Corporate Social Responsibility - Literature review Example

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Corporate Social Responsibility What is Corporate Social Responsibility? From time immemorial, mankind has undertaken many forms of trade. These have flourished into organized forms called businesses. While a successful business is one wherein the businessman makes profit at the end of every year, a high profit is not all that makes a venture successful…
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Corporate Social Responsibility
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Download file to see previous pages This is what is now termed at Corporate Social Responsibility – an organization’s sense of responsibility to society, whether ecological, economical or social. (Schermerhorn 2010) The term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ was coined way back in 1953 by Howard R Bowen in his book ‘Social Responsibilities of the Businessman’. He may as well be considered the Father of Corporate Social Responsibility. (Mhatre 2010) According to the Financial Times Lexicon, Corporate Social Responsibility is a business approach that delivers benefits in threefold – economic, social and environmental, to all the stakeholders and as a result leads to sustainable development. (lexicon.ft.com) Corporate Social Responsibility covers a gamut of activities ranging from human rights and working conditions to environmental health and development of the economy. While Corporate Social Responsibility was initially just considered a fancy term for generosity, times have now changed. Globalization and the ensuing awareness about the deteriorating environment and other social and economic issues around the world have ensured that there is a space for more responsibility that rests with every organization. Whether it is social and economic issues such as poverty and lack of education for children in certain areas of the world or environmental issues such as global warming and the increased carbon footprint, every organization today is now expected to focus on a certain cause and give back to the community. It is not just about generosity or being charitable. It is about a more united world – one wherein organizations are making returns. So why not support those that do not have access to so many privileges? And why not take care of the environment we live in? This is the role that CSR plays today in the daily functioning of an organization. Spreading awareness and the word that there is a need for organizations with power and resources to help those who need it, and the environment we live in, for the benefit of one and all. Hay, Stavens and Vietor (2005) summarise the meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility in their book Environmental Protection and the Social Responsibility of Firms. According to them, CSR is “a consistent pattern in which private firms do more than they are required to, based on laws and regulations governing the environment, worker safety and health and financial contributions in the communities in which they operate.” (Hay, Stavens and Vietor 2005) This definition is perhaps the most comprehensive, expressing not only the variety of functions of Corporate Social Responsibility but also stressing on the fact that the organizations do more than they are just required to. Lord Holme and Richard Watts further adds to this perspective by stating, “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” (qtd. in Baker 2005). CSR has become a very integral part of every organization large or small, private or public. Schilling and Steensma (2001) is of the opinion that it shows to the public that the organizations are not just ruthless entities that function to make a fatter bottom line, but that they are also humans at the end of the day who care about others and the environmen ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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