This essay will be centrally focused on Corporate Social Responsibility - which is becoming more and more important as globalization is becoming achieved and resources are becoming limited. The research for this essay has been derived from a multitude of platforms such as journals, books and websites. It is concluded that there are multiple elements and levels that make up CSR, and that CSR is vital to organisations and societies.
Word Count: Body – 2095
Total (Abstract, Body and References) 2440
Sean Stead – H00151983
“What is management?” - management aims to meet objectives through organizing, directing, planning and controlling the activities of employees (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 1994, Ethical Decision Making and Cases 2nd ed, Houghton Mifflin, page 39), which is essential to the success of any organisation. One way in which an organisation can meet its objectives is through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This essay will be centrally focused on CSR. CSR has been described by The International Organisation of Standardization (ISO) as ‘a balanced approach for organisations to confront economic, social and environmental issues in such a way that aims to benefit people, communities and society’ (Denis Leonard & Rodney McAdamn, 2003, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, vol 36, issue 10, pg 27). An effective CSR strategy is essential to any business as they yield many benefits. CSR covers a wide range of elements, which all aim to enhance the lives of stakeholders, environment and societies (S. Idowu 2009). As there are different elements to CSR; businesses may have differing emphasis on the respective elements.
Social Responsibility can be broken down into four individual levels; economic, legal, ethical and voluntary (Ferrel & Fraedrich 1994). Combinations of these four separate levels will create different levels of CSR. The most basic is an organisation’s economic responsibility. This is simply to produce a good/service and sell it to the public at a suitable price, which yields sustainable profit. Such responsibility will be undertaken by somewhat all businesses in every sector, as it is key to success. Legal responsibility are actions that are enforced upon the organisation by law, the New Companies Act 2013 has had a strong focus on CSR. As a result, a committee is being established which will enforce companies in India to spend 2% of their average net profits on CSR (http://indiacp.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/CSR-Companies-Bill-2012.html). This is an outcome of governments realizing how important CSR is to organisations and societies. It has also been recognized that it is essential to have people to enforce CSR. In addition, ethical responsibilities are actions that are expected from an organisation (i.e. societies expectations), but are not legally required to occur by law (Ferrel & Fraedrich 1994). The term ‘ethics’ refers to someone’s values and their justification (Solomon 2011). Examples of such could be respecting people, avoiding social harm and prevent social harm (Jamil and Mirshak 2007). Finally, voluntary responsibilities are actions which the company execute as society would like them to. An example of voluntary is giving large donations to charities or establishing schools in third world countries. According to Dima Jamali and Ramez Mirshak; Microsoft have made statements that “their public responsibility to promote and develop IT skills in Lebanon” (Dima Jamili and Ramez Mirshak, 2007, ‘CSR:Theory&Practice in a Developing Country Context’, ’Journal of Business Ethics’ vol 72 no 3 page 243-262).
Over the years a lot of research has taken place on strategies for developing corporate social responsibility. As a result of the research, Archie Carroll established the “Pyramid of CSR”, which contained: obstructionist, defensive, accommodative and proactive (Mariana Cristina, 2012, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility – a strategy to create and consolidate…