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Introduction to Corporate Social Responsibility
A business earns profits by way of its operations, and it needs to be noted that not all these profits are supposed to be shared by the business on its own. Rather, it needs to extend a part of it for the development of the society (Crane, 2008). In this paper, the various aspects of this investment also known as Corporate Social Responsibility of business shall be discussed.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility is about how an organization manages the processes of the business so that an overall positive impact can be cast on the society by the business and its activities (Bubna-Litic, 2009). When companies operate, there are two aspects that they need to answer. While the first is related to their management regarding people and processes, the other is related to the nature of their work and its impact on the society in various aspects.
In a nutshell, corporate social responsibility can be said to be a continuous commitment to the business. So, they behave with the maintenance of ethics and also they contribute to the economic development. It is not only the business but also the society and simultaneously improvises the quality of life of the workers in the business as well as their family members along with the local community and the society at large (Ditlev‐Simonsen, 2010). This is because when companies operate, they make profits and these profits are unhindered apart from the payments that they are required to make as taxes. The companies are after that left with the obligation of donating a share of their profits made for charitable purposes. This is largely seen by scholars as the tainting the actions of the company so that they can benefit even by paying (Dobers & Springett, 2010). This works because when the companies make the donations, they earn considerable fame and their reputation enhances which ultimately reaps benefits for the company only.
Corporate Social Responsibility of businesses is also considered sustainable because responsibility towards the society is an integral part of the process. In this, wealth is created for the company, and when there are tough times in front of the business, this behavior shoves a philanthropic exercise that helps in maintaining the business over a long time (Gjølberg, 2010).
How does Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) relate to an organization's mission statement and its strategy?
Companies in these days are involved in activities that are attributable to corporate social responsibility and can be found in the way in which they communicate to build brands, market their products using package labeling or by engaging in community activities. Nevertheless, in certain instances, the decisions are made away from the corporate strategies and are often reflected in the product level or the unit level in the operation of the business. In other times, they are also reflected by the personal choice of the managers (Haerens & Zott, 2011). However, if a company wishes that it should clearly reflect its commitment towards building a social responsibility, then that needs to be shown in the mission, vision and values statement of the company. It is only the expression of the mission of the company that it becomes truly responsible for indulging in social activities while its decisions are implemented. This purpose makes sure that the company not only works in the best interest of it but also strives to do the best for the society as well.
For example, the mission of ASDA in the UK reflected that it thrived towards contributing to the society by the profits earned by it. In fact, it was also seen that by the profits gathered by ASDA in its spring sales in the year 2014-2015, they initiated three programs aimed at ecological conservation, biodiversity protection and controlling the greenhouse gasses so that some benefits could be extended to the environment by their efforts. Similarly, Shell in its advertising also stated that they preferred to contribute an amount of their gigantic profits for the benefit of the society (Hunnicutt, 2009). With their new mission statement in 2015, it was seen that the mass communications campaign of Shell helped in reducing the CFCs in the atmosphere and was also a step towards cleaning the sea.
What does an organization owe to society and their individual community regarding CSR?
The study of ethics over time indicates that business corporations have a greater social responsibility which necessitates that they should use some of their resources to meet the requirements of the communities at large. It is necessary that these requirements should be outside the ordinary scope of the company and thus the contributions made by enterprises as corporate citizens enable them to attain the status of good corporate giants in the long run (Hopkins, 2013).
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It should be noted that business shall not be able to run unless it has raw materials and manpower. Now, both these basic requirements that are raw materials and manpower are derived only from nature in some form or the other. This indicates that the pillar of the success of a business stands when there’s the backing of society behind it. However, in the course of working, a business pays its debts back by emitting exhausts and also causing other kinds of pollution (Hussein, 2010). This loss is borne by nature without any complaints, and thus, it becomes necessary that the organization should try to repay the loss caused to a certain extent by way of profits that it earns. Moreover with the development of modern corporate law, it has become a basic requirement that all business organizations are considered to be individual entities and corporate personalities (Trong Tuan, 2012). Hence, it is necessary that the responsibilities that an organization has by way of its position in the society make it a responsible entity towards ensuring its activities that are by the requirements of fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility. This makes the organization responsible towards its resource owner.
Thus, from the above discussion, it can be said that corporate social responsibility is not a mere statutory requirement but is a wider moral and ethical responsibility on the shoulders of the companies to make sure that they do some amount of good for the society with the profits which they earn.
Bubna-Litic, D. (2009). Spirituality and corporate social responsibility. Farnham, England: Gower.
Crane, A. (2008). The Oxford handbook of corporate social responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ditlev‐Simonsen, C. (2010). From corporate social responsibility awareness to action?. Social Responsibility Journal, 6(3), 452-468. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17471111011064807
Dobers, P. & Springett, D. (2010). Corporate social responsibility: discourse, narratives and communication. Corp. Soc. Responsib. Environ. Mgmt, 17(2), 63-69. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/csr.231
Gjølberg, M. (2010). Varieties of corporate social responsibility (CSR): CSR meets the “Nordic Model”. Regulation & Governance, 4(2), 203-229. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-5991.2010.01080.x
Haerens, M. & Zott, L. (2011). Corporate social responsibility. Pearson.
Hopkins, M. (2013). The planetary bargain. London: Earthscan Publications.
Hunnicutt, S. (2009). Corporate social responsibility. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press.
Hussein, M. (2010). Corporate social responsibility: finding the middle ground. Social Responsibility Journal, 6(3), 420-432. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17471111011064780
Trong Tuan, L. (2012). Corporate social responsibility, ethics, and corporate governance. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(4), 547-560. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17471111211272110