Corporate Social Responsibility
This essay will be based on corporate social responsibility (CSR). It should allow the reader to understand what CSR is, the importance of CSR and how it would influence customer activities. Themes that would be included in this essay will be the background of corporate social responsibility, history and the development of corporate social responsibility. The key concepts will also be explained and the different stakeholders which will be linked to corporate social responsibility. It could be argued that corporate social responsibility practices can affect wider society. As explained in Boddy (2011, p. 136) Ford managers who dealt with Pinto advocated that profit is more important than the safety of others. It could be argued that there may be many organisations that do not think about the welfare of their employees or consumers. As stated in Francisca Farache and Keith J. Perks (2010) “Legitimacy theory states that organisations can only secure their existence if they are perceived as operating within the values and norms of the society”. (Gray et al, 1996). Many people only gain awareness of corporate social responsibility or a lack of it when there is some kind of controversy which society has been exposed to as citied in Boddy (2011). There is no consensus on what constitutes virtuous corporate behaviour. Which leads to questions to corporations, is sourcing overseas to take advantage of lower labour costs responsible? Are companies morally obligated to insist that their contractors pay a ‘living wage’ rather than market wages? Are investments in natural resources in poor countries with corrupt governments always, sometimes or never irresponsible? Therefore in this essay I outline corporation behaviour and how CSR has a big impact on firms and consumer activities. Is it a good idea that BP admitted climate change before many of its competitors, or criticised for its poor record? Is it a good idea that Shell is removing oil in Nigeria which supports the nation’s development, but could also damage local communities? These issues arise over inputs, transformation and outputs. These are all questions that need to be answered in relation to CSR practices. There are a number of corporate social responsibilities that businesses have to follow for example, legal responsibilities. As explained in Boddy (2011) society expects managers to follow the law for example, by not misleading investors, taking advantage of staff or selling faulty goods. Regulations have been put in place since the Ford Pinto case so companies now take these responsibilities seriously so that what they do is legal and right in the domain of the public. Other corporate social responsibilities that corporations have to follow would be economic responsibilities. Economic responsibility is where businesses make a profit from their trade. For economic responsibilities, as cited in Boddy (2011) (Friedman, 1962, p. 3), Milton Friedman was clear that; “‘in a free economy’ there is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition, without deception or fraud” It could be argued that managers may only work towards legal and economical responsibilities. Friedman argued that managers should only be concentrating on making good return for shareholders. Looking at what Friedman said, Ford managers only wanted to make profit for the organisation. Therefore, it can be argued that the corporation and its managers need to make sure that goods are produced at satisfactory standards so that the business is making a profit and no bad media publicity is established. Also outlined in Boddy (2011) businesses have to also follow ethical responsibilities. Businesses have ethical responsibilities to their employees, customers and society as a whole. A...
Bibliography: Boddy.D with Paton.S (2011) Management An Introduction. 5th Edition. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.
Caroline.D, Simonsen.D and Wenstop.F (2013) ‘How stakeholders view stakeholdersas CSR motivators?’Social Responsibility Journal 7(1) pp. 137-147.
Farache.F and Perks.K.J (2010) ‘CSR advertisements: a legitimacy tool? ‘Corporate Communications: An International Journal 15(3) pp. 235-248.
Sarbutt. N (2003) ‘Can SMEs ‘do’ CSR? A practitioner’s views of the ways small –and medium sized enterprises are able to manage reputation through corporate social responsibility’Journal of Communications management 7(4) pp. 340-347.
I will discuss my personal experience when completing this task. By doing this task I have learnt about CSR as this is not a topic I have studied previously. I have learnt the importance of CSR in organisations and how customers consider ethical behaviours. I have also learnt how to use my research effectively because in this task I could only use limited sources. Furthermore, I could have improved my learning by having good management skills as this is an area where I struggled. Also I have not read journals before so understanding journals was another area where I struggled. Therefore, I need to make sure that for other tasks I undertake careful planning and make notes so that I can use in my writing. I will also need to start reading journals so I can adjust myself when reading future journals for my writing. I also feel that the main problem I had with this assignment was referencing. I need to watch tutorials online and read examples of referencing so it can help develop this skill. My main weakness would be time management as I did not allow myself to prepare for this essay. When given future work I must make sure that I organise my notes and research so that it helps when writing the actual essay. I must also make sure that I use the resources given to me and the best of my ability so that I can get a good overall grade. This task was difficult and I believe that I need to develop these skills so that I can pass this degree. I also believe that there is a big change coming to study at university and therefore I must be organised and manage my time effectively if I want to success on this degree.
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