Corporate Social Responsibility

Essay by super_fetusCollege, UndergraduateA-, August 2005

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a management model that promotes ethical conduct and values for businesses by creating public relations policies to promote these practices to publics and stakeholders. Companies like BP, Shell, Ford, Ricoh and a large number of other multinational and smaller organisations are beginning to, or indeed already have taken the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) very seriously.

With such high profile corporate disasters as Enron's collapse having significant underlying issues of business ethics failures, the importance of CSR has certainly been accentuated in recent years. These infamous breakdowns in communications and ethics only served to elevate the public discussion about the requirement for higher degrees of financial and corporate governance transparency (Pieschek 2003). Environmental groups, the media, shareholders and government are just some of the major publics setting these such conditions for responsible modern corporate conduct.

Socially conscientious behaviour can, for example, take the form of environmental concerns (such as Shell's sustainable development initiatives), philanthropic sponsorship (such as McDonald's famous junior tennis program) or perhaps acknowledgement and accountability (such as BP's excellent crisis management after spilling 400,000 gallons off Long Beach California).

CSR is invariably mediated by an organisation's internal public relations (PR) contingent or an external PR consultancy. Not only is CSR a public relations concern itself but its usual positive effects assure a comparative ease of future PR efforts. Pieschek (2003) describes "Organizations with successful CSR programs benefit in many ways by:

Building brand loyalty

Attracting and retaining high quality employees

Strengthening partnerships with stakeholders

Enhancing credibility with various "publics"

Burnishing the organization's public image"

Major corporations are showing increased interest in the area(s) of CSR and PR at present due to the fact that strengthening activity in this area is in many cases suggested to indirectly increase profits: enhancing the...