Tutorial 1-Read the ETHICS FEATURE. Corporate Social Responsibility for Competitive Advantage. Summarize the reasons why companies are adopting corporate social responsibility initiatives. What arguments support the pursuit of social initiatives by business organizations and what arguments suggest that the role of business is primarily to make profits? My view:
The Corporate Responsibility (CSR) debate is very topical. In the past when considering corporate philanthropy (charitable giving by companies), opinion tended to divide into those who considered is appropriate that companies (as the creators of economic wealth) should reasonably direct some resources towards good causes of their choosing; and those who vehemently oppose such practices on the grounds that company managers are not elected to address societal problems, are not mandated to make choices between social priorities, and are not empowered to give away other peoples’ money (i.e., that belonging to their shareholders). This debate is still relevant, though usually resolved by the value-judgments of the debaters – there are no absolute rights and wrongs. However, what makes the issue particularly topical is the growing number of pressures on companies to manage and protect corporate reputation as a resource, partly by investing in social initiatives. These pressure points include: customers, suppliers, employees, managers themselves, shareholders, media, and external lobby groups. Importantly, the debate has moved beyond pressures to make charitable donations into the challenge to companies to (a) make good damage they have done at various points in the value chain, without waiting for legal coercion to be applied; and, (b) incorporate social initiatives and goals within the core value proposition. Currently, attention is focused on environmental issues and the employment conditions of those who work in manufacturing and distributive organizations in the value chain. In the first instance, companies...
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