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Corporate social responsibility: An overview

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  1. Introduction
  2. Porter's and Kramer's argument on CSR
  3. Reich's view on CSR
  4. Competing notions of CSR
  5. Implementing CSR
  6. Conclusion
  7. Bibliography

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept that has been around for a while, but it has become increasingly relevant as the forces of globalization have become fiercer, and as the issue of environmental sustainability become more recognized by businesses and the customers that support them. CSR has to do with how businesses link their behavior and values with the needs and opportunities of the stakeholders. Stakeholder is a term that encompasses many actors, not just the investors and the customers. It also refers to employees, suppliers, and the broader society. CSR is a concept that highlights a company's pledge to be accountable to all of these stakeholders, not just the obvious two. It requires businesses to not only consider the economic bottom line, but also the environmental and social bottom line. This is where the term triple-bottom line is derived from. There are different arguments in favor of and against the new drive toward CSR, as some believe it is a good thing and something that all business should strive to achieve, while others are opposed to it for various reasons. Those who argue in favor of CSR believe that businesses have much to gain from implementing these policies in their business model, while those who are against it believe that CSR goes against the fundamental principles of business and capitalism.

[...] From this it is clear that governments need to play a more significant role in CSR as the onus should not be placed on the companies themselves because they are not accountable to the public or society, only to the law. It was shown that the various perspectives on CSR can be reconciled and that CSR is a positive thing, and governments must take steps to ensure that companies adhere to principles of CSR. Bibliography Banerjee, B. S. (2007). Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Northampton, MA: [...]

[...] Businesses perform an essential role in society, and this role ought to be highlighted in the CSR calculation according to these two theorists. (Porter and Kramer, 2006). This is an example of two theorists who are in favour of the implementation of CSR, but they also believe that CSR needs to take on a different approach than the one it has come to adopt in recent times. After examining the arguments of Porter and Kramer it might seem as though CSR is without argument the right approach to take, however there are those that argue against it, and one such person is Robert Reich. [...]

[...] Reich sits on the left of the political spectrum and does not think irresponsible business practices are a good thing, like other socially responsible people he believes that businesses ought to act responsibly, but he also argues that they do not have an obligation to do so. It is government who must be responsible for regulating the activities of business, the idea that companies should regulate themselves such that they act in the most socially responsible way is flawed. In fact, the argument that CSR should be achieved through the self-regulation of businesses just undermines the important role that government has in protecting the best interests of society. [...]

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