Social responsibilities of businesses and their managers have been discussed since the 1950s. Yet no consensus about progress has been achieved in the corporate social responsibility/corporate social performance literature. In this article, we seek to analyze three views on this literature. One view is that development occurred from conceptual vagueness, through clarification of central constructs and their relationships, to the testing of theory - a process supported by increased sophistication in research methods. In contrast, other authors claim that hardly any progress is to be expected because of the inherently normative character of the literature. A final view is that progress in the literature on the social responsibilities of business is obscured or even hampered by the continuing introduction of new constructs. This article explores which of these three views better describes the evolution of the literature during a period of 30 years and suggests implications for further research. © 2005 Sage Publications.