Corporate social responsibility is the very known and popular aspect of business these days. It has become the debatable topic these days. Several questions are linked with this topic such as what is the work of a business? The business is there just to make profits or to serve the society? Both the angles corporate social responsibility has been supported and attacked by the people as many arguments have been conducted for the same. Some are speaking against corporate social responsibility while other is speaking in favour of it (Tai and Chuang, 2014). CSR has been defined by multiple ways. It has been analysed that some definitions CSR suggest that it is performing ethical practices in the businesses and other is related to practices that are performed to give back to the society. In conclusion, the CSR can be defined as the concept that deals with integration of social and ethical framework in the business activities for the welfare of the society and for being sustainable.
Today, CSR has become the very essential part of business not only serve the society but also to outperform the competitors by making it as the competitive advantage. Basically a company with CSR framework have four types of responsibilities. It has been argued that CSR is the responsibility of the company that is providing immense benefits to the businesses. CSR is argued as the innovation process that helps the company to make innovation in their processes and functions (Suliman, Al-Khatib and Thomas, 2016). Unilever is the company that has used CSR in a very innovative way. They have used CSR as the opportunity to make links between their products and their customers. For example, the lifebuoy soap of Unilever Company is portrayed as the soap that is reducing the child mortality in the society. Another major benefit that has been analysed by CSR is that the companies are making more profits. Again the example Uniliever can be quoted here (Yakovleva, 2017). The company has launched soap bars of 18 Gms to target the lower income customers. These small bars have increased the overall sales of the company and also at the same time the company has make connection with its customers. Most of the companies these days are using CSR as the opportunity to build their image in the market. Now the companies are not showing their profits and revenues to be big but showing their contribution in the society to target the customers and build their image in the market. This is because if the company contributed more and more in the society, it provides a positive reflection of the image of the company among the customers (Korschun, Bhattacharya and Swain, 2014). Samsung is considered as one of the companies that are contributing towards CSR with full zeal. This is one of the reasons that the company is perceived to be very positive by the society. The company believes that their business can get the success only when the society remain healthy and thus contributing a lot in making the society healthy by introducing campaigns like Hope for Children etc. other than society, the company is also looking forwards in contributing towards the environment sustainability. The company has brought green technologies and eco-friendly products to the market that is the sign that company has its contribution towards the environment. The company is not behind in advertising its CSR activities as this helps the company is building it positive image (Chin, Hambrick and Treviño, 2013).
As per the above discussion, it has been proved that CSR is the activity that is providing benefits to the society as well as to the company. As every coin has two sides so as CSR is argued. Many arguments that has made are against the concept of CSR. This is because CSR is somehow restricting the purpose of business in the market. It has been argued that fulfilling the social responsibilities in ethical and moral ways and at the same time conducting the business activities to earn profits are two contradicting features. CSR bring deviation the organization from its main objectives (Christensen, Mackey and Whetten, 2014). The organizations are made because of the support the shareholders as they have invested their money in the company to earn profits. The company is liable to them to provide them the desired results. Thus, earning profits should be the priority for the company and not only serving the society. Business itself means having symbiotic relationships with the community like the business give something to the society and take something in return (Blowfield and Murray, 2014). CSR supports the idea of aligning public welfare and private profits which is next to impossible. Companies who have the capability to everything to earn the profits end up in welfare of the society. In cases, where private profits are involved along with public welfare, it is impossible for the companies to concentrate on later and to go against the shareholders in order to serve the society. At this time, the companies which are pressurized to serve the society for their welfare have to opt practices that are not ethical so that they can make the balance between the profits and society (Di Giuli and Kostovetsky, 2014). As far as the company like IKEA is cindered, it is the company that is one of the best CSR practicing firms. When the company started marketing about its CSR activities as it is of no use doing it if not marketed, it has been criticized for what they are not doing in terms of social responsibilities. H&M on the other hand has faced the similar situation. When the company highlighted its CSR work; it has been criticized by many people. Thus, doing for the society and marketing it is very necessary for the company. But that marketing fails when any of the wrong practice came in front of the market. If the healthy food market is considered, it has been analysed that the companies real portraying themselves as the healthy food brands such as McDonalds and Pizza hut but are they actually doing it for the sake of the society? No, only social welfare is the not the reason behind such practices. Healthy food products are not marketed and available in the market in large number until they become famous and profitable for the companies. These companies are launching new and innovative products so serve new segment of the market rather than for serving society. They are acting as if they are befitting the society but in actual they are making profits. However, not all companies take advantages from these opportunities in the market (Servaes and Tamayo, 2013). But at the same time, either the profit suffers or the social responsibility and contribution of the company suffers. Even today, the most important priority of the company’s ad business is to earn profits and not serving the society. However now the ways of making contribution for the society has changed... even the CSR activities of the ocmoanis are earninf profits for the ocmoany but they are shown as a responsibility of the ocmoany.
To conclude, it can be said that this is the never ending debate and there is no particular argument that is being accepted as the fact for corporate social responsibility in the market. Business is here to earn profit and it will remain their priority in any case. Developing of NGO’s in the society is suggesting that there are companies who are taking initiates for the welfare of the people but even these NGO’s require sponsorships from the companies who are earning large profits from this society only (Ruggie, 2017). The need of hour is to make the balance between these give and take relationships among the society and businesses so that the business can fulfil their responsibility towards society as well as towards their shareholders.
Tai, F.M. and Chuang, S.H., 2014. Corporate social responsibility. Ibusiness, 6(03), p.117.
Suliman, A.M., Al-Khatib, H.T. and Thomas, S.E., 2016. Corporate Social Responsibility. Corporate Social Performance: Reflecting on the Past and Investing in the Future, p.15.
Korschun, D., Bhattacharya, C.B. and Swain, S.D., 2014. Corporate social responsibility, customer orientation, and the job performance of frontline employees. Journal of Marketing, 78(3), pp.20-37.
Ruggie, J.G., 2017. Corporate Social Responsibility and the Global Compact1. Business, Capitalism and Corporate Citizenship: A Collection of Seminal Essays.
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Christensen, L.J., Mackey, A. and Whetten, D., 2014. Taking responsibility for corporate social responsibility: The role of leaders in creating, implementing, sustaining, or avoiding socially responsible firm behaviors. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 28(2), pp.164-178.
Yakovleva, N., 2017. Corporate social responsibility in the mining industries. Routledge.
Chin, M.K., Hambrick, D.C. and Treviño, L.K., 2013. Political ideologies of CEOs: The influence of executives’ values on corporate social responsibility. Administrative Science Quarterly, 58(2), pp.197-232.
Blowfield, M. and Murray, A., 2014. Corporate responsibility. Oxford University Press.