1. Explain what is meant by the term 'corporate social responsibility' (CSR)?
2. Examine the influence that a range of stakeholders have on an organisation of your choice (uk based)?
3. Give detailed comparison of two recent examples of organisations, one which has faced criticism for having poor CSR and one which has been praised for having good CSR?
1. Corporate social responsibility
The Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a kind of business management where the environmental and social concern is integrated into the operations of the business and interactions with the stakeholders of the companies. CSR is a way using which the companies balance the Triple-Bottom-Line approach which includes social, economic and environmental activities in the business (Azmat and Zutshi, 2012). It is also used to address the expectations of the stakeholders and shareholders. Also the corporate social responsibility can be divided into different parts which include the concepts of strategic business management and sponsorships or charities. It also plays a valuable part in the reduction of poverty which also enhances the brand name and improves the reputations of the company.
Corporate social responsibility also includes the self-regulatory mechanism in the business model. The business under the CSR ensures its positive conformity that all the activities and operations of the business follow the rules and regulations of the laws, ethical behavior and the international and national norms (Dincer and Dincer, 2012). The goal of the corporate social responsibility is to holds the responsibilities of the corporate actions and provides a good impact on the society and the stakeholders which includes employees, customers, communities, shareholders etc.
The main thinking of the business in today’s world is not only to win over the customers but also to use the profits of the companies to do something good in the society (Jahdi, 2014). Corporate social responsibility provides the business practices for the benefit of the society. Most of the forward thinking companies used the corporate social responsibility in their business in case of implanting sustainability in their business operations for improving the shared value for the society and the business. According to Nejati and Ghasemi (2012), sustainability is important for the planet and the people along with it, it is important to the success of the business also.
Winston Churchill has stated that “Responsibility is the Price of Greatness”. He also said that no other words can be used to describe the value of CSR. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently” is said by Benjamin Franklin. As per the statement of Benjamin Franklin, the responsibilities of the business is not only to build the business as the best company in the world, it is required to maintain the business along with sustainability.
The potential benefits that the companies can acquire from using the corporate social responsibility in the business are such as triple bottom line approaches, human resource management, risk management, differentiation of brands, scrutiny reduction and the good relationship with the suppliers and the stakeholders (Quazi and Richardson, 2012).
2. Tesco is one of the largest UK based company which has used the corporate social responsibility in their business to provide the best products and services to their customers. The activities of Tesco affect several peoples in the societies throughout the world. Tesco is responsible for all those people. It is the belief of Tesco that if the business values fail to incorporate with the social values than the long term prosperity of the company will also be decreased (Rakotomavo, 2012). Hence the company may lose their customers. Few decades before, the responsibility of the products is the safety of the products. In now-a-days, the responsibility of the business is to maintain the sustainability in all the aspects of the business.
Several changes take place in Tesco after integrating the corporate social responsibility in their businesses. The corporate social responsibilities are not only describing the ethical aspects but also describe the strategic aspects. The activities of the corporate social responsibilities benefits to many aspects of the companies along with their stakeholders including customers, suppliers, employees managers, shareholders and other stakeholders (Smirnova, 2012). Tesco improves their financial performance using CSR and generate more profits for the company and for the shareholders. It also reduces the operating cost of the company mostly in the field of productivity relating to the workplace and environment. Using CSR, Tesco employed the triple bottom line activities in their business and highly focused on the social, economic and environmental activities in the business (Sparkes, 2014). According to the manager of Tesco, the products and services of the company are produced by keeping in mind about the benefits of the society and the environment.
The operations and functions of the business of Tesco do not harm the environment or the health of the people. Tesco provides more focus on the health of their customers than making profit to the business. Also as per the rules of the corporate social responsibilities, company also focuses on the employees and the workers of the factories of the company. The health of the employees and workers and their families are the responsibilities of the company. Hence, the company tries to provide the best health service to their employees and workers. Tesco also follows all the rules and regulations of the government and ensure about no harms to the environment (Sprinkle and Maines, 2010). Also they committed that none of the stakeholders of the company will harm mentally or physically due the services and products of the company.
3. The recent news of British petroleum defines that their performance regarding to the corporate social responsibilities are not good. The business of British petroleum is to find the oil, refine it and sell the gas to the customers. In the business process of the company, they have to interact with several numbers of organizations which brings the obligations regarding to the ethical activities. The ethical obligations are such as
- Supplying the products according to their expectations
- Be honest with the suppliers
- Provide the best health and safety services to the workplace
- Maintaining the environmental laws
As stated by Trong Tuan (2012), during the finding and collecting of oil, BP failed to maintain the social responsibilities and the sustainability of the environment. Company failed to provide the best focus on the health of the workers and their families during the mining of the oil. As for example, regarding to the recent news, British petroleum refinery in the northern side of Indiana is blamed for the rising of the gas price in Cincinnati. In the northern Indiana, BP Whiting Refinery shut the three largest crude distillation units down.
Regarding to the recent news, Shoosmiths has been recognized by the legal department of UK as the best legal employer of the week. The survey organized by Legal Week Intelligence of UK with the international firms, Shoosmiths declared as the best employer. The score of the firm is higher regarding to the values of the people given by the company. It is said that according to the culture, best value is provided to the people by Shoosmiths. High score also obtained in the field of the quality of the customers and the quality of the work that is available to their employees. This firm also praised because of sharing the best information of CSR in their blogs and the photo galleries for their employees.
As commented by Louise Hadland, the HR director of Shoosmiths, the clients of this firm choose them due to the best legal advisors. The aim of the company is to focus on the professional development of each and every people related to the company to provide them the best potential. The benefits of this will not only limit to the employees, also provides to the clients. Hence Shoosmiths can claim to be the best practice for the corporate social responsibilities in their firm.
Azmat, F. and Zutshi, A., 2012. Perceptions of corporate social responsibility amongst immigrant entrepreneurs. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(1), pp.63-76.
Dincer, B. and Dincer, C., 2012. Measuring brand social responsibility: a new scale. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(4), pp.484-494.
Jahdi, K., 2014. Cause-related marketing (CaRM) and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Social Responsibility Journal, 10(4), pp.674-684.
Nejati, M. and Ghasemi, S., 2012. Corporate social responsibility in Iran from the perspective of employees. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(4), pp.578-588.
Quazi, A. and Richardson, A., 2012. Sources of variation in linking corporate social responsibility and financial performance. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(2), pp.242-256.
Rakotomavo, M., 2012. Corporate investment in social responsibility versus dividends?. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(2), pp.199-207.
Smirnova, Y., 2012. Perceptions of corporate social responsibility in Kazakhstan. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(3), pp.404-417.
Sparkes, S., 2014. Corporate social responsibility: Benefits for youth in hydropower development in Laos. International Review of Education, 60(2), pp.261-277.
Sprinkle, G. and Maines, L., 2010. The benefits and costs of corporate social responsibility. Business Horizons, 53(5), pp.445-453.
Trong Tuan, L., 2012. Corporate social responsibility, leadership, and brand equity in healthcare service. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(3), pp.347-362.