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2.3 Modern day CSR Principles …………………………………………………. . 62.4 CSR Principles in addressing social issues …………………………………. . 7-83.1 Codes of Conduct …………………………………………………… 8-124.1 Conclusion…………………………………………………… 12-13Bibliography…………………………………………………… 14-16Executive SummaryCorporate Social Responsibility is an issue that every corporation needs to consider while coming up with their overall strategies and plans. CSR, as it is popularly known, entails performing actions beyond those geared towards making a profit that are perceived to be beneficial by certain stakeholders such as employees, the community and the consuming public. Notably, CSR activities are not mandatory or enforceable by law like formal laws would be.

Even when principles and codes of conduct have been stipulated, the performance of these codes of conduct depends largely on the commitment exhibited by the corporation to its stakeholders. Most of these codes of conduct are well intended. For instance companies undertake to pay fare wages, preach against discrimination, agree to the formation of employee associations, and contract to be environmentally conscious, avoid child abuse and generally contribute in meaningful ways to the welfare of the communities in which they operate. However, these codes of conduct will be useless if they are not implemented.

The situation is further aggravated when there is a recessionary tendencies like was recently witnessed the world over. In such cases, most corporations react by cutting down on their CSR budgets since they largely perceive it as being unnecessary. CSR can however be used to gain competitive advantage even in recessionary periods. This report demonstrates that companies that follow and implement CSR strategies even during recessionary periods are likely to be more profitable in the long run than those that apply CSR only when times are good.

Coca Cola is an exemplary example of a company that consistently applies its codes of corporate social responsibility and the results speak for themselves. 1.1 Introduction Corporate Social Responsibility according to Kotler and Lee (2005) is “a commitment to improve community well-being through discretionary business practices and contributions of corporate resources” (p. 3). The authors are quick to point out that the term community well being refers to both human conditions as well as environmental issues. Notable from the definition is the use of the term discretionary.

This implies that the actions/ commitments are voluntary and not mandated by law. Buhmann (2006) agrees with this notion by stating that most of the activities of CSR are not dictated by formal law. There have been some efforts to regulate the actions of companies in as far as international human rights laws are concerned. Notably, the United Nations has been at the forefront in championing this cause. The European Union has also come up with some guidelines and legislations which member states are expected to abide by (Buhmann 2006).

This legislations and guidelines constitute what (2006) refers to as informal law. This is because corporations are not necessarily brought to account for violation of these laws and regulation. As such, most of CSR actions and programs depend upon a corporation’s need to impress their stakeholders and behave in a socially responsible manner. This report seeks to shed light on the concept of CSR, the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility, the codes of conduct of CSR and how these codes have been sustained by a company such as Coca Cola in the midst of a recession.

The report borrows mainly from secondary online sources on the topic of CSR and from the author’s own observation. The report seeks to highlight the growing importance of CSR activities in the running of any profitable organization and provides justification for including CSR as part of strategy.

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