You are here: Home Knowledge Base Society Content and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility
Symposium 2009

Content and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility

The Challenge

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) represents a company’s voluntary commitment to address the ethical, social and environmental factors associated with its operations. Despite its potential for furthering social needs CSR activities may come under severe pressure in an era of increased global competition and during business cycle downturns.

The role of governments in facilitating and supporting CSR still remains unclear.

Do we need joint action of firms and governments to agree on common CSR standards to prevent a race to the bottom where firms that engage in CSR are at a cost disadvantage vis-à-vis their competitors? Should governments help to sustain CSR-activities during business cycles downturns, and if so, how should they do that? Should a company only be responsible for its own activities or should it also take responsibility for eventual actions by their suppliers and customers and, if so, how to make a company’s commitment to CSR enforceable against potential misbehaviour by suppliers and customers? How to prevent politicians to neglect their original responsibilities and treat CSR as a substitute for good government policy?

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2009

    Replace traditional “corporate social responsibility” by “shared value creation” among business, customers, employees, and society in the long run.

    Replace traditional “corporate social responsibility” by “shared value creation” among business, customers, employees, and society in the long run.

    Replace traditional “corporate social responsibility” by “shared value creation” among business, customers, employees, and society in the long run.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2009

    The investor community must require corporations to persue sustainability. Consumer movements must demand products that respect the environment and society.

    The investor community must require corporations to persue sustainability. Consumer movements must demand products that respect the environment and society.

    The investor community must require corporations to persue sustainability. Consumer movements must demand products that respect the environment and society.

    Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2009

    Require periodical, public reporting on companies´ social and environmental impacts. Make reporting subject to independent scrutiny panels.

    Require periodical, public reporting on companies´ social and environmental impacts. Make reporting subject to independent scrutiny panels.

    Require periodical, public reporting on companies´ social and environmental impacts. Make reporting subject to independent scrutiny panels.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2009

    Promote partnerships between business, governments, and NGOs to address sustainability issues and define appropriate common international standards to hold whole industries to account.

    Promote partnerships between business, governments, and NGOs to address sustainability issues and define appropriate common international standards to hold whole industries to account.

    Promote partnerships between business, governments, and NGOs to address sustainability issues and define appropriate common international standards to hold whole industries to account.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2009

    Contents and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS)

    1. Governments and organizations of the “third (i.e. not-for-profit non-governmental) sector” should work together with companies to identify the need for CSR-activities, to motivate the developme ...

    1. Governments and organizations of the “third (i.e. not-for-profit non-governmental) sector” should work together with companies to identify the need for CSR-activities, to motivate the development of CSR strategies and to help realizing these strategies. In essence, CSR means corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model whereby business commits to adhere to social norms and international standards that are not subject of regulation by law. Although at first sight it may seem that CSR is only a matter of business companies, in fact it will only be sustainable in the long run (and especially during times of economic crisis) if

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2009

    Contents and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility: Solutions.

    Contents and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility: Solutions. Creating Shared Value. Paul Bulcke, CEO Nestlé SA, Switzerland Our proposed solution to broaden the scope of Corporate Social Respon ...

    Contents and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility: Solutions. Creating Shared Value. Paul Bulcke, CEO Nestlé SA, Switzerland Our proposed solution to broaden the scope of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and overcome its limits starts with three premises: 1. A long-term approach in all our thinking and actions. 2. Fully integrating a clear and constructive understanding of our role in society into the mainstream activities of day-to-day business. 3. An awareness of the diversity of local situations and, as a result, the complexity of the international business environment, as well as the will to act accordingly. Nestlé, for instance, runs its

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2009

    Content and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility - Kiel Inst. Global Econ Symposium 2009

    Corporate social responsibility is defined as a company’s voluntary commitment to address the ethical, social, and environmental factors associated with all aspects of its operations. The key word i ...

    Corporate social responsibility is defined as a company’s voluntary commitment to address the ethical, social, and environmental factors associated with all aspects of its operations. The key word is “voluntary,” which means that firms choose to do this of their own volition. What is the problem that we are trying to address? In general, it is that the incentives of the firm, embodied in its managers, workers, shareholders, and creditors, may differ from those of society as a whole. The two most apparent manifestations of conflicting incentives are outright malfeasance, e.g., fraud, and undertaking actions that create systemic risk

    Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2009

    "First Pass"

    I recently heard a prominent social enterprise consultant say that social responsibility is as basic to business as double-entry accounting. If only it were so. It’s certainly possible to do some go ...

    I recently heard a prominent social enterprise consultant say that social responsibility is as basic to business as double-entry accounting. If only it were so. It’s certainly possible to do some good for the world and make money (or at least break even) at the same time. We need to move beyond the recognition that responsible, sustainable enterprises can exist to understanding the trade-offs that do exist in the world of social enterprise practice. (In serving low income customers, for example, there is a very obvious trade-off in deciding how low to set prices.) How, given economic constraints, can

    Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2009

    Content and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility

    In its early years, Corporate Social Responsibility was seen by many as essentially charitable – comprising voluntary commitments to contribute to local communities or to adopt better practices than ...

    In its early years, Corporate Social Responsibility was seen by many as essentially charitable – comprising voluntary commitments to contribute to local communities or to adopt better practices than required by law. There is a growing recognition, however, that corporate responsibility should be thought of in much much broader terms. In the area of environmental sustainability, there are clear drivers of this expansion. WWF estimates that humanity’s global footprint already exceeds the Earth’s capacity to regenerate by about 30%. And we are seeing the early signs of resource constraints that will dominate this century, including increasing demand (and thus prices)

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2009

    ‘CSR’ IN SEARCH OF A NEW PARADIGM

    We should have realized by now that we cannot carry on with business as usual. We acknowledge that the climate is changing due to human activity, and that unless we change the pattern of our activitie ...

    We should have realized by now that we cannot carry on with business as usual. We acknowledge that the climate is changing due to human activity, and that unless we change the pattern of our activities very quickly, the Earth will soon become a very unpleasant place for all human beings. As Einstein said, we cannot solve the problems we face with the same thinking that brought us the problems: we new models and new paradigms. We need new models to grow economies in ways that put far less pressure on the environment than have the models that brought the

    Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2009

    Content and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility

    ‘Corporate social responsibility’ is the means by which businesses structure their interaction with society. This means more than simply being a good corporate citizen – it is about investing in ...

    ‘Corporate social responsibility’ is the means by which businesses structure their interaction with society. This means more than simply being a good corporate citizen – it is about investing in society as an integral part of a business. The creation of genuine shareholder value requires business to remain in the game for the long-term and not being solely focused on generating short-run returns on capital. A business’ licence to operate depends on making itself useful to society and that is why CSR is so important. Keeping a business in touch with society’s values is something which is best provided by

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Implemen- tations

    Implementation
    Symposium 2009

    Global Reporting Initiative (GRI Amsterdam)

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society