The paper “ Fundamental Principles of Corporate Social Responsibility” is an exciting example of the literature review on management. Corporate 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 is 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 fair 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 tendency 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 IntroductionCorporate 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.
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