This research study is about what the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is, how people define and how I understand this term? According to my research and observations, CSR does not have only one and constant definition. I have read a lot of definitions of CSR and in fact, they are similar but not the same. Briefly, definition and understanding of CSR depends on person to person. Thus, I am going to talk about definitions of the CSR and I will define my own perspective about the CSR.
As I mentioned, CSR does not have one definition.There is huge amount of CSR definitions published by business world and economists. For example, “CSR is about how companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society” according to Mallen Baker. (Baker, M. June 8, 2004). In my opinion, this definition reflects basic concept but it does not include how the business world can produce or create positive impact on the society and what impacts can affect the society positively while the companies run for the business?Furthermore, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication Making Good Business Sense by Lord Holme and Richard Watts have defined CSR in little bit different and specific perspective “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large" Holme, L.
& Watts, R. (Jan. 2000).This definition is more specific and comprehensive than Baker’s definition.
Holme and Watts mentioned positive impacts and how the impacts should be. However, they rule out very important fact which is environmental impacts. I think, companies and business world must contribute to economic and social development while improving the life quality of the work force and consider about environmental issues. Milton Friedman is founder of the Monetarist trend and one of the powerful and efficient economists who has claimed against classical Keynesian approach.He has published his own definition about Corporate Social Responsibility in 1970 in The New York Times Magazine. “CSR is to increase company's profits” (Friedman, 1970).
I completely disagree with Friedman. In my opinion, this definition is not about the CSR and his approach reflects cruel capitalism’s facts. In addition, this definition is exact opposite of the Corporate Social Responsibility approach because CSR is about improvement of the economy and the society at the same time.According to Carrol and Buchholtz, “The concept of corporate social responsibility means that organizations should have moral, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities in addition to their responsibilities to earn a fair return for investors and comply with the law” (Carroll and Buchholtz.
2003, p. 36). This definition is almost same with Mallen Baker’s definition. They highlighted general perspective of the CSR.
I agree with this definition but they are not enough. Marrewijk mentions about 4 different definitions about CSR. Shareholder approach, stakeholder approach, societal approach and philanthropic approach.Shareholder approach is similar to Milton Friedman's definition of CSR. Shareholders are seeking maximum profit. On the other word, social responsible activities are not important as much as making profit for the companies.
On the other hand, stakeholder approach is different than the share holder’s approach which is company or corporation is responsible to the environment. According to the societal approach, “Corporations are responsible to society in large” and philanthropic approach is basically referring to “Corporation's donations to the society where it lives and affects” (Marrewijk, 2002).In my opinion CSR is about the responsibility of business to contribute to economic development to improve the quality of life of the employees and provide maximum financial profit to its shareholders by considering environment. THE PYRAMID OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY According to Archie Caroll, who found CSR pyramid, there are 4 aspects of Corporate Social Responsibilities which is divided in Economic, Legal, Ethical and Philanthropic Responsibilities. Corporate Citizens are expected to be profitable, be abiding the laws, be ethical and be charitable to society.
(Carrol, July-Aug. 1991. This pyramid reflects what the CSR is by defining the responsibilities of the corporations in four different stages. First level is Economic responsibilities of the corporations which refers the corporations’ main goal, making or being profitable. Second step Legal Responsibilities, this stage explains how the corporations act when they do business, obey the laws and follow the rules.
Third part of the pyramid is about Ethical responsibilities of the corporations. This step reflects being ethical. On the other word, what the right and wrong is. In addition, Corporations should avoid unfair and non-ethical actions in the society.Finally, top of the pyramid reflects being good corporate citizen.
I think, it suggests corporations should follow the laws and rules, pay the taxes, do the right and ethical, and take care of its workers and environment. In my opinion this pyramid reflects my exact definition about the CSR. MY CSR DEFINITION According to my research and overall aspects about the Social responsibility as a citizen, Corporate Social Responsibility is about the responsibility of business to contribute to economic development to improve the quality of life of the employees and provide maximum financial profit to its shareholders by considering the environment.References Baker, M. (June 8, 2004).
Corporate Social Responsibility - What does it mean? Retrieved from http://www. mallenbaker. net/csr/definition. php Carroll, A. B. , and A.
K. Buchholtz. Business and Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management . 5th ed. Australia: Thomson South-Western, 2003.
Carrol, A. B. , (July-August 1991). The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders.
Business Horizons. Retrieved from http://www. be. wwu. edu/dunn/rprnts.
pyramidofcsr. pdf Friedman, M. (Sep 13, 1970. ) “The Social Responsibility of Business is to increase its Profits. ” The New York Times Magazine pp.
122-126 Holme, L. & Watts, R. (Jan. 2000). “Making Good Business Sense” Retrieved from http://www. wbcsd.
org/web/publications/csr2000. pdf pp. 4-9 Marrevijk, M. (2002). Concepts and Definitions of CSR and Corporate Sustainability-between agency and communion-.
EU European Social Fund Article 6 Innovative M