17 September 2015
Social responsibility is an idea that has been of concern to mankind for many years. Over the last two decades, however, it has become of increasing concern to the business world. This has resulted in growing interaction between governments, businesses and society as a whole. In the past, businesses primarily concerned themselves with the economic results of their decisions. “Today, however, businesses must also reflect on the legal, ethical, moral and social consequences of their decisions”.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby organizations consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, employees, shareholders, communities and the environment in all aspects of their operations. This obligation is seen to extend beyond the statutory obligation to comply with legislation and sees organizations voluntarily taking further steps to improve the quality of life for employees and their families as well as for the local community and society at large.
DEFINITION of 'Corporate Social Responsibility'
Investopedia defines Corporate social responsibility, often abbreviated "CSR," is a corporation's initiatives to assess and take responsibility for the company's effects on environmental and social wellbeing. The term generally applies to efforts that go beyond what may be required by regulators or environmental protection groups.
Business dictionary defines CSR as "A company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Companies express this citizenship (1) through their waste and pollution reduction processes, (2) by contributing educational and social programs and (3) by earning adequate returns on the employed resources."
Corporate social responsibility is no longer defined by how much money a company contributes to charity, but by its overall involvement in activities that improve the quality of people’s lives.
Scope of Corporate Social responsibility.
The term "corporate social responsibility" became popular in the 1960s. Corporate Responsibility has come up as a significant subject matter in the international business community and is progressively becoming a mainstream activity.
The protection of the environment has become the center stage of many humanitarian organizations. Most of these humanitarian organizations argue that the protection of the environment should be the key concern of any corporation. Corporate social responsibility makes it clear that it is certainly unethical for these corporations to be making profits at the expense of the environment and other aspects of the human life. Corporate social responsibility makes it clear that corporations should therefore find better ways to handle their waste disposal and it should be ensure that the waste is safe for disposal and would not in any way harm human beings and other life. Corporate social responsibility is therefore viewed as a control mechanism to ensure that multi-corporations are responsible for their actions.
Corporate social responsibility-factors:
There are several factors which explain the growing interest in corporate social responsibility. The first factor is the new concerns and expectations of citizens, consumers, public authority’s globalization and industrial change. The second factor is the increasing influence of social criteria on the investment decisions of individuals and institutions, as investors or consumers. The third factor is the growing concern about environmental degradation. Corporate social responsibility ensures that corporations the world over are engaged in other activities that give back to the community. Many activities that are considered helpful include; organizing activities that seek to involve the community in such events as fund raising for the needy, events that seek to help out the disadvantage in society and other similar activities.
There are several factors that show the need for corporate social responsibility. The first factor is population. Statistics show that more than eighty five percent of the world’s population will live in developing countries by 2025. This presents a challenge to companies seeking to involve themselves in corporate social responsibility, since it is clear that a lot of financial support will be required for these populations.
The second factor is wealth. Despite the fact that global wealth is rising, the income gap has grown wider, threatening civil society. Each and every company should strive to be involved in attempting to balance this distribution of wealth.
The third factor is nutrition. There are millions of people who are malnourished. Thousands die of hunger every year, while rich corporations blow millions on fancy holidays for their executives. While these benefits are vital for employee motivation, they should not be taken overboard at the expense of the suffering masses.
Education is another critical factor that should be considered in the design of corporate social responsibility programs. Basic education is widespread, but opportunities for learning continue to elude many. Corporate are faced with the challenge of promoting education by setting up schools, and funding educational development programs. Education can also be encouraged by taking in interns and trainees and giving them an opportunity to learn the tricks of the job, which will enable them, compete fairly in the corporate world.
In conclusion corporate social responsibility is a vital element for many business corporations. It has been shown that there are many different areas in which a company may choose to focus its corporate social responsibility. The first area of focus in corporate social responsibility is with regard to the environment. Other areas that should be considered in the development of corporate social responsibility programs are education, health, nutrition and employment.
“Social responsibility ensure the well being of society such as environmental friendly practices, economic growth and justice in society” These elements are not only aspects of corporate social responsibility, but also a show of the ethical standards of a company. It is also unethical for companies to engage in environmentally degrading practices that result in illnesses and loss of life. It can be concluded that Social corporate responsibility and the maintenance of high ethical standards is not an option but an obligation for all business.
Corporate Social Responsibility is not a new concept in India, however now-a-days corporate firms and their social responsibility have become two inseparable terms; the best example is this seminar is sponsored by a corporate firm sponsoring for a Higher Educational Seminar? What better example you can give than this! It is a pay back to the society from which it earns money. Indian Companies Act, 2013 makes it mandatory for the companies to make certain amount in their social responsibility fund to implement social responsible activities. Many refuted corporate firms in India like TCS, Aditya Birla Group, Infosys, Kirloskar and Mahindra etc., started social responsibility programmes.
1.Anderson, Jerry. Corporate Social Responsibility: Guidelines for Top Management. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1989. Print.
2.Banerjee, Subhabrata. Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Northampton: Eward Elgar Publishing, 2007. Print.
3.Crowther, David and Rayman-Bacchus, Lez. Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing, 2004. Print.
4.Werther, William and Chandler, David. Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Stakeholders in a Global Environment. Carlifonia: Sage Publications, 2006. Print.