What is CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) To what is there a business case for CSR - Essay Example

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Corporate Social Responsibility Introduction Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the concept of making innovative decisions for the benefit of business through the integration of social, environmental and economic considerations. …
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Download file to see previous pages This definition is to be found in the Green Book, which is the first documentation regarding corporate social responsibility to be published in accordance with the European Union’s initiative.
From this definition it becomes obvious that companies consider social and environmental issues at the time of planning and implementing their activities. However, this entire exercise is conducted on a voluntary basis. The fundamental rules of conduct for companies are enshrined in the individual laws and regulations. However, the core of social responsibility rests on the fact that companies deliberate upon these issues in much greater detail and that their conduct is at a higher level than that enjoined by legislation (Kornfeldova & Myskova, 2012, p. 90). Moreover, CSR is best viewed in terms of its pillars. These are the social, environmental and economic pillars. The last of these, namely the economic pillar affects the local, national and global economies. It can be termed the fight against corruption, the support and development of employment, and the endeavour to mitigate unemployment (Kornfeldova & Myskova, 2012, p. 91).
The environmental pillar relates to company activities that are focused upon the environment. It denotes reduction in the adverse influence of company activities on the environment, the protection of natural resources, employment of environment friendly technologies, and reduction in emissions and other pollutants. The social pillar relates to education and the development of human capital, employment, benefits, equal opportunities and employment policies (Kornfeldova & Myskova, 2012, p. 91). Furthermore, organisations and companies can distinguish themselves from other entities by employing the device of corporate social responsibility. With regard to this device it is essential to realise that compliance is voluntary, as there is no legislative imperative. The ethics codes, statements or policies relating to the responsibilities of a company declare whether it adheres to the principles of CSR (Kornfeldova, 2011, p. 107). Arguments Opposing Corporate Social Responsibility Consumers will pay more for products that are the result of socially responsible outcomes of a business. For example, one research study, established that consumers noticed more value and benefit, regarding the offer emanating from a socially responsible firm. In such instances, it was observed that the consumers were agreeable to paying even an additional 10% for such products. Furthermore, social action that was distinguished by a direct effect upon the life of consumers was seen to have a greater positive effect than social action with an indirect effect (Ferreira, et al., 2010, p. 208). However, social action with an indirect effect on the lives of consumers will have a smaller positive effect. In some cases, CSR will be detrimental to corporate interests. The following discussion supports this argument. CSR has been criticised for adopting practices that serve to camouflage or divert public attention from corporate illness. It never discloses what transpires in the company on a clandestine basis. A glaring illustration of this deceit was provided by Enron, which had been described as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. This company was honoured with six environmental awards in the year 2000. Subsequently, it was disgraced and branded the most irresponsible company in the US. Enron boasted of some of the best policies relating to anti – corruption, climate change, and human rights; and its demise caused considerable ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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