The paper “ Role of Corporate Social Responsibility, Its Benefits, and Shortcomings for Business” is a delightful example of an essay on management. There are instances that the operations of a business entity are in conflict with the public interest good. Some operations are harmful to the environment, delimiting to consumers, endangering to employees and destructive of the social-economic status of a region. Mining, for instance, has a bearing in all these evils. A company cannot remain oblivious to its impact on the environment, employees and community in which and with which it thrives.
It is human to expect that such a company would voluntarily commit to neutralize or compensate for some of these adverse effects by taking responsibility for its core business activities (Bansal, 2006). That argument is the basis on which the concept of corporate social responsibility is founded. The term corporate social responsibility (CSR) originated in the 1970s to refer to corporate self-regulation that is integrated into normal business practices of an organization. According to Bansal (2006), businesses usually formulate a CSR policy to function as a self-regulating mechanism that helps them monitor their business operations and ensure their adherence to ethical standards, law and international codes of practice.
In most instances, businesses embrace CRS as a way of reducing the impact of their core business activities on consumers, the environment, employees, stakeholders, communities and all other public spheres with which they come into contact with. Bansal, Maurer & Slawinski (2008) identify another angle of corporate social responsibility is where businesses assume a proactive role in promoting public interests that encouraging the community to grow and develop. In most developing societies, companies engage in poverty eradication initiatives, for instance, to help stimulate regional development.
Businesses can also voluntarily start eliminating some of their business practices that have been known to harm the environment or public spheres whether or not the said activities are legal. Experts agree that the essence of CRS is in the deliberate inclusion and advocacy of public interest matters as part of their in-built corporate decision-making processes. In this regard, experts have formulated a term, ‘ Triple bottom line’ to refer to the responsible interaction of a business with People, profits and the Planet (Bansal, Maurer & Slawinski, 2008). Yet despite the obvious relevance of CRS policy in businesses, many organizations still do not concur with the need for CRS.
Many institutions still do not take responsibility for the actions and counter effects of these activities on the environment, community, employees, and stakeholders. The argument is usually that, CRS is not an investment but expenditure to be avoided if possible. After all, opponents argue, businesses are not in the business to give out their profits but to increase them. What such criticism omits is a consideration of the strong business opportunity afforded by CSR.
As this paper will detail, CRS is good for business since it is an intangible investment into the future and one that benefits the business more than the community, employees or stakeholders at the ultimate analysis. The paper debates on the arguments for and against CRS as a business engagement and then concludes on the pertinent role of CRS in the 21st Century competitive market. Before taking a concluding stance, the paper details how corporations can engage their staff into the CRS mentality.