Corporate Social Responsibility

Topics: Corporate social responsibility, Business ethics, Ethics Pages: 10 (3238 words) Published: June 3, 2008
Living Dangerously in Two Worlds

In my paper I will be discussing the topics related to corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility (CSR, also called corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, and responsible business) is a concept whereby organizations consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, communities and other stakeholders, as well as the environment. This obligation is seen to extend beyond the statutory obligation to comply with legislation and sees organizations voluntarily taking further steps to improve the quality of life for employees and their families as well as for the local community and society at large. In order to fully explain how a company does this I will discuss the development required, the approaches a company will take, the auditing and reporting process, the business benefits, critical analysis, and the reasons that drive a company to take such actions. The practice of CSR is subject to much debate and criticism. Proponents argue that there is a strong business case for CSR, in that corporations benefit in multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate, short-term profits. Critics argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing; still others argue that it is an attempt to pre-empt the role of governments as a watchdog over powerful multinational corporations. Also the company spends a huge sum of money to create a good image to the public. It is looked at, as a step to further there company and not in reality to truly take the corporations responsibilities and try and help the environment. In other aspects that is what a company is; a company exists too solely to generate a profit and must go as far a spending a gigantic sum of money to better the image of a company. It is the same thing as advertising but instead of creating creative ideas and pushing the idea all over mass media it is spending that money on helping its surrounds in order to further the companies’ public view.

Business ethics is a form of the art of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business environment. In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws. Business ethics can be both a normative and a descriptive discipline. As a corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. In academia, descriptive approaches are also taken. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the degree to which business is perceived to be at odds with non-economic social values. Historically, interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, today most major corporate websites lay emphasis on commitment to promoting non-economic social values under a variety of headings. In some cases, corporations have redefined their core values in the light of business ethical considerations. The term CSR itself came in to common use in the early 1970s although it was seldom abbreviated. The term stakeholder, meaning those impacted by an organization's activities, was used to describe corporate owners beyond shareholders from around 1989.

Some commentators have identified a difference between the Continental European and the Anglo-Saxon approaches to CSR. And even within Europe the discussion about CSR is very heterogeneous. An approach for CSR that is becoming more widely accepted is community-based development projects, such as the Shell...
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