Intergrating Csr as a Strategic Tool for Competitive Advantage

Topics: Corporate social responsibility, Business ethics, Social responsibility Pages: 9 (2976 words) Published: February 22, 2011
Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility as a Strategic Tool for Competitive Advantage Dr. Parul Khanna
MBA, Ph.D Assoc. Prof. & Dean R&D Institute of Management & Technology,Faridabad

Ms. Chhavi Mathur
Research Scholar Global School of Business



Introduction: Today, we live in an age in which companies, businesses and society are more connected and interactive than ever before in the past. Corporations are more aware of their role towards the society. They are responsible bodies that feel a sense duty towards commonwealth and the environment that comes with a growing realisation that they, as an integral part of this society themselves, can contribute to its upliftment and empower of the entire country in turn. And consumers and citizens' campaigns can make all the difference. This is the foundation thought behind the golden handshake between tripartite—companies, society and nation; Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. In one of the recent natural disasters to hit India, Tsunami, the devastation and misery caused by the sudden, massive inundations of the Indian Ocean touched all. The devastation was huge and millions of people around the world spontaneously made huge donations in order to make immediate relief possible. Not only did private individuals put their hands into their pockets, but also many corporations and governments made donations on a very large scale. What was remarkable is how quickly so much aid has been made available. This was the fund that brought tsunami affected areas back on their feet. That was Corporate Social Responsibility in action. In so many other ways one gets to see CSR in practice---environment friendly projects, constructing schools, encouraging education--- just some of the ways that organizations are giving back to the community, a part of their profits in a manner that the community benefits. In comparison to individual efforts and even just government effort is not enough to bring changes at a pace that it is actually needed. Fortunately, with the popularity of CSR, more and more companies now perform in non-financial arenas such as human rights, business ethics, environmental policies, corporate contributions, community development, corporate governance, and workplace issues. Now, social and environmental performances are considered side by side

with financial performance. From local economic development concerns to international human rights policies, companies are being held accountable for their actions and their impact. Companies are also more transparent in disclosing and communicating their policies and practices as these impact employees, communities, and the environment. Making profits is about “what you do” whereas CSR is about “what you are”. If one accepts that CSR is becoming an essential ingredient of any successful business, it stands to reason that in future all stable and sustainable businesses will have developed strategies for managing their social impact and will have incorporated such thinking into every level and aspect of their business. However, even if one is armed with a complete understanding of what CSR is and truly intends to improve CSR in their own organisation, the practical application of a lasting and effective corporate citizenship programme is a significant undertaking that will, by definition, affect all of an organisation’s internal and external stakeholders. Additionally, as society’s expectations of the corporation steadily increase, “to be taken seriously, companies must be able to show that their CSR strategy is more than good PR”. Key Words: Corporate Social Responsibility, Strategic Approach, Competitive Advantage

What is CSR? In recent years, “the corporate sector has grown in economic and social importance in the developed world as state economic control has shrunk. Companies have become larger...
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