Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility Research Proposal

Research Proposal on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Today it is widely recognized that corporations are actors that must have responsibilities as to how they conduct their business. This concept has been around for couple of decades already, however only lately it has started to be given the applicable recognition by corporation themselves and the individuals. This short paper will define what corporate social responsibility (also referred to as CSR) is as well as provide approaches to this concept and ways in which CSI can be implemented by corporations worldwide.

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Corporate Social Responsibility is a form of corporate self-regulation, principles of which are integrated into a business model and strategy. Preferably, CSR policy should be a mechanism that functions independently and is purely built-in the corporation. In the framework of this policy the business is expected to supervise and guarantee the observance of law, ethical standards, and domestic and international norms (Bulkeley, pp. 430-432). A corporation should hold responsibility for the impact of its activities on the consumers, environment, employees, stakeholders and all other members of the society. In addition, it should vigorously support the public interest eliminate practices that harm people, regardless of legality or profitability. For all intents and purposes, corporate social responsibility should be based on three “P principles”, that are: People, Planet, and Profit (Friedman).

Corporations are usually influenced to adopt CSR policies by “ethical consumerism” that is especially appropriate today when our planets became so vulnerable. Other drivers are market forces and laws and regulations, as well as stakeholder priorities. The latter is named to be a CSR driver because companies are expected to be aware of their responsibilities by their important stakeholders. This is so because the players of big business today understand and value the importance of the social and community issues that have to be addressed (Roberts, 595). 

There are three main approaches to CSR. The Classic Approach suggests that only those who are on top of the corporation are accountable to shareholders. This is so because the mangers are purely selfish and are seeking only to enlarge their profits (Friedman). Socio-Economic Approach “relies on the basis of the relationship of State-Civil Society”. It assumes that the company’s behavior depends mainly on the country it is situated in, because the state governs this company and its actions. Thus, the state is considered to be fully responsible. The Humanistic Approach is applied when various organizations, decide at the Forum on World Goodwill as to who holds the responsibility for corporate actions (Legrand).

There are many benefits for a corporation that values the principles of corporate social responsibility. First of all, high CSR makes an enterprise attractive for the new employees, the latter, of course, are more willing to be employed in the company that cares about the outside world, assuming it would give more care to their needs as well (Orlitzky, 403). Secondly, corporate social responsibility creates a good image and reputation for a company and it can use this prestige when dealing with possible business problems (Maignan, 3-5). Lastly, when showing awareness and readiness to implement CSR policies, it makes it obvious for the government and the public that it follows honest business politics and has nothing to hide (McWilliams, 3-4).

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