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Corporate Social Responsibility - Essay Example

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Summary
This essay analyzes that corporations are facing more and more pressure to answer consumer fears about how the markets impact upon society and the environment. One of the ways in which they have tried to do this is through the promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility…
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Corporate Social Responsibility
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Corporate Social Responsibility

Download file to see previous pages... In looking at the opposing views of the market in society, questions still remain: is CSR compatible with the demands of shareholders? Is CSR a genuine movement, or a company PR exercise? Can a company be profitable while also being socially aware?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a phrase used regularly by companies when they attempt to assure people of their ethical intentions. The EU’s report on ‘Implementing the partnership for growth and jobs’ defines CSR as:
Consumer concerns about the ethical treatment of the poor and exploitation of the Third World have made the promotion of social and ethical statements in business procedures essential. However, many in the consumer movement now feel that CSR is a sham, and a corporate PR exercise designed to whitewash the continuing exploitation of the vulnerable and poor.
The question this essay attempts to argue concerns how compatible CSR is with the traditional role of companies, which is to make money for their shareholders. The issue of Corporate Social responsibility seems to be between those who feel that companies are part of society, and others who are more inclined to concur with Milton Friedman’s belief that the only social responsibility that a business has is to its shareholders: “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits” (Friedman, 1970). By looking firstly at how government has supported the CSR movement, then at the positive elements of CSR, with reference to increasing profits and ‘Social profit’, and finally at the opposition to CSR from both businesses and consumer movements, this essay hopes to establish whether Corporate Social Responsibility interferes with the ability of companies to make a profit, or whether it is a recognition of a larger social movement to improve the values and ethics of society. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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