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January 06 , 2010

Challenging Corporate Social Responsibility

Lessons for public relations from the casino industry


The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly widespread, as businesses seek to incorporate socially responsible behaviors while still being accountable to shareholders. Indeed some research has suggested that CSR in itself can form the basis of good PR by promoting consumers’ purchase decisions.

Arguing that this approach is a dangerous oversimplification, this book takes a deeper look at the concept of CSR in a particularly challenging context - casino gaming. Originally the province of seedy, backdoor establishments in isolated cities, casino gaming has become a multibillion-dollar global industry. Drawing on in-depth research in Las Vegas, this unique study examines how and why corporations in the casino industry interpret and engage in CSR through community support, environmental issues, labor rights, and corporate governance.

Through in-depth analysis of CSR in this industry, this book adds a new dimension to the debate on the role of CSR and public relations in business. Given the burgeoning relationship between CSR and corporate PR, the book seeks to illuminate CSR’s complexities, contradictions, and moral obligations. It will be of interest to all scholars of public relations, corporate communications, and corporate reputation.

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