Corporate Social Responsibility is a topic of prime importance that has been doing the rounds for long. Since the 1960s, social responsibility has become an important argument not only for business but in the context of law, politics and economics. In fact, in the new context of globalization, firms have to face the economical and social environment and they are becoming more aware of the fact that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a necessary element of their business actions. Nevertheless, there is still a general attitude towards CSR as its implementation requires spending money that could result in an economic loss. The objective of this project is to investigate the role of CSR and demonstrate that CSR is a factor that can, instead, contribute to the competitiveness of the firms and therefore, improve their financial performances. The priority of a company is to generate profit but at the same time, it can contribute to reach social and environmental purposes, by integrating CSR as a strategic investment in its business. In order to answer the research question and to understand the role of CSR in the economic profitability of the firms, we have chosen as a case study of The Body Shop Company. If customers have the choice between a common product and a product created in a responsible way, they will prefer to buy the second one because they know that they are also acting in a good way. So, CSR plays a role in the purchase intentions of customers.
[...] As mentioned in chapter 3 we are not going to apply all the theories we have presented in the theoretical framework but we will use the pyramidal model of Carroll, part of the marketing theory and the competitive advantage theory in order to answer to our research question: Can socially responsible companies increase their profit in the new competitive environment ? In chapter 4 we have described corporate social responsibility by presenting the case of The Body Shop company, which is one of the most successful socially responsible company. [...]
[...] We not only describe the situation but also we explain it in order to analyze it and understand it Limitation In this paper, we have presented only one case study to know if a socially responsible company can increase its profits in a competitive environment. The case study is about The Body Shop International company, famous in the entire world for its social actions. However, this is the only case study. The BSI case has to be read as an example that gives us an answer that can be different from another socially responsible firm. [...]
[...] Nevertheless, the theories we will used to solve our research problem and to answer to our research question will be: the pyramidal model of CSR, to understand what kind of involvement companies can have in CSR; marketing mix and the four to analyse the marketing strategies of socially responsible companies; the competitive advantage model to comprehend whether CSR is recognized as a competitive advantage or not Purpose statement The objective in this project is clearly not to focus on all CSR related issues, but we will analyse how companies can take care of the environment and of the society preserving their own interests and increase their profit. [...]
[...] Therefore, the definition is based on responsible acts of organizations toward their stakeholders. Corporate sustainability The Brundtland report of 1987 defined the term sustainability a “development that fulfils the needs of the present without limiting the potential for meeting the need of future generations”. First, the definition was more focused on the environmental aspects whereas now include also social and economical concepts (van Dongen, 2006). This definition is focused on the respect of principles. Corporate Social Performance It is defined by Wood (1991) as business organization's configuration of principles of social responsibility, processes of social responsiveness, and policies, programs, and observable outcomes as they relate to the firm's societal relationships”. [...]
[...] This is the purpose of our research: to know if socially responsible firms can increase its profits in a competitive environment. According to Parket and Eilbirt (1975): be sure, the scope of endeavour categorized by the term social responsibility cannot be analyzed on the order of a balance sheet or profit and loss statement. There are, as yet, no accounting techniques, analytical tolls, or statistical methods which will objectively differentiate companies that are socially responsible from those that are not”. [...]
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