Essays on Moral Minimum and Corporate Social Responsibility Coursework

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The paper "Moral Minimum and Corporate Social Responsibility" is an outstanding example of business coursework.   Corporate social responsibility (CSR) also referred to as social performance, sustainable responsible business, corporate citizenship, or corporate conscience is a self-regulating mechanism that guides the business in monitoring and ensuring active compliance with international norms, ethical standards, and regulations entrenched in law (Feltus & Petit, 2009). The main objective of corporate social responsibility is to ensure that companies and organizations take responsibility for their actions by enhancing a positive impact on the societies, environment, stakeholders, communities, and consumers through the activities undertaken by the company. Activities involved in corporate social responsibility strategies are many.

They include the help organizations advance to the communities through the construction of schools, healthcare facilities, helping the needy children pursue their education, training farmers on new methods and strategies of farming; reduction in environmental pollution through proper treatment and disposal of waste from factories, adoption of new methods of production such as the use of green technology; and enhancing transparency in reporting procedures and application of social reporting, auditing, and accounting (to mention a few). Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has numerous potential benefits that include, increased confidence of shareholders and customers towards the business, the increased trust of the communities towards the company, reduction in conflicts and legal issues that face the company, and increased profitability on the part of the business. The purpose of this paper is to explore in-depth the issue of CSR with a focus on Unilever and how the company has fulfilled or not fulfilled the moral minimum of doing no harm, the positive injunction of the moral minimum to prevent harm, and the affirmative duty to assist society. Company Background Unilever is a multinational company that deals with the production of consumer goods.

It was established in 1930 (Unilever, 2012). The line of its products includes cleaning agents, beverages, foods, and personal care products. In terms of revenues, Unilever was ranked third in the world among consumer goods companies after Nestle and Procter and Gamble. Corporate Social Responsibility Honoring moral minimum Something of agreement among business ethics philosophers has emerged in the past few decades. Business ethics philosophers were previously critical regarding the view postulated by Milton Friedman that the main objective and purpose of any given business is to make profits in order to maximize the wealth of stockholders (Habisch, Jonker, Wagner & Schmidpeter, 2005).

However, the neoclassical view regarding businesses is that corporations have the responsibility of making profits in order to maximize the wealth of the shareholders while honoring the moral minimum. The moral minimum refers to a state where the actions of the company do not inflict harm and respecting individual justice and rights. In this perspective, the role of managers in respective companies is to promote and protect the rights of different stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers, managers themselves, and the local community. These stakeholders are perceived as the most significant for the survival of the company and its operations.

In order to honor the moral minimum requirement, the company is required to use resources and carry out activities designed and aimed at maximizing profits. However, the company should engage in free and open competition without engaging in fraudulent and deceptive activities (Habisch, Jonker, Wagner, and Schmidpeter, 2005).

In view of the Friedmanite model, the company under a social contract to honor the moral minimum requirement is bound to ensure that it does not cause harm that can be avoided. This entails honoring the rights of individual stakeholders and adhering to the canons of justice.

References

Feltus, C., Petit, M. (2009). "Building a Responsibility Model Including Accountability, Capability and Commitment", Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ( IEEE ), Fukuoka.

Habisch, A., Jonker, J., Wagner, M., & Schmidpeter, R.(2005). Corporate Social Responsibility Across Europe. Springer

Jastram, S. (2007). "The Link Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Management". CIS Papers No.17. Centre of International Studies, Hamburg.

Maignan, I., & Ferrell, O. (2001). "Corporate citizenship as a marketing instrument". European Journal of Marketing 35 (3/4): 457–484.

Unilever. (2012). Sustainability . http://www.unilever.com/sustainability/consumer/safety

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