Tuason, Mara Alessandra I.
Reflection paper on the “Corporate Social Responsibility in the Encyclical ‘Caritas in Veritate’”
According to Benedict XVI, in his encyclical, “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is seen as a natural ethical responsibility, which does not come from abstract principles, nor is limited to management skills; which derives from the objective or purpose of the company and its role in society. Which is based in justice and charity; is voluntary; focuses on the human person; is not identified with social action or philanthropy; and which is very demanding for those leaders who wish to put it into practice.”
Based on my understanding of the Pope’s stand on CSR, CSR policies function as intrinsic means where firms are able to ensure their conformity to the ethical standards and moral norms of the society. However, more than the abstract principles, CSR transcends such into practical application wherein the focus of firms from profit would be somehow shifted to the human person per se. With that, CSR aims to make and encourage a positive impact outside the firms through social responsibility-related activities on the environment and the community –which includes the consumers, employees, and its stakeholders. Such activities are fruits of the firms’ initiatives based on justice and charity, given that the firms have this sense of responsibility to contribute towards development and to promote the common good.
To have a better grasp of the encyclical passage earlier, let us use the four different CSR angles (Argandona, 2010) in dismantling its key points to have a clearer definition of CSR.
According to Argandona, CSR has already been approached using the Ethical perspective where “companies have a responsibility for the effects their actions have on themselves and on the environment, and this responsibility is ethical, not legal”. CSR which is seen as a natural ethical responsibility would then...