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Corporate Social Responsibility : Business Ethics

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As businesses have evolved over time, there is no denying that consumers have grown to expect certain behaviors from the variety of companies that they have the option to endorse. A business can spend millions of dollars on advertising, researching, sampling and surveying customers all of which can be undone by a mistake that ruins their reputation. Corporate social responsibility is a term that has its origins in the 1950s. It refers to “situations where the firm goes beyond compliance and engages in actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law” (McWilliams, Siegel & Wright, 2006, p. 1). It was in the 1990s that corporate social responsibility truly became a trend that led to the development of other terms such as ‘business ethics’ (Carroll 2008). In the twenty first century, especially in the North American and European communities, the concept of corporate social responsibility became so widespread, that nowadays, consumers expect business to care and show that they participate in CSR initiatives (Van Der Smissen 2012). Advertising CSR initiatives became an important tool in gaining consumer trust in the company.
Undoubtedly, the consumer is becoming more ethically aware of growing social issues that powerful and influential companies have the ability to impact. Businesses try to cater to the consciences of the consumers and engage in acts of social responsibility, to the point where these initiatives
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