After the completion of the First Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century in Britain, the modern corporate responsibility forum industry had fully developed, but the concept of corporate social responsibility had not yet emerged, and in practice, corporate social responsibility was limited to the moral behavior of individual owners. The starting point of corporate social responsibility is Adam Smith's "invisible hand". Classical economic theory holds that a society can best determine its needs through the market. If enterprises use resources as efficiently as possible to provide the products and services that society needs and sell them at prices that consumers are willing to pay, they fulfill their social responsibility.
By the late 18th century, the social responsibility concept of Western enterprises began to undergo subtle changes, manifested as small business owners often donating to schools, churches, and the poor.
After entering the 19th century, the achievements of the two industrial revolutions brought about a leap in social productivity, and enterprises developed to a large extent in terms of quantity and scale. Influenced by the trend of thought of "social Darwinism" in this period, people held a negative attitude towards the concept of corporate social responsibility. Many enterprises did not take the initiative to assume social responsibility, but exploited suppliers and employees who had close relations with the enterprise to become strong players in social competition as soon as possible. This concept has had many negative effects with the vigorous development of industry.
At the same time, the enterprise system gradually improved in the middle and late 19th century, the demands of the working class to safeguard their own rights and interests continued to rise, and the United States government has successively introduced the Anti trust Act and the Consumer Protection Act to curb bad corporate behavior, which objectively put forward new requirements for enterprises to fulfill their social responsibilities. The emergence of the concept of corporate social responsibility has become a historical necessity.