Review of the use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) tools

Ayokunle Olubunmi Olanipekun*, Temitope Omotayo, Najimu Saka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are an increasing number of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting tools that are evolving. As a result, it has become chaotic and complicated for practitioners to select the most appropriate one for CSR reporting. To address the problem, previous studies have classified the CSR reporting tools into frameworks, standards and, ratings and indices classes for easy comprehension and application in practice. However, no study has focused on revealing the use of CSR reporting tools based on this classification. This study employed researchers’ perspectives through a systematic review of journal papers published between 2001-2016 to reveal the use of CSR reporting tools based on their classifications. The findings revealed that the GRI tool in the framework class is widely implemented, but also associated with many problems that impact CSR reporting in practice. Also, there are new aspects where the tool could be used are for CSR learning in organisations and CSR regulation. Furthermore, the CSR reporting tools in the standards, ratings and indices classes are not commonly implemented for CSR reporting thereby attracting less researcher interest. The study concluded by linking the research and practice of the use of CSR reporting tools in different classes. The study has implications for CSR reporters who use CSR reporting tools in the frameworks, standards, and ratings and indices classes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-435
JournalSustainable Production and Consumption
Early online date20 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Corporate Social Responsibility tools
  • Frameworks
  • Standards
  • Ratings and indices, GRI

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