The Value of Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the approach to running businesses according to which the sustainability of the development is viewed as pivotal. The current paper provides a critical evaluation of the notion of CSR, and its value for companies and their stakeholders. Several examples of benefits and costs associated with CSR are also supplied.
CSR is a type of approach that, is aimed at maximizing the sustainability of a business, which means that it is considered paramount to provide maximal benefits for all the stakeholders of that enterprise on the social, environmental, and economic levels (Chandler & Werther, 2014). More specifically, it means that the organization adopting this approach should strive to maximize the benefits and the adverse aspects of its operation on the social (e.g., supply clients with high-quality goods or services, adhere to the principles of cultural pluralism and culture development, provide safety of labor, etc.), environmental (e.g., minimize the pollution resulting from the business operations), and economic (e.g., provide employees with adequate salaries) levels (Armstrong, 2006; Chandler & Werther, 2014).
On the whole, CSR is beneficial for the organizations as a whole, even even though the effective and thorough implementation of CSR is often associated with additional spending. The tangible benefits that a business obtains by adhering to the principles of CSR include enhanced retention of clients, increased loyalty and better motivation among employees (which leads to their improved performance), saving money in the long term by utilizing modern technologies, and so on (Chandler & Werther, 2014). For instance, Google, by implementing the policy of resource efficiency, was able to lower the consumption of power up to 50% in certain areas of their operations (Moreno, 2015).
The additional spending associated with CSR includes increased spending on technological innovation, enhanced working conditions, adherence to legal recommendations, social packages for workers, corporate philanthropy, the need to improve the quality of the product, etc. For example, Xerox, stimulates its employees to participate in social responsibility projects, which results in additional spending for the company (Moreno, 2015).
CSR provides several considerable benefits for virtually all the stakeholders of an organization. In particular, the personnel of the company may gain such advantages as relatively high salaries, medical insurance, a social package (e.g., paid vacation or sick leave), and an inspiring working atmosphere. Vendors might gain such benefits as long-term contracts and fair deals resulting from the need to have stable suppliers of high-quality materials. Clients benefit from CSR because CSR demands that customers are only provided with the goods and services of the finest quality for the given price. The shareholders gain advantages because enterprises implementing CSR are often more successful, which is paramount for stockholders. The communities might gain considerable advantages when the local businesses adhere to CSR practices due to e.g. reduced rates of pollution, the availability of high-quality goods or services, and the presence of community-focused campaigns such as the ones run by Xerox (Moreno, 2015). Finally, the public at large also gains major advantages, some of which include decreased pollution, workplaces with decent salaries and working conditions, and so on.
On the other hand, implementing CSR also requires some additional spending and efforts. For instance, stockholders have to spend considerable amounts of money on technological innovations, working conditions for employees, and so on. Vendors need to strive to only provide the supplies of the highest quality for businesses engaging in CSR. Employees will have to make a considerable effort and devote much of their resources to the company they work for.
On the whole, as was shown, CSR is an approach to running businesses, the crux of which is sustainability. CSR is associated with some additional spending and efforts that need to be made by different stakeholders. However, CSR usually pays off greatly for these efforts, providing considerable benefits for virtually all the stakeholders of the company. Therefore, HR leaders should strive to implement CSR practices in their organizations (Gond, Igalens, Swaen, & El Akremi, 2011).
Armstrong, M. (2006) A handbook of human resource management practice. London, UK: Kogan Page.
Chandler, D., & Werther, W. B. Jr. (2014). Strategic corporate social responsibility: Stakeholders, globalization, and sustainable value creation (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Gond, J.-P., Igalens, J., Swaen, V., & El Akremi, A. (2011). The human resources contribution to responsible leadership: An exploration of the CSR-HR interface. Journal of Business Ethics, 98, 115-132.
Moreno, C. (2015). Doing their part: 3 excellent examples of corporate social responsibility. Web.