Corporate social responsibility: altruism or necessity - Essay Example

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Corporate social responsibility: altruism or necessity? Essay April 4, 2013 2790 words Customer inserts his/her name Institution’s name By virtue of free trade and open economies, economic progress has been seen as a tool of poverty elimination and ensuring security for generations to come…
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Corporate social responsibility: altruism or necessity
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Download file to see previous pages This notion of corporate social responsibility has been heavily debated on in recent years so much so that researchers have called into question the existence of the “social” aspect in “corporate social responsibility”. The very mention of CSR calls into question the reason for business’ existence. Whether or not businesses should be responsible for the society and environment remains questionable since the primary purpose of a business is to satisfy its shareholders and generate profits. The conflicting economic and social aims often lead businesses into complex situations which require choosing between the two. The recent changes in regulatory environment, accounting procedures that are legally enforced, and pressure from stakeholder groups has given birth to greater disclosure of CSR data which means that companies are now including greater CSR related data into their reports. Especially after various ethical disasters (that called into question the environmental impact of firms’ activities) various companies have made it a practice to report on the ethical, social and environmental aspects of their operations. In other words, majority of the companies are now accountable to the society and the environment (whether morally or legally). ...
All social and environmental effects of the company’s economic operations are disclosed (also referred to as non-financial reporting) in order to obtain stakeholder’s trust and confidence in the company. CSR disclosure, therefore, entails reporting of CSR activities, assessing the effectiveness of these activities and assessing whether the current resources being used are sustainable. Research shows that companies engage in such disclosure for two main reasons: achieving a competitive edge by enhancing employee morale and goodwill and pressure by external stakeholders such as governments, environmental agencies etc. Not adhering to the latter’s demands would mean a loss in company’s goodwill and, hence, profits. In a study of 190 organizations in the oil and gas sector, it was discovered that greater transparency of CSR data correlates with enhanced CSR reputations of the companies3. Furthermore, mature and financially stable companies took the lead in terms of CSR reputation compared to the newly established startups4. Hence, it is prudent to assume that companies that engage in CSR disclosure are, in effect, financially strong as well. The research confirmed that CSR reporting was merely a means of publicity and that any publicity ultimately benefits companies in the end5. Research also confirms that the company’s social performance and return on equity are positively related6. Furthermore, research suggests that the motivation behind CSR reporting is mainly legal. In most countries, it is a necessary requirement to report CSR activities along with financial reports. In a study of Libyan companies ( in manufacturing, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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