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Corporate Social Responsibility
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DescriptionCorporate Social Responsibility
There is an increasing emphasis within organizations and governments on support for a variety of ethical and environmental principles often described as “Corporate Social Responsibility”. The various definitions of CSR can be characterised as including one or more of the following four core characteristics:
Incorporating voluntary activities-those beyond any legal or regulatory requirements
Taking externalities into account-refers to both the adverse(negative) or beneficial(positive) outcomes of actions by organizations for which they are neither charged or compensated
Taking multiple stakeholders into account-not just the profits concerns of owners, such as shareholders, but concerns of employees, customers, distributors and all other with interest in the organization
Incorporating organizational value/mission statements-core belief systems of the organization
CSR activities focus often on the welfare of stakeholders groups other than investors, such as charitable and community organizations, employees, suppliers, customers and future generations. Many of those activities relate to employee welfare and safety-provision of educational benefits to health support. Other activities appeal to customers environmental concerns through reduction in packaging and consumer water and energy use. Analogously consumers concerns about the humane treatment of animals leads companies to engage in animal welfare activities. Other activities include using “green “production practices, reducing emissions and using recycled materials.
So why do firms engage in CSR?
There are numerous reasons for organizations motivations for engaging in socially responsible actions. First of all firm may have altruistic intentions: they simply belief their CSR efforts are part of being good global citizen. However it is difficult to believe in these intentions from profit-seeking aspirations.
There are number of arguments that CSR activities are there for benefit and self-interest of organizations that have them in place.
Organizations may engage in CSR as “window dressing” to satisfy various stakeholders groups such as nongovernmental organizations. CSR may simply be another cost of doing business: it is something firms feel they have to do in order to avoid negative publicity and other actions from NGOs.
Third there are potential contracting benefits: firms believe that CSR helps recruit, motivate and retain employees. Many list these reasons as one of the most significant benefits of an active CSR program.
Fourth, there are customer-related motivations: CSR may encourage consumers to buy a company’s products and services.
Fifth companies focus on environmental concerns can lead to reductions in production costs Wal-Mart reduced transportation costs by$3.5 mln through one initiative to reduce packaging on toys.
Finally CSR may be viewed as an integral part of a company’s risk management efforts. CSR may be an effective tool for easing legal or regulatory constraints. For example company may voluntary reduce emissions in an effort to avoid even tighter standards.
Costs as well as benefits arise from performing activities. The costs associated with CSR can be measured by identifying the activities associated with CSR as ...
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