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Corporate Social Responsibility - Essay Example

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The practice of CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility as a paradigm for firms and businesses to follow has evolved from its early days as a slogan that was considered trendy by some firms following it to the present day realities of the 21st century where it is no longer just…
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Corporate Social Responsibility
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Download file to see previous pages Hence, the great economist and the founder of the Chicago school of economics, Milton Friedman’s article about social responsibility (1970) and his famous statement that “The social responsibility of business is to increase profits” needs re-examining and revaluation in light of the changed circumstances under which businesses find themselves now (Friedman, 1970). The themes around which this paper is woven are the point made above as well as the fact that businesses can no longer be content with market based solutions for societal problems in view of the fact that the ongoing global economic crisis has brought into sharp focus the inability of markets to solve the pressing problems, leave alone the minor ones. Hence, this paper argues that CSR is no longer a catchphrase or a fancy slogan but something that is both necessary and required of businesses if the 21st century is to live up to the expectations of the present generation that has been called the 21C generation or the “transition” generation (Martin, 2007: 80).
The reason why companies must look beyond profits is also due to the peculiar situation that humanity finds itself in the second decade of the 21st century. Given the political, economic, social and environmental crises that humans as a race are confronting, corporations have a role to play since they contribute the most to the economic well being of humanity and in turn influence the political and social trends (O’Riordan & Fairbrass, 2008: 752). Friedman’s article was written at a time when the world was still largely black and white and the multicoloured hues that make up the business landscape and which confront the world in all their complexity were yet to be manifest (Kennedy, 2001: 56). Hence, Friedman’s injunction about the business of businesses is to make profits seems a bit outdated given the fact that the critical problems facing humanity today ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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