What is CSR? To what extent is there a business case for CSR?
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the phrase ‘Corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) came into public view. This essay will describe that what CSR is and how much profits will be taken in business for CSR. Nowadays, companies not only sell their products but also give back to the society such as being active in the charity drive, solving environment problems, spending money to making infrastructure and helping other people achieve their dreams. There are two sounds about whether a company should engage in CSR. Some people argue that money cannot be put into CSR because the only factor of business must be to maximize profits. However, on the other hand, other people state that social responsibility is a very important part of business activities. Because they believe companies cannot just make money without give back to the society. For example, Carnegie (1835-1919) believed that companies had an obligation to give back to the society, so he donated to the education and peace. The purpose of this section is to further the meaning of what is CSR. As McWilliams, Siegel and Wright (2006) believed, CSR refers to the enterprise bears legal responsibility to the shareholders and make profits at the same time. Furthermore, it has to be responsible for employees, consumers, community and environment. With the economic and social progress, the enterprise is not only responsible for profit, but also to the environment, and bearing corresponding social responsibility. For these reasons, it is argued that first of all, the enterprises should undertake their economic responsibilities, such as expanding products and reducing the cost as much as possible. Moreover, the enterprises should make the correct decisions also protect the rights and interests of their stakeholders. Consistent with McWilliams and Siegel (2001), CSR could be defined as conditions where the firm eradicates obedience and participates in ‘actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law’. After that, enterprises have to abide by all the laws and regulations, including environmental protection, consumers' rights law and the labourers’ protection. Thus, companies should accelerate industrial technology upgrade, making optimization of the industrial structure, developing the environmental enterprises, increasing their employment abilities. Finally, it is the responsibility to charity, such as supporting community education, healthy and humane care, culture and art, urban construction and the project development, and, in addition, helping communities to improve public environment and voluntary works for the community. For example, McDonald’s, which is one of the biggest companies in the world, shows that they recognise their responsibility to ‘Protect and preserve the environment for future generations to come’ on the official website (McDonald’s UK, 2012). Website visitors could find the information clearly that McDonald’s do CSR by four parts such as Environment, RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities), McDonald’s Piccadilly sign and Open farm. For instance, McDonald’s collect the used cooking oil and recycle it into their delivery fleet runs on. Furthermore, they state that all their restaurants use low energy lamps and have light level sensors installed to control external lighting. This case indicates that company realize that CSR is an important part in their daily operations. There are some advantages and disadvantages about CSR in business. To the extent that there are some benefits could be realized through enterprises engage in CSR. CSR is company gives back to the society, for instance, at the football match 2010 Italian Cup Final, NIKE decided to use the red match ball to support efforts of fight HIV in Africa (NIKE, INC., 2010). Before that, Didier Drogba, the famous football player, have had taken part in such activities in...
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