First of all strategic CSR has to be differentiated from ethical and altruistic. Ethical CSR can be defined with the help of Caroll's pyramid of corporate social responsibility (Crane&Matten, 2003). It covers the fulfillment of the three basis parts: economic, legal and ethical responsibilities. This means that a company handles ethical CSR in a correct manner if it operates in accordance with the requirements of the stockholders, the government and society. Altruistic CSR handles the top of the pyramid, the philanthropic responsibilities. Companies do more than expected from society and often even spend a lot more for actions than they earn from them. In contrast strategic corporate social responsibility covers actions that are geared to a win-win situation among businesses and society. It aims the increase of the social welfare as well as a gain for firms which spend their capital for social or environmental issues, therefore it is strategic CSR with which „the company will make the most significant social impact and reap the greatest business benefits“ (Porter&Kramer, 2006, p.10).
First of all strategic CSR can help the firm with having financial success (Ven&Graafland, 2006). Krauthammer described that „CSR makes financial sense“, “a meta-analysis has revealed a link between the 'corporate social performance' and their 'corporate financial performance'“ (Krauthammer, 2009, p.4). This financial success relies often on the saving of resources and the use of more efficient methods.
Moreover the firm gains a positive reputation if it uses the right CSR actions. Ven and Graafland say that „environmental stewardship creates a reputational advantage that enhances marketing and financial performance“ (2006, p.5). In addition „several other empirical studies show that a good social reputation facilitates the support of consumers to buy or refrain from buying goods“ (Ven&Graafland, 2006, p.5). This certifies that strategic CSR gives the opportunity to improve the...
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