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What is CSR? To what extent is there a business case for CSR?

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Introduction

What is CSR? To what extent is there a business case for CSR? Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has never been as important as it is in today's society. It redefines corporate values and the long term commitment between a company and all of its key constituents. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2000) characterizes CSR as "the commitment of businesses to contribute to sustainable economic development, working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their quality of life". In a world driven by consumer perceptions, CSR is rapidly becoming a key to success for maximizing a company's profits. Peattie (1995) suggests that CSR is "the holistic management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying the requirements of customers and society in a profitable and sustainable way". Briggs & Verma (2006) believes the investment of engaging CSR brings both tangible and intangible benefits such as financial returns and reputation improvements. There appears to be no doubt that there is a business case for CSR for a company. This essay will first identify the importance of engaging in CSR by showing examples of success and surveys conducted by third parties. Then, it will analyze how the different expectations of CSR among stakeholders of a company affect its CSR strategy. ...read more.

Middle

An ethical marketing strategy can rescue the business image of a company. US fast food giant McDonald's has faced ethical criticisms over the past three decades. The accusations included 'exploitations of children' with its advertising, 'culpably responsible' for cruelty to animals, 'strongly antipathetic' to unions, paying its workers lower wages, falsely advertising its food as nutritious, and risked the health of people plunged the firm into crisis. It seems that McDonald's broke all of the social responsibility rules. As of the early 2000's, the firm changed its marketing strategy to a more ethical one, such as devotes the resource to promote the advertising campaign to build up a fresh and healthy image. Accompanying these campaigns was a range of new healthy options on a new menu. They also launched exercise and sports initiatives especially targeted at young people. After the new menu and promotions launched, McDonald's sales rebounded in the late 2000's from the slump they suffered in the early to mid-2000's. The firm's commitment to good values had won back the customers successfully. (Andrew, C. & Matten, D., 2010) Furthermore, a company which engages in CSR probably can recruit better qualified and motivated staff. Andrew, C. & Matten, D., (2010) used Body Shop as an example. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, engaging in CSR contributes a positive impact for a company based on the many reasons given above. In the beginning, the building up of a company's ethical behavior and CSR practices probably will cause increased cost consumption and result in lower profitability in the short term. However, in the long term, it can improve relationships with all of its key constituents, gain more loyal customers, enjoy lower costs and higher revenues, and achieve overall improvement of the business' standing in society. Although the measurement of CSR performance is pending to attain a common consensus, engaging in CSR likely will be one of the main drivers to greater profitability for a company. 2142 words Reference List 1. Andrew, C. & Matten, D., (2010) Business Ethics, Oxford University Press, 3rd edition 2. Boddy, D. (2005) Management: an introduction. Harlow; Pearson 3. Carroll, A.B. (1979) 'A Three-Dimensional Conceptual Model of Corporate Performance.' The Academy of Management Review, 4 (4): 497-505 4. George Pohle & Jeff Hittner, IBM Institute for Business Value 'Attaining sustainable growth through corporate social responsibility' 5. Holme, L.& Watts, R. (2000) Corporate Social Responsibility: Making Good Business Sense. Geneva: World Business Council for Sustainable Development 6. Peattie, K. (1995) Environmental marketing management, London: Pitman Publishing 7. William Briggs, Ed.D., & Archana Verma (2006) Communication World, 'Sharing the Wealth', http://www.iabc.com ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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