The paper "The Role Of Corporate Social Responsibility In The Modern Organisation" is a wonderful example of a Management Case Study. The external business environment has had a significant impact on the internal operations and the decision-making process in contemporary organizations. As companies expand operations and strive to gain better consumer loyalty, participation in activities that promote social welfare has become a new approach to connect with society. It is this devotion of time as well as financial resources to foster environmental and social change that has become a key defining feature of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
This review will, therefore, provide an in-depth analysis of the effects of CSR on firms and society. The paper will embark on a managerial perspective on the role of organizational leadership in ensuring that the objectives of CSR are met in the most effective manner. Finally, a critical evaluation of the various arguments that support and object the importance of CSR will be raised. Definitions of Corporate Social Responsibility. The last half of the 20th century was characterized by the involvement of businesses in community development.
Over time, corporations began assuming more responsibilities in the development of society and adopted more creative approaches to their philanthropic causes (K. Wilburn & R. Wilburn 2014). Consequently, scholars began to take a more critical analysis of the new concept of CSR and how it impacted organizational performance, competition, and the ability of firms to access new markets. Since then, varying definitions of CSR have been brought forward by different authors. Bowen (1953) opined CSR to be the duty of those in business to engage in sound decision-making policies and best practices that would ultimately reflect societal values and objectives.
It is not surprising to note that Bowen’ s scope on CSR was quite limited to the top-management, an observation that can be vindicated by understanding the leadership styles that were in use at the time. Whetten et al (2002) provide a different viewpoint on CSR by arguing that organizational stakeholders are expected by the society to voluntarily act in a manner that promotes the welfare of the community. This is a much broader view, and although it fails to articulate who in particular should facilitate this action, it provides insights into CSR as it is known today. Frederick (1998) defined CSR to be a deliberate effort by the organization to ascertain that human and economic resources are utilized for the interest of society as opposed to meeting the needs of firms and private persons.
Frederick’ s fundamental definition captures an aspect of CSR that is quite elusive in other authors. By introducing the concept of who should be the beneficiaries of these initiatives, this definition brings out the idea of philanthropy (Windsor 2013).
However, due to the increased competition and the changing business dynamics in modern times, it would be erroneous to suggest that organizations embark on CSR without the long-term goal of expanding their client base. Carroll and Buchholtz (2003) share similar sentiments with Fredericks's definition by maintaining that CSR involves the firm’ s responsibility to meet societal expectations with regards to ethical, economic, and legal cooperation in addition to their core business of profit maximization. Perhaps this is the most comprehensive definition as it addresses CSR as it is commonly presented in most contemporary organizations.
Ultimately, the goal of CSR is to meet societal needs by going beyond the confines of what the organization is obliged to economically or legally undertake (Wolf, Issa, & Thiel 2015). Moreover, other business practices such as positive customer and investor relations, looking out for the welfare of the employees, and promoting humanitarian causes are also encompassed in the scope of CSR.