This paper seeks to explore how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is embedded in corporate organisations. The major questions examined are 'How the CSR institutionalisation has been developed' and 'How it functions in the organisation'. While recent literature argues that CSR is important to a successful business strategy, and that CSR and corporate governance are intricately connected, this paper demonstrates how CSR is, or rather is not, actually incorporated into management processes and corporate governance, and argues that simply establishing the relevant institutions is not enough to ensure the automatic functioning of CSR. A qualitative interpretive research methodology was adopted with CSR managers of six major corporations in Japan. CSR departments should be given practical commissions and its roles should be clarified within organisations. When establishing a CSR mid–term plan, it should be linked to any concurrent mid–term management plan.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility, CSR, management process, corporate governance, institutionalisation, embedding, mid–term management planning, Japan