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Corporate Social Responsibility

Essay by   •  February 22, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,508 Words (11 Pages)  •  2,063 Views

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Corporate Social Reasonability is a commitment by a corporation to develop socially responsible policies in the areas of work and family life, community welfare, ecology and human rights. Business today has recognized that in order to be successful they must earn the respect and confidence of their customers.

Although the bottom line is the concern of any business, companies have now recognized that they have a social and moral obligation to care for the citizens of the world in which they profit.

Socially responsible corporations exist because they manage their business processes to produce a positive impact on society. The demand for easing societies problems, such as homelessness, gun violence, child abuse and human rights has grown tremendously. Simply put...Corporate Social Responsibility is about business giving back to society (Friedman).

Depending on the type of company and its location, employees, environment and general welfare of the community reflect the commitment of the company. In the global environment we live in today, there is pressure on business to participate or suffer the consequences of consumer boycotts and loss of product loyalty. Companies all over the world have come to recognize that unless they are able to sustain a reputation as a good corporate citizen by improving the lives of their employees, safeguarding the environment and communities, their profitability will suffer.

Socially responsible business strategies and practices that support and advocate a commitment to society have shown that they are beneficial to corporate profitability - the bottom line.

It wasn't always this way. Following World War II, corporate philanthropy had already become part of doing business and made companies appear to have a real concern for their fellow man. The growth of government regulators and public interest watchdogs from the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Sierra Club created a high level of interest in examining business ethics, the stardard by which a companies behavior was evaluated (Makower).

Between 1969 and 1972 what has come to be called the "Big Four" regulatory agencies - the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (SPSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were all founded (Makower).

The development of these agencies shifted the thinking of social responsibility and companies became socially responsive because of the regulatory demands that these agencies required them to comply with.

Although corporate executives at this time were in agreement that they must convey the message of Corporate Social Responsibility to their management and employees, it was still some time before Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies were as commonplace as they are today.

By the 1980's a number of forces came into play to bring the issue of CSR to the ordinary citizen. The "Consumer Movement", increased awareness of company policies and groups were formed to study and understand corporate behavior and the effect it was having on consumers as well as their stockholders. Ralph Nader (Nader's Raiders) and other public interest groups formed and started to take a deeper look into corporation.. They began to question many of their motives with a strong focus on environmental responsibility (Makower).

Following the Regan and Bush years and the creation of low paying low skilled job without benefits, people began to question the multimillion dollar executive bonuses and the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

As the Baby Boomers who grew up in the free speech, civil rights movements and Vietnam and Watergate era have reached the top corporate job and boardrooms, the CSR philosophy has come of age and is a very important component of any successful company today. This generation is more socially aware and wants to be successful and admired for being champions of CSR

One might think with all of the good that CSR can do that there would be no opposition to it. Some stockholders of major corporations, although not completely opposed to the idea, do feel that they have a vested interest in where their money is being spent and feel that the corporation needs to be more accountable to them on where and how the funds are allocated (Baker).

I feel that CSR is definitely something that all major Corporations need to get involved with because it is the right thing to do. CSR appears to be somewhat of an oxymoron, at least to the reason that it implies that a company's responsibility to society can take priority over its responsibility to make money for its shareholders. When you are dealing with these major corporations there is an abundance of money for each side whether it be there responsibility to give back to society or to make money for the companies shareholders. Corporate law generally dictates that managers and directors of publicly traded companies, in the decisions they make and the actions they take, must always put their shareholders' financial interests above all other interests (Crook). Whether those interest are social interests, environmental interests, employees' interests, consumers' interests and the public interest. Despite the popularity of the idea, there is actually no imperative for companies to put their shareholders' financial interests above all other considerations. A lot of these big companies have responsibilities to only their shareholders, but also to their employees, customers and suppliers, to potential investors and to regulators acting on behalf of society as a whole. Even with these oppositions towards CSR, I still feel that it is a very vital part of each company to show their responsibility of giving back to society and the environment.

Corporate Social Responsibility is on the top of many major corporations list of things to do. CSR is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society. A lot of major corporations such as Starbucks, Motorola, and Anheuser -Busch, have demonstrated a great commitment to their social responsibilities. Corporate Social Responsibility is all about the business doing good for society, and when you look in depth to these major corporations you can see that they do just that.

Starbucks Coffee is one of the biggest and most lucrative coffee businesses ever created and they are a great example of a company that doesn't forget about their social responsibilities. For more than 30 years, Starbucks has built enduring relationships with coffee growers to give us direct and exclusive access to



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