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Corporate social responsibility is nothing but the act of organizations in behaving in an ethical or responsible manner (Hopkins, 2007, p 15). “Responsible or ethical” means treating stakeholders in a deemed manner which is acceptable in a civilized society.
Arguments for and Against Social Responsibility
The major arguments in favor of social responsibility include:
1. Social responsibility in an organization balances its power with its responsibilities.
2. Organizations being socially responsible reduce the imposition of government regulations.
3. Socially responsible organizations tend to have a long-term success rate as these acts promote goodwill, public favor, and corporate trust.
4. Socially responsible acts help an organization improve its image in the eyes of society.
5. Organizations that perform socially responsible acts help society to deal with its ever changing needs and problems.
6. By performing socially responsible acts, organizations help attend to environmental problems that were created by organizations.
7. Organizations have the power, money and resources to help tackle social and environmental problems.
8. Since organizations are considered as members of society, they have a moral obligation to help society deal with its problems. (K. Davis, 1993, The case for and against business assumption of social responsibility, Academy of Management Journal.)
you’ll be kind to avail me a lead of relevant books books and literature for my PhD research on MULTINATIONAL( INTERNATIONAL OIL COMPANIES) CORPORATE COMMUNITY SOCIAL INVESTMENTS DYNAMICS : considering stakeholder engagement
(CSR) is a term that has been defined differently by different experts. There is no consensus on any single definition of CSR. But in general corporate social responsibility refers to the obligation of a business towards various stakeholders including customers, shareholders, employees and the society as whole. Corporate Social Responsibility is a popular subject of research these days. Many researchers are exploring this vast field of study and adding to the existing literature. So there is vast amount of available in this area of research. An effective CSR involves referring to the works of at least 20-25 authors and another 20-25 of websites, and magazines making a total of some 50 references. There are basically three reasons for referring to so many sources;
The major arguments against corporate social responsibility include:
1. Being socially responsible comes with a price attached to it. Socially responsible acts increase an organization’s operating costs and in turn weaken its ability to offer goods and services at the lowest possible competitive costs.
2. The costs of being socially responsible may not be borne by the competition; therefore a socially responsible organization may penalize itself.
3. The costs of socially responsible acts often result in lower dividends to stockholders, lower wages for employees or higher prices for consumers. Social responsibility sends mixed signals about what an organization’s goals might be, to both the organization and society. Employees may have difficulty meeting goals if they are not sure whether to make a profit or to act responsibly. On the other hand society may develop unrealistic expectations that the organizations might not be able to fulfill.
4. By giving organizations the liberty to exercise socially responsible acts, makes them more powerful and many already have too much power over society.
5. Individuals in the corporate and business world are trained in areas such as marketing, finance etc. not in how to deal with society’s social problems.
6. When corporations, as opposed to individuals, act to solve social problems, no one can really be held accountable. Responsibility should reside with individuals, not with institutions. (Dunham, Pierce, 1989, Management)
As it is evident from above, people have used several arguments for and against corporate social responsibility.
This view suggests that management’s sole objective of social responsibility is to maximize profits. Milton Friedman argues that a manager’s primary responsibility is to conduct the business in the best possible interest of the stockholders (the owners).
This view suggests that management’s social responsibility goes way beyond profit maximization to include protecting society’s welfare and improving society’s standards. One of the strongest points of this view is that corporations are not independent entities responsible solely to stockholders.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The World Business Council and Sustainable Development used the following definition; “Social responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.” (Lord Holme and Richard Watts, Making Good Business Sense).
An increasing number of companies today find that there are real business benefits from being socially responsibly. Corporate Social responsibility has become a core issue for a large number of companies. There is but one explanation for this evolving social conscience; i.e. the people have demanded it. Traditionally social responsibility was just about donations and reforestation. Now it’s much more than just that; now, the public wants to play an active role. Its hard for companies today to meet society’s escalating ethical expectations. Consumers are showing that they will reward companies that prove they are social, not just corporate, leaders – and that they will punish those they perceive as bad citizens. (Don Tapscott, Anthony Williams, February 2002).
Over the last month I have been comparing and contrasting corporate social responsibility reports from six major San Francisco Bay Area companies across different sectors. Gap, eBay, Wells Fargo, SunPower, Chevron & Salesforce all make an effort to show their efforts to invest in environmental and community stewardship. Now is my chance to share the insights and tips I’ve learned through this review process, including what a CSR report should include & exclude.
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The subject Corporate Social Responsibility is evolving everyday. As the laws are changing and the environment is deteriorating data tends to become outdated every day. In such a situation companies are struggling to meet their responsibilities with shrinking pockets. In such a dynamic environment it is tricky to make a dissertation on Corporate Social Responsibility.