Types of Corporate Social Responsibility
Traditional views about competitiveness, survival and profitability are being swept away. In the past, governments have relied on legislation and regulation to deliver social and environmental objectives in the business sector. Shrinking government resources, coupled with a distrust of regulations, has led to the exploration of voluntary and non-regulatory initiatives instead.
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- What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?.
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There is a growing demand for corporate disclosure from stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees, communities, investors, and activist organizations. There is evidence that the ethical conduct of companies exerts a growing influence on the purchasing decisions of customers. In a recent survey by Environics International , more than one in five consumers reported having either rewarded or punished companies based on their perceived social performance. Investors are changing the way they assess companies' performance, and are making decisions based on criteria that include ethical concerns.
A separate survey by Environics International revealed that more than a quarter of share-owning Americans took into account ethical considerations when buying and selling stocks. More on socially responsible investment can be found in the 'Banking and investment' section of the site. Employees are increasingly looking beyond paychecks and benefits, and seeking out employers whose philosophies and operating practices match their own principles.
In order to hire and retain skilled employees, companies are being forced to improve working conditions. As stakeholders are becoming increasingly interested in business affairs, many companies are taking steps to ensure that their partners conduct themselves in a socially responsible manner.
Some are introducing codes of conduct for their suppliers, to ensure that other companies' policies or practices do not tarnish their reputation. Some of the positive outcomes that can arise when businesses adopt a policy of social responsibility include:. After all, you have to spend money to make money. People like to work for companies that prioritize employee development , have strong core values, and facilitate positive change in the world around them. Enabling employees to make an impact on their environment creates a sense of unity, both within the company and within the local community.
Employees also become more engaged in their work when they feel valued by their employers. And, the more engaged employees are, the more productive they will be. And, modern customers have spoken— they want to buy from socially responsible brands. Remember, when you give back to your employees, your community, and your environment, your customers will give back to you.
Socially responsible companies generate positive buzz by word-of-mouth marketing and earn the authentic trust and respect of their audience.
On the other hand, companies with unethical business practices that harm their employees, the environment, or their community are often scrutinized in the public eye via social media where users are quick to jump on the bandwagon known as cancel culture. Of course— these benefits are secondary to more important social and environmental benefits, which of course depend upon the specifics of your CSR program. Drive brand awareness?
Be sure to communicate your CSR blueprint to everyone at your company, and provide frequent updates as you put your strategy in motion. To start, identify social and economic initiatives that align with your companies core values. A natural CSR initiative would be to minimize the environmental impact of your shipments by reducing package size, using eco-friendly packing materials, and working with shippers that use low-emission transportation methods.
We recommend you facilitate candid conversations with some of your best customers and get their insight into your CSR program.
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Use social media and other outward-facing marketing channels to solicit ideas from your audience and keep them informed on how they can be a part of your CSR initiatives. Bimbo , the largest bakery in Mexico , is an excellent example of this theater. The company strives to meet social welfare needs. It offers free educational service to help employees complete high school. Bimbo also provides supplementary medical care and financial assistance to close gaps in the government health coverage. Moreover, the third theater program aims to transform the business model.
Basically, companies create new forms of business to address social or environmental challenges that will lead to financial returns in the long run. One example can be seen in Unilever's Project Shakti in India. The authors describe that the company hires women in villages and provides them with micro-finance loans to sell soaps, oils, detergents, and other products door-to-door.
This research indicates that more than 65, women entrepreneurs are doubling their incomes while increasing rural access and hygiene in Indian villages. As a consequence, the company wants to introduce a new model to collect and recycle old furniture.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Definition, Benefits, Examples, and Tips
Corporations are keen to avoid interference in their business through taxation or regulations. A CSR program can persuade governments and the public that a company takes health and safety , diversity and the environment seriously, reducing the likelihood that company practices will be closely monitored. Appropriate CSR programs can increase the attractiveness of supplier firms to potential customer corporations. CSR strategy or behaviors related to CSR was discussed by many scholars in terms of crisis management like responses to boycott in an international context.
The strategy utilized by Arla Foods works and has helped the company in regaining the most of its lost market share among many countries in the Middle East. Arla Foods founded a funding for children with cancer and they donated ambulances to refugees in Lebanon. Other researchers analyzed the case of multinational enterprise strategies under the context of conflicts between Lebanon and Israel. During the conflict, many companies stressed seeking to help the local community.
For example, Citibank has provided monetary assistance to some local businesses affected by the war. Another activity did by a Lebanon company was a fund-raising campaign. Moreover, some researchers conclude that making charitable contributions, emphasizing local connections and demonstrating the impact on the local economy are strategic responses to the crisis of the boycott.
CSR concerns include its relationship to the purpose of business and the motives for engaging in it. Milton Friedman and others argued that a corporation's purpose is to maximize returns to its shareholders and that obeying the laws of the jurisdictions within which it operates constitutes socially responsible behavior. While some CSR supporters claim that companies practicing CSR, especially in developing countries, are less likely to exploit workers and communities, critics claim that CSR itself imposes outside values on local communities with unpredictable outcomes.
Better governmental regulation and enforcement, rather than voluntary measures, are an alternative to CSR that moves decision-making and resource allocation from public to private bodies. Some critics believe that CSR programs are undertaken by companies to distract the public from ethical questions posed by their core operations.
They argue that the reputational benefits that CSR companies receive cited above as a benefit to the corporation demonstrate the hypocrisy of the approach. Others have argued that the primary purpose of CSR is to provide legitimacy to the power of businesses. Bakan  is one of the most prominent critics of the conflict of interest between private profit and public good, and his argument is summarised by Haynes that "a corporate calculus exists in which costs are pushed onto both workers, consumers and the environment".
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Indeed, it has been argued that there is a "halo effect" in terms of CSR spending. Aguinis and Glavas conducted a comprehensive review of CSR literature, covering academic sources from numerous fields including organizational behaviour , corporate strategy , marketing and HRM. It was found that the primary reason for firms to engage in CSR were the expected financial benefits associated with CSR, rather than being motivated a desire to be responsible to society.
CEOs' political ideologies are evident manifestations of their different personal views. Each CEO may exercise different powers according to their organizational outcomes. In fact, their political ideologies are expected to influence their preferences for the CSR outcomes.
Proponents argue that politically liberal CEOs will envision the practice of CSR as beneficial and desirable to increase a firm's reputation. They tend to focus more on how the firm can meet the needs of the society. As a consequence, they will advance with the practice of CSR while adding value to the firm.
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On the other hand, property rights may be more relevant to conservative CEOs. Since conservatives tend to value free markets, individualism and call for a respect of authority, they will not likely envision this practice as often as those identifying as liberals might. The financials of the company and the practice of CSR also have a positive relationship.
Moreover, the performance of a company tends to influence conservatives more likely than liberals. While not seeing it from the financial performance point of view, liberals tend to hold a view that CSR adds to the business triple bottom line. For instance, when the company is performing well, they will most likely promote CSR. If the company is not performing as expected, they will rather tend to emphasize this practice because they will potentially envision it as a way to add value to the business.
In contrast, politically conservative CEOs will tend to support the practice of CSR if they hold a view that it will provide a good return to the financials of the company. In other words, this type of executives tend to not see the outcome of CSR as a value to the company if it does not provide anything in exchange.
There have been unsubstantiated social efforts, ethical claims, and outright greenwashing by some companies that has resulted in increasing consumer cynicism and mistrust. For example, McDonald's Corporation positioned its association with Ronald McDonald House and other children's charities as CSR  while its meals have been accused of promoting poor eating habits.