This paper will discuss CSR historical development in Europe and specifically in Italy. After the historical background, several ways to analyze financial performance and CSR policies development within the firm will be presented. In the Italian market an analysis of 2 firms, that have already developed a strong CSR value system, will be provided in order to understand how stakeholders perceive value and how a company is able to link it to positive financial performance.
Introduction to Corporate Social Responsibility
The Concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is as “integration made by firms, on a voluntary basis, of social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their relationships with stakeholders”. Adherence of firms to CSR creates socially responsible business strategies to reach sustainable development.
In the past, the casual research of the relationship between CSR and a firm’s financial performance has been the subject of debate. To date, there is no uniformity of opinion on the relationship between financial performance and CSR.
Ethics & Economics
Public opinion and educational institutions tend to remove or reduce attention to many ethical and moral constraints because of a mistaken sense of the uselessness of such constraints.
However ethical issues are in all aspects of social life, because social life is based on values, and values influence actions. Unfortunately economics is often considered a separate science with its own laws, free from moral constraints to more easily create greater wealth and jobs. In reality, the pure logic of economic and financial structures, if not related to appropriate moral values, may eliminate ethical choices and reduce people to achieving only the maximum economic profit instead of contributing also to the quality of social life.... [continues]
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