Discuss on Cohen’s view on the corporate social responsibility, Drucker’s view on the corporate social responsibility andf friedman’s view on corporate social responsibility?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a management initiative that focuses on the active participation of companies in activities that have a positive impact on the society and the environment in which the companies operates. The company also shoulders the responsibilities of its activities on the environment. The other name for corporate social responsibility is corporate citizenship. The companies perform their business activities keeping in mind the effects of their activities on the environment. The primary motive of any business is to make profits. The corporate social responsibility ensures that the company maintains a balance between its profitability and its impact on society and environment. The corporate social responsibility covers issues such as environmental protection, efficient governance, fair practices, maintaining public relations, etc. The companies engages in various corporate social responsibility activities like managing waste, using renewable energy, recycling, etc. Many organizations have started issuing corporate social responsibility report annexed to their annual report. The CSR report contains the contributions of the company for the welfare of the society. The amount of CSR expenditure differs from companies to companies. However, some of the experts are of the view that CSR highlights the contributions of the company and sidelines the harm caused by some of its activities ('8th International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility', 2008).
A company is formed of not only structures but also human resources. The human resource of the company should be provided the proper working environment. The employees should also be provided ethical training. The employees will be unwilling to work in an organization that does not provide an opportunity to communicate freely and share opinions. The ethical training will make the employees morally conscious and inculcate in them feelings of social responsibility. There is no essence of carrying business in an environment which is deteriorating. The organization can be ruined if the people and government are of the view that it is not carrying out business ethically. It is the responsibility of the companies to provide goods or services of standard quality to the consumers. It is called ethical consumerism (Cohen, 2009).
There have been instances when the media has brought out the incidents where the social responsibilities of the companies were questioned. For example, the lead poisoning paint used by toy giant Mattel. The detection of the harm lead to the instant shut down of the business by the regulatory authorities (Cragg, Schwartz & Weitzner, 2009).
Peter Drucker believed that the welfare of the employees of the organization is the responsibility of the organization. The organizations should consider the welfare of the employees at par with the profit motive of the organizations. Drucker’s view on corporate social responsibility differs from the others due to his approach. The Drucker’s approach towards corporate social responsibility includes- the importance of leadership, the need for corporate social responsibility, the opportunities for competitive advantage in corporate social responsibility. Drucker believed that Government alone cannot resolve all the social issues (Tomlin, 2010). The first social responsibility of the business is to earn at least that amount of profit so as to make up for the costs incurred by the company. It is so because it is the primary responsibility of the business. If the business cannot make up for its cost, how will it be able to accomplish its other objectives. CSR has a potential source of competitive advantage for the companies. CSR helps in strengthening public relations. The companies that indulges in CSR activities are able to attract more stakeholders towards itself. Drucker always thought for the welfare of the people and the society (Crowther & Capaldi, 2008).
Drucker's opinion on corporate social responsibility aligned with Cohen's view. Both held that the businesses must give weight to their duty towards the society in which they function. Companies cannot function in an isolated environment. The external well-being of the environment has the deep-rooted influence on the profitability of the companies (May, Cheney & Roper, 2007).
Milton Friedman believed that the purpose of a company is to maximize the benefits of the shareholders of the company. When the company is abiding by all the rules and regulations of the land, the company can be said to be socially responsible. He even believed that there is no room for social answerability in a business. His idea was that the businesses should engage in healthy competition without indulging in any fraudulent activities. His statement is not in contrast with the principles of corporate social responsibility. His opinion has a deeper intention. When he said that the companies should focus on their profiteering, he did not intend that the profiteering should be done by deceptive methods or unscrupulous practices. His opinion meant that the business should be conducted in a fair manner. If the business has to be conducted in a fair manner, it indirectly means that the interests of the stakeholders should not be adversely impacted (Smith & Helfgott, 2010).
Corporate social responsibility is the need of the hour. Environment management and sustainability are the important issues addressed in corporate social responsibility these days. Almost all the large and medium-sized companies have formulated environmental management programs. This environment management programs look after the company's use of natural resources. These programs focus on reducing the use of scarce resources. Even the programs aim at recycling the less available natural resources. Several experts have cast their opinion on the significance of corporate social responsibility in today's world of depleting resources. Almost all have advocated in the favor of the company's duty to pay back the society which has helped it to earn and grow. However, Drucker is totally inclined towards CSR. He cared for the well-being of the people, the society, and the environment. In his opinion, CSR is not a burden on the company rather it can help the company to have a competitive edge over its competitors. CSR can actually make the world a better place to live in by earning money and maintaining ecological and social balance ('The Social Responsibility Research Network', 2013).
8th International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility. (2008). Social Responsibility Journal, 4(3).
Cohen, W. (2009). What Drucker taught us about social responsibility. Leader To Leader, 2009(51),
Cragg, W., Schwartz, M., & Weitzner, D. (2009). Corporate social responsibility. Farnham, England: Ashgate.
Crowther, D., & Capaldi, N. (2008). The Ashgate research companion to corporate social responsibility. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.
May, S., Cheney, G., & Roper, J. (2007). The debate over corporate social responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Smith, J., & Helfgott, F. (2010). Flexibility or exploitation? Corporate social responsibility and the perils of universalization (Respond to this article at https://www.therai.org.uk/at/debate). Anthropology Today, 26(3)
The Social Responsibility Research Network. (2013). Social Responsibility Journal,
Tomlin, P. (2010). Survey Article: Internal Doubts about Cohen's Rescue of Justice. Journal Of Political Philosophy
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