphere of open discussion and constructive exchange.

The four years CORE conference has been widely promoted and have collected the contributes of 180 between young and mid-career researchers and around 30 keynote speeches from top scientists' representatives of the business world and senior researchers.

The consortium has published four digital newsletters channelled extensively through recognised mailing lists; one special issue of a reviewed journal (Business Ethics, a European Review); and the final publication.