Essay Example on Role and Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility

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University of Richmond
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Also known as a sustainable strategy, corporate social responsibility has gradually evolved as one of the most important business practices of the 21st century. Businesses, organisations, enterprises and companies embracing the concepts of corporate social responsibility have over the years established powerful statements of their stand on the socioeconomic position of society. More often than not, businesses indulging in corporate social responsibility integrate ethical, social, environmental, consumer issues, and human rights ideas into their activities and their core strategic operations while at the same time keeping a close association with the shareholders. The paper is going to look into the importance, role, and part played by corporate social responsibility in the business environment while at the same time fostering and enhancing community development.

According to Carroll and Shabana (2010, 250), the ability to go beyond profits, products, and services and embrace social aspects of the society often enables a company to open up engagement with customers quickly. Whether the type of corporate social responsibility involves donating money or employee time in the social and economic welfare of the society or the provision of services and goods for the well-being of the society, a company can go beyond its mantra of making profits. It can achieve this by working with the community on economic development, corporate environmental activities, job creation, and any activity or engagement deemed vital for the well-being of the two. For the business entity, the central aim of a CSR is to achieve and create the highest impact on the society while at the same time maximizing on the core values of the business, stakeholder interests, and the employee's welfare. Studies indicate that organisations that show a legitimate commitment to corporate social responsibility perform between than business entities that do not indicate genuine concern (Carroll & Shabana 2010, 256). At the same time, companies with active corporate social activities have employees who perform well than companies without such an initiative. At the same time, companies with the CSR strategy are better placed to offer above average customer service and develop a positive public relations approach critical for any business setup. However, despite the sceptical attitude of some companies towards CSR, research shows that it has a positive long-term effect on the companys fortunes and performance.

CSR Program

Once set up, the CSR program incorporates activities involving all stakeholders and shareholders of the company. The suppliers, employers, managers, Non-Governmental Organisations, private and public firms all fall under the program in which each member plays a significant role for the benefit of the company (Carroll & Shabana 2010, 261).

Although the majority of a companys and business enterprises enter into the CSR programs, many never grasps the fundamental goal of the programs involved in the strategy. In fact, many organizations never come to terms with aspects of the program such as sustainable development. A companys participation in sustainable development often takes shape when a corporation engages in a broad range of the business approach. Sustainable development such as environmental conservation, anti-corruption, human rights awareness campaigns, and socioeconomic programs help organizations stand out as pioneers of societal change and development (Carroll & Shabana 2010, 264). The approach enables consumers to identify with the company's products and services much quicker as compared to a company that is solely engaged in business activities. It thus helps improve customer awareness of a company's existence and participation in local programs such as tree planting and education sponsorship programs.

Although it is never a marketing strategy, undertaking social activities such as tree planting, anti-corruption awareness campaigns, and free cleaning exercises, enables the business entity to remain relevant and conspicuous to potential customers. For example, a company offering sponsorship program to students have a higher chance of being attractive than a company that does not involve in such initiatives. Since the program involves employees, employers, shareholders, stakeholders, political leaders, religious leaders, and like-minded business leaders, it offers an opportune chance to launch, create awareness, and promote a new product line, service, or company initiative new to the consumers (Falck & Heblich, 2007, 249). For instance, during the launch of an exclusive sponsorship deal, the company may take the opportunity to advise the participants on some of the best products and services that suit them. For instance, in the case of a bank offering sponsorship to disadvantaged students, the bank management may take the opportunity to advise, open up, and launch a savings strategy targeting the poor or underprivileged. Although this is a marketing strategy, it is an approach that the majority of companies and organizations actively involved in CSR activities takes seriously.

CSR plays a very significant role in achieving the commitment in employees.

To cultivate an active strategic engagement amongst employees, most companies take the traditional approach of lecturing and organizing workshops for the employees. However, a typical CSR program such as tree planting, anti-corruption awareness campaign, cleaning the environment often offers the best opportunity for increasing employee commitment in the workplace (Vogel 2005, 20). CSR programs have the dominant effect of enabling the employees to identify more with the organisation in its programs and activities than a typical activity that is only engaging the employees in product or service production. Often employees tend to respond better in an environment that call upon individual self - initiatives such as tree planting than one that focuses strictly on business enterprise or activity. Organizations with deeply ingrained CSR programs have the best and the strongest workforce regarding productivity, commitment, and advantage (Pranay 2005, 11). While CSR programs are self-initiated activities that an organization takes up by its vision, mission, and strategy, once accepted or started, a business entity often finds itself deeply involved in the activities with a very little option and chance to abandon the program halfway. For instance, in the case of a company offering sponsorship to disadvantaged students, the company may bring on board other companies with like-minded programs or initiatives to boost its role and influence. Vogel (2005, 23), maintain that once this is achieved, with the program having more than two sponsors or companies, it becomes challenging to abandon the program midway. In such a case, both companies have the advantage of pulling through and bringing their products and services together for the benefit of the joint program (Prany 2005, 11).

CSR plays a significant role in the promotion, elevation, and positioning a company as part of a social entity of a community. It is considered a voluntary action or initiative that places business organisations not only as profit-focused entities but also as social entities with a keen interest in non-profit activities such as social programs that promote the well-being of the society. Business and companies engaged in CSR programs stand the highest chance of excelling in social ranking as having the highest preference to public activities than firms that do not participate in such initiatives.



Carroll, A.B. and Shabana, K.M., 2010. The business case for corporate social responsibility: A review of concepts, research and practice. International journal of management reviews, 12(1), pp.85-105.

Falck, O. and Heblich, S., 2007. Corporate social responsibility: Doing well by doing good. Business Horizons, 50(3), pp.247-254.

Pranay Gupte, Arthur Laffer: Corporate Social Responsibility Detrimental to Stockholders, New York Sun, January 19, 2005, p. 11.

Vogel, D.J., 2005. Is there a market for virtue? The business case for corporate social responsibility. California management review, 47(4), pp.19-45.


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