Recent years have seen a great debate and much progress in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Headway has been made in the development of the CSR agenda and the dissemination of management models. All these advances have been accompanied by an ideological debate that paradoxically always leads to a call for greater clarification of what is meant by CSR. This book stands at this crossroads. It can be seen as a chronicle and at the same time a synthesis of this whole debate. Yet ultimately it proposes a way of understanding CSR and a way of approaching it, and as such also takes sides in the debate. By making a distinction between social action, corporate social responsibility, the responsible and sustainable company and the relational company, the author clarifies the various ways of approaching the relationship between business and society, and opts for the expression ‘relational company’ as a reference framework for providing insight into the new role that the company can play in contemporary society, linked to the idea of citizenship. From this perspective, the author offers a re-reading of fundamental issues for business management such as the stakeholder relationship, the development of organizational values and ethics, accountability, and the meaning of success in business.