Administration and Organization
Corporate Social Responsibility
The issue that will be addressed is whether or not corporate foundations are driven by a genuine demonstration of social responsibility or if the corporations are more concerned with the public relation involved and enhancing their own image. Without a doubt I believe a corporation’s involvement in their social responsibility is genuine. Corporate philanthropy is not designed to give the company direct benefits, but indirect benefits can’t be ignored with the enhancement of a corporation’s brand, engaging employees, and enticing potential consumers and employees. The amount of influence that a major corporation can have on society can be substantial financially, socially, and even politically. Yet the impact still varies hugely from business to business, and different corporations have different ideals and objectives with how they prioritize their social responsibility. To not sit on the fence with this issue can be tough to do because every corporation is different. A business firm’s missions and values should align with its CSR goals. In this day and age I believe that more and more corporations are putting a lot more emphasis on CSR. An increasing number of managers and executives are now coming to realize the benefits of being socially involved with their local and national communities. I will be narrowing down this question into the business practice of CSR. Corporate social responsibility has shifted over the past few decades from ideology to reality, and it has been developed into something that is part of every major corporation’s business strategy. The past half-century has provided nearly 40 identifiably distinct, academic definitions for CSR; and this number may be an underestimation (Carroll & Shabana, 2010). Coming up with a single definition for this is not possible. The most logical definition comes from the ability to combine all of the working definitions of the term. Carroll and Shabana (2010) view CSR as the intertwining of economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary responsibilities that a corporation has to its stakeholders. Without profit a company does not have the resources to uphold its social responsibility through foundations, and other means that a company tries to give back to the community. It is not wrong for profitability to be the motive behind managerial implementation of a CSR strategy. The more profitable a company is the more capable it will be to expand corporate philanthropy. Executives should avoid using philanthropy without strategy. Executives should be concerned with maximizing stakeholder value with everything that the business involves itself in, and maximizing stakeholder value shows that societal needs are being met. When a business provides services that meet the needs of society then that business puts itself in a position to be involved with social issues, and can open the door for a corporation to support or start a foundation that can make a huge contribution to society. Ethically, corporations involve itself with CSR because it’s the right thing to do, and you can’t ignore the indirect benefits as a result. Good corporate behavior is no longer an option but mandatory, and profitability and CSR are now inseparable.
There are many other reasons why businesses choose to engage in philanthropy activities. According to Carroll and Edmondson’s article (1999) the top three reasons are as follows: to protect and improve the environment in which they live, work, and do business; to practice good corporate citizenship, and to give back with little or no direct or indirect company interest. Like I stated before the CSR that is chosen creates great community wealth when it is matched up with the corporation’s mission statement. Chickfila does a tremendous job staying aligned with their mission and values.