The paper "The Corporate Social Responsibility of Businesses" is a great example of management coursework. This essay is about the issue of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in business organisations. In the essay, three key questions about this issue are addressed. The first question is about what CSR actually entails. This is addressed by revisiting what has been developed in academic research as CSR. The second question is concerned with the reason as to why companies embrace CSR practices. Reasons that make the adoption of CSR practices a priority for companies are presented in this section.
The third question is based on what the impact of CSR on companies is. Here, the different ways in which CSR practices affect business organisations are discussed. What is CSR? Researchers tend to agree that is very difficult to develop an accurate and comprehensive definition of the concept of CSR (Cheng, Ioannou & Serafeim 2014, p. 2; Matten & Moon 2008, p. 406; Sims 2003, p. 43). Cheng, Ioannou and Serafeim (2014, p. 2) note that there are different definitions of the notion of CSR and that every definition is premised on a specific aspect of the phenomenon which may not be necessarily captured by the other definitions.
Further, Sims (2003, p. 42) observes that the definition of CSR has been evolving over the course of time. The same author also notes that changes in the way in which companies attempt to incorporate the concept of CSR in their operations have always led to changes in the academic definitions of what constitutes CSR. Hence, the difficulty of developing a comprehensive definition of the concept of CSR arises from the constant changes about what constitutes CSR activities that occur over the course of time and the existence of differences in opinions about the phenomenon. In spite of the fact that it is not easy to develop a comprehensive description of CSR, there are various definitions that have been developed over time.
For example, CSR has been defined as the practice by which corporations attempt to integrate environmental, social and stakeholder concerns in their operations and practices (Cheng, Ioannou & Serafeim 2014, p. 2). What this means is that organisations tend to be concerned with the environmental and social issues that exist in the societies in which they operate.
Because of this, the organisations take it as their responsibility to integrate these concerns into their operations. This is done as a way of benefiting not only the organisations in question but also the society at large. On the other hand, Sims (2003, p. 43) sums up various definitions of CSR by observing that the definition of the concept assumes that corporations are obliged to help the societies in which they exist and that this approach helps corporations to meet their obligations to all their stakeholders.
Hence, by being concerned with the environmental and social needs of the societies in which they operate, organisations can be seen to be fulfilling their economic, legal and social functions. These functions are related to all the different stakeholders of corporations and it is, therefore, the duty of corporations to take them into consideration. According to Dahlsrud (2003, p. 4), CSR can be understood in terms of environmental, social, stakeholder, economic and voluntary dimensions. These dimensions represent the main concerns that inform the need for companies to engage in specific practices.
For example, the need to address the concerns of stakeholders while meeting the expectations of society makes it necessary for corporations to engage in CSR activities. And in doing so, corporations address the needs of the society as well as those of their other stakeholders.
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