This special issue and the editorial article focus on the issues of context and consequences of corporate responsibility (CR), to which CR research has not given the attention these issues would warrant. Although norms, practices and outcomes of CR depend on socio-political, cultural, national and other contextual factors, the phenomenon has primarily been studied with theories and concepts originating from the USA. We will show that this has lead to a lack of attention to many local aspects and varieties of CR, particularly those of the emerging economies and developing countries. The latter part of the article discusses the outcomes and consequences of CR, including those that are unintended. We point out that many positive expectations and trust is placed on CR as an ideology and as an instrument for contributing to the resolution of many global and environmental ills although little is known about the social consequences and impacts of CR on society. In connection to both discussions, we review the related papers in this special issue. The editorial ends with propositions for future research.