Essays on Approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility Coursework

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper 'Approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility" is a great example of business coursework.   This paper examines the increased need for CSR. It will also focus on the different managerial approaches applied in CSR. The relation between these viewpoints and other social governing principles of ethics will also be established to ascertain the relevance of CSR to the particular ethical issues. This paper will use a case study to illustrate the application or lack thereof of the implementation of CSR. The case study used is of tobacco companies whose products have a detrimental effect on society.

The management of the companies conspired to suppress information on their products so as to maximize profits. The dilemma, therefore, exists in the importance of staying economically relevant and implementing a responsible advertising strategy (Driver, 2006). Introduction Corporate social responsibility has become a mandatory aspect of many public institutions. In all sectors of business, it has become important to boost the company’ s image by portraying some sense of responsibly for business activity on society. McWillians & Siegel (2001) say that companies have turned from mere compliance with laws to following the dedication to codes of conduct and social sponsoring.

Corporate responsibility has paradoxical support from public authorities. This support is paradoxical in its dimension to challenge the regulation and arbitral role of the state (Kotler & Lee 2004). Alvesson & Berg (1992), note that Companies that implement CSR whether for business or normative cases face many challenges in formulation and implementation. These are particularly concentrated in determining the company’ s social obligation. Carroll (1991), notes that the main characteristic of CSR is the obligation the corporation has to the stakeholders who are affected by its policies and practices.

Studies by Trevino & Weaver (1994) have indicated a positive relationship between corporations CSR the overall performance. Socially sensitive companies have a positive image and therefore improve share value (Alvesson & Berg, 1992). The three dimensions of managerial strategies towards CSR are the classical or traditional approach, the socioeconomic approach and the broad social approach. The classical view stipulates that the company has no moral obligation to the stakeholders. The main objective of businesses is to make profit oblivious of the effect of their action on society.

This is a relatively utilitarian perspective as it maximizes on the achievement of a goal and nothing else. The two social viewpoints are the inverse of the classical. In this dimension, the business has an obligation and responsibility to society. These approaches stipulate that the management social responsibility is economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic (Hartman, 2004). Approaches to corporate social responsibility The classical economic approach Friedman (1970) indicated in his article that businesses have no moral obligation to their staff or society. All responsibility for the two groups lies with the state.

According to Hetzel (2007), the implementation of CSR is viewed to be subversive and incompatible with the doctrines of a liberal society. According to the classical view, tobacco companies are only responsible to their shareholders. The classic view is indicative of the manager's standpoint for the tobacco companies. The managers were motivated by an increase in profitability of their companies and did not care what that implied for the customers (Reinartz, & Kumar 2002). Worse still, they use manipulative strategies by employing stakeholders of the health sector to promote their businesses.

According to the economic theory, if the demand of a commodity is high then the supply should also be high to meet the demand. This is never naturally the case and therefore businesses have to apply good marketing strategies (Santos, & Boote 2003). By marketing the use of tobacco, these companies were merely creating the demand for their products. Increasing the demand these companies created immense wealth for the agents who are part of the companies.


Alvesson, I.M. and Berg, P.O. (1992) Corporate Culture and Organisational Symbolism: an Overview, De Gruyter, Berlin.

Barnett, M. L., and Salomon, R. M. (2003). ‘Throwing a Curve at Socially Responsible

Investing Research’. Organization & Environment, 16(3): 381–9.

Bowie, N. E., andDunfee, T.W. (2002). ‘Confronting Morality in Markets’. Journal of Business

Ethics, 38(4): 381–93.

Carroll A.B. (1991), ‘The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders Business Horizons 34, no. 4, pp. 39-48

Driver, M. (2006). ‘Beyond the Stalemate of Economics versus Ethics: Corporate Social

Responsibility and the Discourse of the Organizational Self ’. Journal of Business Ethics,

66: 337–56.

Hartman, L. P. (2004). Perspectives in Business Ethics. 3rd Edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill, Irwin

Hetzel, Robert L.(2007) “The Contributions of Milton Friedman to Economics” Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Economic Quarterly 93 (winter)

Fisher, C. and Lovell, A. (2006). Business Ethics and Values: Individual, Corporate and International Perspectives. 2nd Edition. Harlow, UK: Prentice Hall/Financial Times

Friedman, M. (1970, September 13). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. The New York Times Magazine

Kotler, P. & Lee, N. (2004). Corporate social responsibility: Doing the most good for your company and your cause. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Laidler, David (2005) “Milton Friedman and the Evolution of Macroeconomics” EPRI Working

Paper 2005-11, Dept. of Economics, University of Western Ontario

Lawrence, Anne T., and Weber, James. (2008) Business & Society – Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy. 12th Edition. McGraw-Hill OR

Mc Willians, A. & Siegel, D. (2001). Corporate Social Responsibility: A Theory Of The Firm Perspective. Academy Of Manangement Journal, 26(1): 117

Moore, G. (2001). “Corporate Social And Financial Performance: An Investigation In The Uk Supermarket Industry”. Journal Of Business Ethics 65(3):5

Prahalad, C. K. (2004). The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through

Profits. Upper Saddle River, NJ:Wharton School Publishing.

Porter, M.E. & Kramer, M. (2002).The competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy. Harvard Business Review, 80(12), 57-68

Reinartz, W. & Kumar, V. (2002). “The mismanagement of customer loyalty.”

Harvard Business Review, 80(7), 86-94.

Santos, J. & Boote, J. (2003). “A theoretical exploration and model of consumer expectations, post purchase affective states and affective behavior.” Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 3(2), 142-156.

Simpson, W. G. & Kohers, T. (2002). “The link between corporate social responsibility and financial performance: Evidence from the banking industry.” Journal of Business Ethics, 35(2), 97-109.

Trevino, L. K., and Weaver, G. R. (1994). ‘Normative and Empirical Business Ethics: Separation, Marriage of Convenience, or Marriage of Necessity?’ Business Ethics Quarterly, 4:129–43.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us