The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility

Introduction

This essay is intended to provide a critical evaluation of the views expressed by Archie Carroll and Kareem Shabana in their article that was published in the International Journal of Management Reviews in 2010. In this article the authors provide their own perspective on the role that the businesses have towards the society concerning the important issue of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It evaluates the importance of CSR to the society as well as the businesses practicing it; it also evaluates the demerits of CSR towards the business that is practicing it. Various businesses have adopted CSR at varying levels and for different purposes and therefore in view of this it is important to understand the motivation behind the adoption of CSR by the society as well as the expected benefits that these businesses will draw from CSR. Therefore the purpose of this review is to evaluate the viewpoints of the authors on the issue of CSR and find out how best the businesses can utilize the concept of CSR for the benefits of the business ventures as well as the society at large.

Background information

The issue of CSR has for a long time been used by various businesses to advance their business causes, it is therefore very important to try and understand the reasoning behind the use of CSR by the various business enterprises. The use of CSR in the business community has advanced over time and most of the business organizations in the modern world have adopted the use of the same for the purpose of furthering their business interests. The History of CSR can be traced back to pre-world war II; however Dean David can be linked with the comments that ultimately changed the nature of the businesses. He advocated for the business leaders in the upcoming businesses to share more of the responsibilities of the business leaders (Carroll & Shabana, 86).

The idea of CSR indeed developed over time and in the 1950’s Frank Abrahams explored the concepts that explained the fact that the management had an even wider range of responsibilities to take care of; these responsibilities were towards the customers, the employees as well as the society. With time various authors came up with concepts that defined the responsibilities of the management in the use of CSR by the various businesses. The key ideas were based on the fact that the adoption of CSR would improve the interaction between the business, the society as well as the entire community at large.

This could ultimately work for the benefits of all the involved parties and ensure that the business operated in an environment that was receptive and ready to propel their business interests. By adopting a social approach to their businesses in the society, the businesses would be able to take on responsibilities other than the economic and legal obligations (Carroll & Shabana, 87). They would be able to develop a socially responsive approach in the society and this would ensure sustainability as well as social development in the community.

Summary

It is clear that the use of CSR can be of a huge benefit to the community; however, there are also a few concepts that have been expressed against the use of CSR by businesses. One of the major critics of CSR, Milton Friedman held that the management had a responsibility towards the owners of the business as well as the shareholders and therefore the core aim of the business was to maximize profits and not to resolve the social issues involving the society. There are also arguments based on the fact that the business owners are not equipped with the required expertise to handle issues related to the society; therefore adopting a CSR approach to the business will take the attention of the business owners away from the core purpose of the business (Carroll & Shabana, 89). The competitive nature of the business globally can also be affected by the adoption of CSR in the market as it will shift the focus of the business away from the core business issues. However as identified beforehand, the nature of the business can be improved and their business interests can be advanced considerably through the adoption of CSR.

Evaluation

Overall the authors of this article are able to address the issues of CSR and how it affects the businesses. The article highlights how the businesses can be able to further their business interests while still being responsive to the social interests of the community. However the article fails to clearly outline the means that can be adopted to address the various challenges and critics against the use of CSR by the community. It is clear that the article clearly outlines the benefits of the adoption of CSR by the business through enhancement of the cooperation between the Society and the business and thus ensuring that there is a creation of an environment that is conducive for the operation of the business.

Conclusion

From a business point of view, CSR will only be beneficial if it draws the associated benefits for the business in economic and financial terms in the market. For business managers CSR needs to provide a clear overview on how it will improve the financial performance of the business organization. However is important to consider all the stakeholders including the society so as to establish the applicability and associated benefits to all the concerned parties. However it is clear that CSR can be hugely beneficial to all the stakeholders if all the issues raised by the critics are well addressed and all the doubts are addressed.

Work Cited

Carroll, Archie and Shabana, Kareem. The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research. International Journal of Management Reviews. Blackwell Publishing Limited, 2010. Print.

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