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Encyclopedia > Corporate social responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby organizations consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, employees, shareholders, communities and the environment in all aspects of their operations. This obligation is seen to extend beyond the statutory obligation to comply with legislation and sees organizations voluntarily taking further steps to improve the quality of life for employees and their families as well as for the local community and society at large. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Alternative meaning: Organisation (band). ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... A customer is someone who purchases or rents something from an individual or organisation. ... Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. ... A community is a social group of organisms sharing an environment, normally with shared interests. ... An obligation can be legal or moral. ... A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... Legislation (or statutory law) is law which has been promulgated (or enacted) by a legislature or other governing body. ...


Development and analysis

The debate about CSR has been said to have begun in the early 20th century, amid growing concerns about large corporations and their power[1]. The ideas of charity and stewardship helped to shape the early thinking about CSR in the US. A corporation (usually known in the United Kingdom and Ireland as a company) is a legal entity (distinct from a natural person) that often has similar rights in law to those of a Civil law systems may refer to corporations as moral persons; they may also go by the name... Allegorical personification of Charity as a mother with three infants by Anthony van Dyck Charity, meaning selfless giving, is one conventional English translation of the Greek term agapē. // Etymology In the 1400, charity meant the state of love or simple affection which one was in or out of regarding one... Look up stewardship in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Ida Tarbell’s 1904 work The History of the Standard Oil Company helped lead to the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States decision to break up the company on antitrust grounds. Similarly, Upton Sinclair’s 1906 book The Jungle led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Act and the Meat Inspection Act by the United States Congress. These can be seen as early attempts to mandate socially responsible corporate behavior. Ida Tarbell Ida Minerva Tarbell (November 5, 1857 - January 6, 1944) was an American author and journalist, known as one of the leading muckrakers. ... Standard Oil was an oil refining organization founded by John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) and partners beginning in 1863. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the... This article is about anti-competitive business behavior. ... Upton Sinclair Jr. ... For the episode of The Twilight Zone, see The Jungle (The Twilight Zone). ... The United States Meat Inspection Act of 1906 authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to order meat inspections and condemn any meat product found unfit for human consumption. ... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political...

The term CSR itself came in to common use in the early 1970s although it was seldom abbreviated. The term stakeholder, meaning those impacted by an organization's activities, was used to describe corporate owners beyond shareholders from around 1989.[2] The term stakeholder has two distinct uses in the English language: The traditional usage, in law and notably gambling, a third party who temporarily holds money or property while its owner is still being determined. ... A shareholder or stockholder is an individual or company (including a corporation), that legally owns one or more shares of stock in a joint stock company. ...

Many large companies now issue a corporate social responsibility report along with their annual report. The CSR report concentrates on their non-financial societal activities (usually positive contributions in nature).

The increased awareness of CSR has also come about as a result of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, in which a major goal is the increased contribution of assistance from large organizations, especially Multi-National Corporations, to help alleviate poverty and hunger, and for businesses to be more aware of their impact on society. There is a lot of potential for CSR to help with development in poor countries, especially community-based initiatives.

In the UK, the term "Corporate Responsibility"[3] is increasingly used instead of CSR, as a conscious move to expand the boundaries away from purely social or community issues to include broader areas of governance and environmental sustainability.

Definitions of CSR

There is no universally accepted definition of CSR. Selected definitions by CSR organizations and actors include:

  • "Corporate 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" World Business Council for Sustainable Development [4]
  • "CSR is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society." Mallen Baker
  • "Corporate social responsibility is undertaking the role of “corporate citizenship” and ensuring the business values and behaviour is aligned to balance between improving and developing the wealth of the business, with the intention to improve society, people and the planet" [1][2]
  • "CSR is a company’s commitment to operating in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner whilst balancing the interests of diverse stakeholders." CSR Asia
  • "Corporate social responsibility is the commitment of businesses to contribute to sustainable economic development by working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their lives in ways that are good for business and for development." International Finance Corporation [5]
  • "A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis." European Commission[6]
  • "There is one and only one social responsibility of business-to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud." (Milton Friedman) [7]

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) bis a CEO-led, global association of some 190 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. ... The International Finance Corporation (IFC) promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing countries as a way to reduce poverty and improve peoples lives. ... Berlaymont, the Commissions seat The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive branch of the European Union. ... Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American Nobel Laureate economist and public intellectual. ... The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) was established by a Royal Charter in 1880[1]. It has over 128,000 members. ...

Approaches to CSR

Some commentators have identified a difference between the Continental European and the Anglo-Saxon approaches to CSR.[9] Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands and, at times, peninsulas. ... Definitions of the Anglosphere vary: Countries in which English is the first language of a large fraction of the population are shown in blue. ...

An approach for CSR that is becoming more widely accepted is community-based development projects, such as the Shell Foundation's involvement in the Flower Valley[3], South Africa. Here they have set up an Early Learning Centre to help educate the community's children, as well as develop new skills for the adults. Marks and Spencer is also active in this community through the building of a trade network with the community - guaranteeing regular fair-trade purchases. Often alternative approaches to this is the establishment of education facilities for adults, as well as HIV/AIDS education programmes. The majority of these CSR projects are established in Africa. A more common approach of CSR is through the giving of aid to local organizations and impoverished communities in developing countries. Some organizations do not like this approach as it does not help build on the skills of the local people, whereas community-based development generally leads to more sustainable development.

Auditing and reporting

To demonstrate good business citizenship, firms can report compliance with a number of CSR standards, including: “Citizen” redirects here. ... Compliance can mean: Compliance (medicine), a patients (or doctors) adherence to a recommended course of treatment Compliance (physiology), a measure of stiffness in mechanical science and physiology Compliance (regulation), the act of adhering to, and demonstrating adherence to laws, regulations or policies, in management Category: ...

UN Global Compact's Communication on Progress (COP) is a company’s report to demonstrate the continual improvement of the implementation of the ten Compact's universal ten principles.[4] The triple bottom line, measuring organizational (and societal) success; economic, environmental and social. ... Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a multi-stakeholder process and independent institution whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally applicable Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. ... Sandworm from the cover of Heretics of Dune. ... Social Accountability International (SAI) is a global standard-setting organization for improving workplaces and communities. ... SA8000 is a global social accountability standard for decent working conditions, developed and overseen by Social Accountability International (SAI). ... The ISO 14000 environmental management standards exist to help organizations minimize how their operations negatively affect the environment (cause adverse changes to air, water, or land), comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements, and continually improve on the above. ... The United Nations Global Compact was announced by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in an address to The World Economic Forum on January 31, 1999, when he challenged business leaders to join the Global Compact to bring companies together with UN agencies, labour groups and civil society to support...

FTSE Group's FTSE4Good index is an evalution of CSR performance by assessing companies according to various criteria. [5] FTSE Group (Footsie) is a British indices and associated data services provider. ...

Some nations require CSR reporting, though agreement on meaningful measurements of social and environmental performance is difficult. Many companies now produce externally audited annual reports that cover Sustainable Development and CSR issues ("Triple Bottom Line Reports"), but the reports vary widely in format, style, and evaluation methodology (even within the same industry). Critics dismiss these reports as lip service, citing examples such as Enron's yearly "Corporate Responsibility Annual Report" and tobacco corporations' social reports. Sustainable development is a socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. ... This article is about characterizing and appraising something of interest. ... Meethodology is defined as the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline, the systematic study of methods that are, can be, or have been applied within a discipline or a particular procedure or set of procedures [1]. It should be noted that methodology is... Lip service is the name of the situation in which someone complies with a certain obligation, or expectation, they have been subjected to, to the minimum possible extent. ... Enron Creditors Recovery Corporation (formerly Enron Corporation) (former NYSE ticker symbol: ENE) was an American energy company based in Houston, Texas. ...

The business case for CSR

The scale and nature of the benefits of CSR for an organization can vary depending on the nature of the enterprise, and are difficult to quantify, though there is a large body of literature exhorting business to adopt measures beyond financial ones (e.g., Deming's Fourteen Points, balanced scorecards). Orlizty, Schmidt, and Rynes[10] found a correlation between social/environmental performance and financial performance. However, businesses may not be looking at short-run financial returns when developing their CSR strategy. Deming is the name of two places in the United States: Deming, New Mexico Deming, Washington Deming is also a surname: see Deming (surname) Deming is also a Chinese given name: Chen Deming Li Deming, founder of the Tangut state Sun Deming, name of Sun Yat-sen Edward Deming is... In 1992, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton introduced the balanced scorecard, a concept for measuring a companys activities in terms of its vision and strategies, to give managers a comprehensive view of the performance of a business. ...

The definition of CSR used within an organisation can vary from the strict "stakeholder impacts" definition used by many CSR advocates and will often include charitable efforts and volunteering. CSR may be based within the human resources, business development or public relations departments of an organisation[11], or may be given a separate unit reporting to the CEO or in some cases directly to the board. Some companies may implement CSR-type values without a clearly defined team or programme. Philanthropy is the act of donating money, goods, time, or effort to support a charitable cause, usually over an extended period of time and in regard to a defined objective. ... This group of political volunteers is working to promote voter turn-out. ... This article is about human resources as it applies to business, labor, and economies. ... Business development includes a number of techniques designed to grow an economic enterprise. ... // The term Public Relations was first used by the US President Thomas Jefferson during his address to Congress in 1807. ... Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the job of having the ultimate executive responsibility or authority within an organization or corporation. ... Wooden boards as used in construction. ...

The business case for CSR within a company will likely rest on one or more of these arguments: A business case is a structured proposal for business change that is justified in terms of costs and benefits. ...

Human resources

A CSR programme can be seen as an aid to recruitment and retention[12], particularly within the competitive graduate student market. Potential recruits often ask about a firm's CSR policy during an interview and having a comprehensive policy can give an advantage. CSR can also help to improve the perception of a company among its staff, particularly when staff can become involved through payroll giving, fundraising activities or community volunteering. Recruitment refers to the process of finding possible candidates for a job or function, usually undertaken by recruiters. ... Instance of retaining (e. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Payroll Giving - The Most Tax Effective Way to Give to Any UK Registered Charity British charities still lose a staggering £900 million to the taxman every year – giving through Payroll Giving could substantially reduce this loss. ... Fundraising is the process of soliciting and gathering money or other gifts in-kind, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies. ...

Risk management

Managing risk is a central part of many corporate strategies. Reputations that take decades to build up can be ruined in hours through incidents such as corruption scandals or environmental accidents. These events can also draw unwanted attention from regulators, courts, governments and media. Building a genuine culture of 'doing the right thing' within a corporation can offset these risks[13]. For the Parker Brothers board game, see Risk (game) For other uses, see Risk (disambiguation). ...

Brand differentiation

In crowded marketplaces companies strive for a unique selling proposition which can separate them from the competition in the minds of consumers. CSR can play a role in building customer loyalty based on distinctive ethical values[14]. Several major brands, such as The Co-operative Group and The Body Shop are built on ethical values. Business service organisations can benefit too from building a reputation for integrity and best practice. so businesses should be more responsible for their environment The Unique Selling Proposition is a marketing concept that was first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern among successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s. ... This article is about brands in marketing. ... The Co-operative Group, the trading name of Co-operative Group (CWS) Ltd, is a United Kingdom consumers co-operative, one of the largest consumer-owned businesses in the world. ... The Body Shop in Downtown Toronto, Canada. ...

License to operate

Corporations are keen to avoid interference in their business through taxation or regulations. By taking substantive voluntary steps they can persuade governments and the wider public that they are taking current issues like health and safety, diversity or the environment seriously and so avoid intervention. This also applies to firms seeking to justify eye-catching profits and high levels of boardroom pay. Those operating away from their home country can make sure they stay welcome by being good corporate citizens with respect to labour standards and impacts on the environment. Occupational safety and health is the discipline concerned with preserving and protecting human and facility resources in the workplace. ...

Critical Analysis

CSR from a Business Perspective

It is apparent that in today’s business practice, CSR is entwined in many multinational organizations strategic planning process. The reasons or drive behind social responsibility towards human and environmental responsibility is still questionable whether based on genuine interest or have underlining ulterior motives. Corporations are fundamentally entities that are responsible for generating a product and or service to gain profits to satisfy shareholders (Prof Malloy, 59). As Milton Friedman believes, there is no place for social responsibility as a business function. However a business still comprises people those posses both the humanistic and naturalistic view points. The humanistic view is that a deteriorating environment and planet is of no relevance in sustaining human life let alone a business. The naturalistic view is where we draw the line between exploiting our natural resources and destroying our fauna and flora for the sake of profiteering and sustainability (Grace and Cohen 2005,144). The need to create an ideal scenario that is “pareto efficient” may be the main reasons such mediators are there to adjudicate. Influence from the population, government and competitors are possible forces that can destabilize an organization should its motives or unethical processes become clear. Legal structures in place, are created to ensure international borders are not left exposed to multimillion dollar organizations self interest. Stringent laws and penalties are governed by legal bodies such as the International Court of Justice that are capable of sanctioning non abiding organizations (ICJ 2007).

CSR has been an issue of some debate. There are some people who claim that Corporate Social Responsibility cherry-picks the good activities a company is involved with and ignores the others, thus 'greenwashing' their image as a socially or environmentally responsible company. There are some other people who argue that it inhibits free markets.

Disputed business motives

Critics of CSR will attribute other business motives, which the companies would dispute. For example, some believe that CSR programmes are often undertaken in an effort to distract the public from the ethical questions posed by their core operations. Some that have been accused of this motivation include British American Tobacco (BAT) [15] which produces major CSR reports and the petroleum giant BP which is well known for its high profile advertising campaigns on environmental aspects of their operations. British American Tobacco Plc (LSE: BATS, AMEX: BTI, KLSE: BAT) is the second largest listed tobacco company in the world. ... This article is about the energy corporation. ...

Critics who believe that CSR is self interested

This group argues that the only reason corporations put in place social projects is for the commercial benefit they see in raising their reputation with the public or with government. They suggest a number of reasons why self-interested corporations, solely seeking to maximise profits are unable to advance the interests of society as a whole[16].

They would point to examples where companies have spent a lot of time promoting CSR policies and commitment to Sustainable Development on the one hand, whilst damaging revelations about business practices emerge on the other. For example the McDonald's Corporation has been criticized by CSR campaigners for unethical business practices, and was the subject of a decision by Justice Roger Bell in the McLibel case (which upheld some of these claims, regarding mistreatment of workers, misleading advertising, and unnecessary cruelty to animals). Similarly Shell has a much publicised CSR policy and was a pioneer in triple bottom line reporting, but was involved in 2004 in a scandal over the misreporting of its oil reserves which seriously damaged its reputation and led to charges of hypocrisy. Since this has happened the Shell Foundation has become involved in many projects across the world, including a partnership with Marks and Spencer (UK) in three flower and fruit growing communities across Africa. Sustainable development is a socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. ... McDonalds Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is the worlds largest chain of fast-food restaurants[1]. Although McDonalds did not invent the hamburger or fast food, its name has become nearly synonymous with both. ... Helen Steel and David Morris, the defendants in the McLibel case, at the launch of McSpotlight. ... Royal Dutch Shell plc is a multinational oil company of British and Dutch origins. ...

These critics generally suggest that stronger government and international regulation rather than voluntary measures are necessary to ensure that companies behave in a socially responsible manner.

Other views from this perspective include:

  • Corporations really care little for the welfare of workers or the environment, and given the opportunity will move production to sweatshops in less well regulated countries.
  • Companies do not pay the full costs of their impact. For example the costs of cleaning pollution often fall on society in general. As a result profits of corporations are enhanced at the expense of social or ecological welfare.

A sweatshop is a factory, where people work for a very small wage, producing products such as clothes, toys, shoes, and other consumer goods. ... Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ...

Hindrance of free trade

These groups are generally supporters of Milton Friedman who argued that a corporation's principal purpose is to maximize returns to its shareholders, while obeying the laws of the countries within which it works. Friedman argued that only people can have responsibilities[17]. Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American Nobel Laureate economist and public intellectual. ... The largest and the smallest element of a set are called extreme values, absolute extrema, or extreme records. ... A shareholder or stockholder is an individual or company (including a corporation), that legally owns one or more shares of stock in a joint stock company. ...

Because of this, moderate critics would suggest that CSR activity is most effective in achieving social or environmental outcomes when there is a direct link to profit. This approach to CSR requires that the resources applied to CSR activities must have at least as good a return as that that these resources could generate if applied anywhere else. This analysis drastically narrows the possible scope of CSR activities.

Critics who believe that CSR runs against capitalism would go further and say that improvements in health, longevity or the reduction of infant mortality have been created by economic growth attributed to free enterprise. Investment in less developed countries contributes to the welfare of those societies, notwithstanding that these countries have fewer protections in place for workers. Failure to invest in these countries decreases the opportunity to increase social welfare. For other uses, see Capitalism (disambiguation). ... Longevity is a term that generally refers to long life or great duration of life.[1] Reflections on longevity have usually gone beyond acknowledging the basic shortness of human life and have included thinking about methods to extend life. ... is the death of infants in the first year of life. ... World GDP/capita changed very little for most of human history before the industrial revolution. ... Free Enterprise is am economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods; investments that are determined by private decision rather than by state control; and determined in a free market. ... A developing country is a country with low average income compared to the world average. ... Welfare has several meanings: Welfare, the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc. ...

Drivers of Corporate Social Responsibility

It is difficult to concede if CSR may is purely driven by the intentions of corporate members to exert ethical conduct or is it a distraction and/or opportunity to over shadow or distracts society and consumer perception based on the amoral standing of an organization. Examining some of the following drivers may provide some answer to the principles.

Ethical Consumerism

Ethical consumerism can certainly be linked in shaping the methodologies of corporate processes and responsibility. The population has significantly increased in the last two decades placing great pressure on the resources required to meet the demands (Grace and Cohen 2005, 147). Technology has provided many new tools and resources that meet human needs. Industrialization in many third world countries is booming as a result of technology, in turn fuelling globalizations. Consumers are well aware of the risk associated with global warming and climate change however the correlation between what they buy and their day to day needs have no relevance. Society as a whole are aware of the CSR, but the on a day to day level fail to act on belief or relate to something that is intangible, and invisible. “Consumers relate to brands and not corporations” (Centaur Communications Ltd 2007). Examples are the number of people who still purchase Nike apparel when it is publicly known that third world nations are exploited in producing these goods. Resource industries continue to profits from mining of natural resources while the R&D on newer, cleaner technology has a far less focus given the environmental concerns even though evidence suggest that such technology will mean a competitive advantage (Fields 2002).

Globalization and Market Forces

There are major challenges in today’s corporate arena that impose limitations to the growth and potential profits of an organization. Government restriction, tariffs, globalization, environmentally sensitive areas and exploitation are problems that are costing millions of dollars for organization. It may be apparent that in some cases, ethical implications are simply a costly hindrance that potentially forces businesses to finding alternative means to shift viewpoints. It is certainly a potential strategic tactic to gain public support to sustain a competitive advantage. There is no doubting that social contributions provides a subconscious level of advertising that suggest that profit targeting may be the purpose and questions the ethical marketing techniques (Fry, Keim, Mieners 1986, 105) Globalization is certainly making it difficult for competition and many organizations are merging/acquiring other businesses with competitive and alternative core competencies. This not only prolongs sustainability but enables transition to other business landscapes that are subject to or limited in terms of complex cultural differences and laws. The ability to claim on one hand, to support communities in need of assistance and development, while on the other hand, providing jobs and opportunity for third world employees that virtually earn $1.00 if that, for every $100 dollars profited. Further to this, employment conditions are far worst compared to an average workplace of a 1st world nation (The Corporation 2006) The implications could be further interrogated to suggest that somewhere in a corporate home nation, employees of that nation would have lost their jobs to lower paid workers in a foreign land.

Social Awareness and Education

There is highly visible change in behaviour among corporate stakeholders as a result of high publicity on environmental and human right movements in present times. With global warming, and corporate behaviour so publicly available to broadcast, there appears to be a trend in social behaviour slowly changing from an individualistic mindset to a more holistic and collective reasoning. The Kyoto Protocol is an example of societies coming together and seeing the need for change on a global level (Bulkeley 2001). Peer pressure from society is paving the way business is conducted. Through education and dialogues the development of community in holding businesses responsible for their actions is growing (Roux 2007). Unlike the past, the public has taken a significant shift in holding businesses responsible for their actions. This in turn causes businesses to satisfy their customers’ needs. This view is also shared by Bansel and Roth (Bansal and Roth 2000). Amoral attitudes and behaviour are unaccepted by consumers who have the potential to impact the sustainability of the organization (Fields 2002, A143).

Corporate Behaviour and Culture

Another driver changing the behaviour and culture of employees is credited to ethics training. The aim of such activities is to help employees make ethical decisions when the answers are unclear. Organizations believe the rewards are demonstrated in the loyalty and pride employees hold towards the organization. This also equates to reducing the likelihood of “dirty hands” (Grace and Cohen 2005), fines and damaged reputations for breaching laws or moral norms. Caterpillar and Best Buys are examples of organizations that have taken such steps (Thilmany 2007). Tullberg believes that humans are built with the capacity to cheat and manipulate a view taken from (Trivers 1971, 1985), hence the need for learning normative values and rules in human behaviour (Tullberg 1996).

Government Laws and Regulation

Another plausible driver of CSR is by independent mediators to ensure that corporate goals don’t harm or disadvantage anyone or environment. This remark supported by Friedman feels demonstrates that governments themselves should set the agenda for social responsibility by the way of laws and regulation that will allow a business to conduct themselves without disadvantage or degradation. In many instances separate organizational bodies are established to administer the workings of fair-trading on a local and global front. The issues surrounding government regulations poses some problems; the first, regulation in itself is unable to cover every aspect of detail in a corporation’s process. This leads to the argument and interpretation of the law and the debatable “grey areas” (Sacconi 2004). General Electric is an example of a corporation that has failed to clean up the Hudson River after contaminating it with organic pollutants. They continue to argue via the legal process on the decisions of liability, while the cleanup remains stagnant. (Sullivan & Schiafo 2005). The second issue is the financial burden this places on an economy if such a corporation contributed significantly to the nation’s economy. This view shared by Bulkeley, who identifies the Australian Federal Governments actions to not comply with Kyoto in 1997, on the concerns of economic loss and national interest especially relating to the energy and resources industries. Signing the Kyoto pack would have caused significant economic losses than any other OECD nation (Bulkeley 2001, pg 436). The Bush administration is another government body, who is opposed to regulatory measures along with resistance from many big US businesses who think alike. The burden and inconvenience to stakeholder are unjustified (Fialka 2006).

Consequences and Events

Unfortunately many consequential events are a reason why CSR policies become evident. One of the most active stands against environmental management is the CERES Principle that eventuated after the Exxon Valdez incident in Alaska in 1989 (Grace and Cohen 2006). Many highly media publicized incidents have resulted in ethical and social responsibility by corporations to rectify the problems. The lead poisoning paint used by toy giant Mattel saw a recall of millions of toys globally, initiating new risk management and quality control processes. Mageline Metals in the West Australian town of Esperance was responsible for lead contamination killing thousands of birds in the area. The immediate cease of business and the cleanup was executed along with independent regulatory bodies called to provide assistance and assessment of the impacts.

This group may also point to:

  • The rule of corporate law that a corporation's directors are prohibited from any activity that would reduce profits
  • The burden of the existing social and environmental regulation that companies must comply with. Detractors of CSR point out that organizations pay taxes to government to ensure that society and the environment are not adversely affected by business activities.

See also

Business ethics is a form of the art of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business environment. ... A business philosophy or popular management theory is any of a range of accounting, marketing, public relations, operations, training, labor relations, executive time management, investment, and corporate governance approaches claimed (by their proponents, and sometimes only by their proponents and selected clients) to improve business performance in some measurable or... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Civil society is composed of the totality of voluntary civic and social organizations and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society as opposed to the force-backed structures of a state (regardless of that states political system) and commercial institutions. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Corporate benefit (sometimes referred to as commercial benefit) is the requirement under some legal systems that the directors of a company must exercise the powers[1] of the company for the commercial benefit of the company and its members. ... Corporate governance is the set of processes, customs, policies, laws and institutions affecting the way in which a corporation is directed, administered or controlled. ... Corporate Sustainability Corporate Sustainability is an evolution on more traditional phrases describing ethical corporate practice. ... A juristic person is a legal fiction through which the law allows a group of natural persons to act as if it were a single composite individual for certain purposes. ... For other uses, see Corporation (disambiguation). ... Customer Engagement (CE) refers to the engagement of customers with one another, with a company or a brand. ... The subject of this article may not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... An ethical bank, also known as social, alternative or sustainable bank, is a bank concerned about the social use of its investments and loans. ... Ethical consumerism is buying things that are made ethically. ... Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a multi-stakeholder process and independent institution whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally applicable Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. ... Within the international development community, an inclusive business is a sustainable business that benefits low-income communities. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... // A Key Corporate Responsibility Instrument What are the Guidelines? The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are one of the world’s foremost corporate responsibility instruments. ... Socially responsible investing describes an investment strategy which combines the intentions to maximize both financial return and social good. ... The Earth Day flag includes a NASA photo. ... The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film critical of the modern-day corporation, considering it as a class of person and evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world at large as a psychologist might evaluate an ordinary person. ... The United Nations Global Compact is an initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on them. ... Voluntary compliance is one of possible ways of practising corporate social responsibility. ...


  1. ^ University of New Mexico Management Presentation, Van Buren 2006
  2. ^ A brief history of social reporting, Business Respect 2003
  3. ^ An overview of Corporate Responsibility - Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales
  4. ^ WBCSD (2000). Corporate Social Responsibility: Making good business sense. World Business Council for Sustainable Development. ISBN 2-94-024007-8. 
  5. ^ http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/economics.nsf/Content/CSR-IntroPage
  6. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/csr/index_en.htm
  7. ^ Friedman (1962). Capitalism and Freedom. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-26421-1. 
  8. ^ http://www.icaew.com/index.cfm?route=127637
  9. ^ CSR in a Comparative Perspective, Williams and Aguilera, 2006
  10. ^ Orlizty, Schmidt and Rynes
  11. ^ Edinburgh University Careers Service
  12. ^ The Economist's CSR Survey
  13. ^ Risk: A model for multinationals
  14. ^ Ethics and Brand Value: Strategic Differentiation
  15. ^ Friends of the Earth Press Release April 2005
  16. ^ Hope vs Hype Article, Mother Jones magazine, 2003
  17. ^ The New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970
  • Bansal, P. Roth, R. 2000. Why Companies Go Green: A model of Ecological Responsiveness. The Academy of Management Journal, Vol.43, No.4, pg 717-736. [6]
  • Bulkeley, H. 2001 Governing Climate Change: The Politics and Risk Society. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, Vol 26, No4, pp 430-447. [7]
  • Fialka. J. 2006. Politics & Economics: Big Businesses Have New Take on Warming; Some Companies Move From Opposition to Offering Proposals on Limiting Emissions. Wall Street Journal. pg. A.4. [8]
  • Fields, S. 2002. Sustainable Business Makes Dollars and Cents. Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol 110, No.3, ppA142-A145. [9]
  • Fry, LW. Keim.GD. Meiners, RE. 1982. Corporate Contributions: Altruistic or for Profit? The Academy of Management Journal, Vol.25, No.1, pg.94 -106.[10]
  • Grace, D, Cohen, S.2005. Business Ethics; Problems and Cases. Australia. Oxford University Press. Roux, M, 2007. Climate conducive to corporate action; 1 All-round Country Edition The Australian. Canberra, A.C.T. pg. 14 [11]
  • Sacconi, L. 2004. A Social Contract Account for CSR as an…..Journal of Business Ethics, No.11, pg 77-96. [12]
  • Sullivan, N. Schiafo, R. 2005. Talking Green, Acting Dirty; [Op-Ed]. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)),pg. 14WC.23. [13]
  • Thilmany, J. 2007. Is Ethical Behaviour Shaping CSR. Supporting Ethical Employees. HR Magazine Alexandria. Vol. 52, iss.9, pg 105 -110.[14]
  • Tullberg, S. Tullberg, J. 1996. On Human Altruism: The Discrepancy between Normative and Factual Conclusions. Oikos, Vol.75, No.2,pg 327-329. [15]
  • CSR Network [16]
  • ICJ. International court of Justice [17]
  • Catalyst Consortium. 2002. What is Corporate Social Responsibility? [18]
  • Brand Strategy 2007.CSR FOCUS: 10 key things to know about CSR London. pg. 47. [19]
  • Malloy, D.C,Prof. Understanding the Nature of Ethics, and Purposes of Business Health Care and Law: Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) bis a CEO-led, global association of some 190 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. ... Capitalism and Freedom is a non-fiction book written by Nobel Prize in Economics recipient Milton Friedman. ... The University of Chicago Press is the largest university press in the U.S. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, dozens of academic journals including Critical Inquiry, and a wide array of texts covering...

External links

  • CorporateRegister.com Includes a global directory of companies with CSR reports

Other related areas

  • Net Impact
  • Dow Jones Sustainability Index
  • FTSE 4 Good Index Series

CSR Wire Services

  • CSRwire.com US news wire service specializing in CSR
  • CSRwire.ca Canadian news wire service specializing in CSR

Further reading

  • Carroll, A. and Buchholtz, A. (2003) Business and Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management. Thomson. Ohio
  • Carroll, A. (1998) The Four Faces of Corporate Citizenship. Business and Society Review, September, vol. 100, no. 1, pp. 1-7
  • Clarkson, M. (1995) A stakeholder framework for analyzing and evaluating corporate social performance. Academy of Management Review. Vol.20, pp.92 -117.
  • Davis, K. and Blomstrom, R. (1975) Business and Society: Environment and Responsibility, McGraw - Hill, New York.
  • Fombrun, C. (2000) The value to be found in corporate reputation The public's view of a company not only acts as a reservoir of goodwill, but also boosts the bottom line. Financial Times December 4 2000
  • Griffin, J. and Mahon, J. (1997) The Corporate Social Performance and Corporate Financial Performance Debate: Twenty five years of incompatible research. Business and Society. Vol. 36. pp.5 -31
  • Jastram, Sarah (2007): The Link Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Management. CIS Papers Nr. 17. Centre of International Studies Hamburg.
  • Maignan, I., Ferrell, O. and Tomas, G.(1999) Corporate Citizenship: Cultural Antecedents and Business Benefits. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Volume 27, No. 4, pages 455-469.
  • Maignan, I., and Ferrell, O. (2001) Corporate citizenship as a marketing instrument - Concepts, evidence and research directions. European Journal of Marketing. Vol.35 No.3/4 pp.457-484
  • Matten, D, Crane, A. and Chapple, W. (2003) Behind the mask: Revealing the true face of corporate citizenship. Journal Business Ethics Vol. 45, Issue1 pp109
  • Menon, A. and Menon, A. (1997) Enviropreneurial marketing strategy: the emergence of corporate environmentalism as marketing strategy. Journal of Marketing. Vol. 61, pp.51 - 67
  • Millennium Poll on Corporate Responsibility ‘Environics International Ltd’ in cooperation with The Prince of Wales Trust September 1999.
  • Jones, I., Pollitt, M., and D. Bek (2006) Multinationals in their communities: A social capital approach to corporate citizenship projects, University of Cambridge Working Paper 337, accessible from http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/pdf/WP337.pdf
  • Waddell, S. (2000) New institutions for the practice of corporate citizenship; Historical Intersectoral, and Developmental Perspectives'. Business and Society Review, Vol. 105, pp.323 - 345.
  • Wartick, S. and Cochran, P. (1985) The Evolution of the Corporate Social Performance Model. Academy of Management Review, Vol.10, pp.767.
  • Wheeler and Silanpaa (1997) The Stakeholder Corporation. This is an excellent introduction to the evolution of the concept and the different angles involved.
  • WBCSD (2001). The Business Case for Sustainable Development. World Business Council for Sustainable Development. ISBN 2-94-024019-1. 
  • WBCSD (2000). Corporate Social Responsibility: Making good business sense. World Business Council for Sustainable Development. ISBN 2-94-024007-8. 
  • WBCSD (1999). Corporate Social Responsibility: Meeting changing expectation. World Business Council for Sustainable Development. ISBN 2-94-024007-8. 
  • Wood, D. (1991) Corporate Social Performance Revisited. Academy of Management Review, Vol.4, pp.691 - 718.
  • European Commission - Employment and Social Affairs - CSR
  • The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility (Harvard Business Review): Michael Porter and Mark Kramer
  • Business Action for Africa: an international coalition of businesses and business organisations working together to end poverty.
  • Business Case Studies: Examples of CSR-related activities by corporations.
  • Investor Suffrage Movement: A novel approach for placing CSR back in shareholders' hands.
  • Canadian Critique of the Triple Bottom Line approach to measuring CSR
  • Looking at CSR in a cultural context
  • The Way it Works Information and implementation of existing practices of CSR
  • Inherent Rules of Corporate Behavior. Critiques corporate social responsibility as a naive approach.
  • Mother Jones Magazine Bill McKibben critiques CSR.
  • Milton Friedman article on why corporations should focus on profit alone.
  • Milton Friedman Was Right: "Corporate social responsibility" is bunk by Henry G. Manne
  • Center for Global, International, and Regional Studies History and Critique of Corporate Social Responsibility (PDF file)
  • Business and Society: The biggest contract: The Economist on advantages and limitations of CSR.

  Results from FactBites:
Corporate Social Responsibility (2115 words)
Nevertheless, the increasingly negative and very pervasive impact of global corporations in all aspects of social life and in the environment has been the catalyst in the emergence of a diversity of stakeholders demanding accountability about the impact of corporate activity in the life of the planet as a whole.
To be sure, corporations instinctually reject any type of social responsibility by arguing that that is the governments business; but ironically, they have made governments abandon their regulatory responsibility to procure the welfare of all ranks of society.
Therefore, the stakeholders are all the members belonging to the corporation's social environs, which contribute to, or are encroached by, the corporation's activity.
Core77 - Corporate Social Responsibility (2193 words)
Responsibility is defined in terms of accountability and blame, but we tend to shy away from the former and indulge in the latter--not only in a trivial, everyday basis, but also in reference to the greater well-being of ourselves and our natural surroundings.
CSR 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 the local community and society at large.
The rapidly growing field of CSR was initially a tactic used by major corporations aiming to pacify consumers' ethical concerns, with origins in the anti-corporate and anti-globalization protests of the late 1990s.
  More results at FactBites »



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