CSR Dissertation Topics

If you are interested in social or environmental justice, then why not write your dissertation on corporate social responsibility (CSR)?

Put simply, CSR is a way for businesses to take responsibility for their interactions with stakeholders. When adopting a CSR approach, managers ask questions like ‘who might we be harming through our actions, and how can we alleviate this harm?’ Some businesses might also look beyond stakeholder interactions and instead choose broad social-environmental issues to lend their support to. In other words, CSR tries to make the world a better place.

Sounds good, right? Well, as with most topics, there are always critical perspectives to consider. Incidentally, these critical perspectives can form the basis for a great dissertation. For example, we might ask, Is CSR always authentic? Are there risks to implementing CSR programmes? What factors might mediate the link between CSR and financial performance?

That said, here are some topical and critical CSR topics which could form the basis of your dissertation!


Analysing the role and impact of CSR

  • Analysing the impact of CSR on the environment: A case study of the energy sector.
  • Do customers in the luxury fashion sector care about CSR? A qualitative investigation.
  • What are the antecedents of consumer interest in CSR programmes?
  • What is the role of CSR within marketing strategy?
  • Analysing the financial impact of CSR: A before-and-after case study of Marks and Spencer’s Plan A scheme.
  • Can CSR create a competitive advantage? A case study analysis of SMEs in the health and wellness sector.
  • To what extent is CSR associated with firm value? Are there any mediators to this association?
  • What is the impact of employer-sponsored volunteer days? A multi-stakeholder survey approach.
  • Business benefits of employee volunteering: A secondary analysis.

COVID-19 and CSR dissertation topics

  • From cars to ventilators: Responding to urgent societal need: A case-study of Tesla and Ford.
  • Analysing the risks involved in reactive CSR responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Has the COVID-19 crisis resulted in a scaling-back of CSR programmes? A quantitative analysis.
  • Analysing the CSR crisis in the retail sector since COVID-19
  • Tackling child food poverty in 2020: Analysing SMEs’ response to Marcus Rashford’s social activism.

The Implementation challenges of CSR

  • Analysing the barriers to CSR implementation in the Shipping sector.
  • Exploring the pragmatic and ethical barriers to CSR disclosure.
  • Implementing CSR across borders: UK vs Kenya.
  • How can CSR be integrated into the value chain?
  • How important is innovation for the implementation of CSR?
  • Learning to be responsible: Developing competencies for organisation-wide CSR.
  • Fostering social responsibly within the organisational culture: A qualitative approach.
  • Analysing employee resistance to CSR: A case study of Ørsted.
  • Implementing CSR in the gambling sectors: A possibility?
  • Authentic or Greenwashing? Analysing senior managers’ perceptions of CSR.
  • Analysing the contribution of intellectual capital to CSR implementation.

Sustainability CSR dissertations

  • To what extent does Starbucks’ CSR programme align with the UN sustainable development goals?
  • To what extent does Coca-Cola’s CSR programme align with the UN sustainable development goals?
  • Did CSR catalyse Ørsted’s shift from a black to green energy company? A critical investigation.
  • What is the impact of CSR on corporate sustainability? A quantitative analysis.
  • CSR in the food industry: The case of veganism.
  • To what extent is dealing with the climate crisis a corporation’s problem? A qualitative investigation of stakeholder perspectives.



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