Throughout time, humans have continually expressed the fears and concerns of their era through different forms of expression. These concerns have highlighted the plights and struggles of generations and give an understanding to their views of topical issues of their time. An issue prevalent today within our fast-paced and rapidly expanding society is one of Corporate Social Responsibility, with booming organisations finally having the spotlight shinning down on them, as they are forced to make the often not popular choice of maximising revenue or being socially responsible. Corporate social responsibility refers to the continuing commitment by companies to behave ethically and to contribute to economic development, while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their family, as well as the local community and society large. Whilst previously large companies were able to ignore their social responsibility and exploit their markets and suppliers, nowadays in an enlightened era of reporting and human rights these businesses are no longer able to conceal their unethical practices and are questioned on their action.1 Thus, we have revealed that the crux of the argument lies not only in a business’ drive to maximise profit but also in lieu of their increased publicity and public awareness to their ethical corporate practices.
“Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility. “2 (Bierce, 1911). This extract from renowned 1900’sreporter and writer Ambrose Bierce is effective in identifying the view that Corporate America and the world felt about corporate social responsibility. Bierce was indefinitely one of the first of many reporters to come, that challenged the facades of large companies who looked at ever point to exploit the working class or the poorly legislated surrounding countries. During this time Bierce fought against the exploitation of African American workers who were forced to work at below minimum pay in back breaking conditions. This was an abhorrent injustice by companies; however, with most of the public living blissfully unaware these reports of lack of social responsibility fell to deaf ears. John D. Rockefeller’s booming oil industry ‘Standard Oil’3 (Seymor E. Harris, 2012)has soon become a major topic of discussion in relation to the lack of social responsibility shown towards not only their workers but also natives around their oil sites. Standard Oil has been accused of exploiting cheap illegal labour in order to build the routes of their oil wells and in manipulating the rights of the natives of the land by forcing them to work also with minimal pay. Standard Oil was the biggest Oil industry in America in the early 1900’s and some believe is it due to the lack of regard for social responsibility, as they were able to obtain over 95% of the refining capacity in the United States due to their sheer pace in going through and setting up their sites.4 Standard Oil, dismantled in 1911 to form hundreds of separate entities that would continue the oil refinery job in the United States. And though they and Mr Rockefeller were never made accountable for their supposed obscene lack of social responsibility people worldwide are now coming to terms of how ethically wrong some of their practices were. This in fact led by many reporters is now looking to compensate misled natives who gave up their land around the Texas region. Therefore, we have been able to identify through the works of Bierce and Harris and other academic sources that though a business may not immediately have to account for their unethical practices, they or their predecessors will inevitably be liable due to this new age of reporting and human rights involvement.
On the other hand, companies nowadays have begun realise the advantages of being socially responsibly these days and have begun to