1.0 IntroductionHow can companies make profit by exploiting nature and human capital as well as maintain long-term sustainability? In recent years, few notions have so fully captured the corporate imagination as that of corporate social responsibility (CSR), defined broadly as a company’s “status and activities with respect to its perceived societal or, at least, stakeholder obligations. ” While CSR is by no means a new idea, more companies than ever before are backing CSR initiatives such as corporate philanthropy, cause-related marketing, minority support programs, and socially responsible employment and manufacturing practices—and they are doing so with real financial and marketing muscle.
The web sites of more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies address CSR issues, reflecting the pervasive belief among business leaders that in today’s marketplace CSR is not only an ethical/ideological imperative, but also an economic one. In other words, companies today are increasingly aware of both the normative and business case for engaging in CSR; not only is “doing good” “the right thing to do, ” but it also leads to “doing better” through its positive effects on key stakeholder groups.
Thus sustainability in 21st century for businesses across the globe is enhancing corporate social responsibility on long-term basis i. e. stakeholder perspective. The question that arises after initial discussion is how can coal mining corporations enhance corporate social responsibility or sustainable development as their business mode revolves around eradicating natural resources from surface of earth? 2.0 Research QuestionCan Coal mining corporations operate sustainably? Case Research on UK Coal Plc, BHP Billiton Plc and XstrataIn this research note we would be analyzing the corporate social responsibility index and strategies sketched by coal mining companies to enhance sustainability on long-term basis.
3.0 Literature ReviewThe term CSR became rife after the works of Bowen in his book Social responsibilities of the Businessman (1953). Since then this field has been growing rapidly and a wide range of theories have been formulated to capture this notion (Bowen, 1953). Society and business, social issues management, public policy and business, stakeholder management, corporate accountability are just some of the terms used to describe the phenomena related to corporate responsibility in society (Bowen, 1953). The western CSR understanding is framed in a partly polarised debate on CSR.
Management issues related to CSR arise due to two mutually opposing views on how a firm should interact with its stakeholders with respect to the interests of its shareholders (Chalmers, 1999). The varying views of many management thinkers in this arena constitute a rather heated global debate on CSR (Ehrlich et al. , 1977). This is also what makes this subject extremely interesting and challenging (Chalmers, 1999). The Shareholder Perspective is basic; it calls for the Manager to act for a single goal of maximising the wealth of its share holders.
Any expense on the account of pure philanthropy is condemned and viewed as wealth destroying (Emshoff et al. , 1978). The Stakeholder perspective suggests that a firm should give equal importance to the interests of all its stakeholders by seeking a balanced solution involving a reasonable distribution of costs and benefits among them (Emshoff et al. , 1978). This can also be known as the freeman approach that provides radical support for CSR. According to Porter & Kramer (2002) stakeholder approach a manager should follow seven rules of stakeholder engagement, as follows: