Corporate Social Responsibility Paper

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CSR and the Future of Corporate Accountability

As is the case with most anything of any interest, the deeper you look into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) the more difficult it is to define. And as long as it remains difficult to define, it will be difficult to communicate and enforce. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that one is faced with a series of questions related to corporate social responsibility, human rights and the law along a parallel path of considering the importance of profits, business innovation and market share.

Just what is the role of business as it pertains to social responsibility?

Corporations are not in business to save the world. They are in business to make money. But what
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Yet the very nature of CSR makes it difficult to draw clear lines between specific social programs and codes of conduct and these kinds of results.

Business is all about measurement and goal setting. CSR, in so far as it attempts to effect behavior of both internal and external audiences, can be an elusive element to put into an Excel spreadsheet. It’s also something where change occurs over years, rather than over night. One may replace lighting fixtures in a warehouse to improve efficiency and reduce energy use as part of a policy of environmental stewardship which may be a part of a larger CSR program, but even then it can take months or even years to see that investment pay off in lower lighting bills and decreased energy usage.

There is also an element of CSR that holds a negative measurement component.

Effective CSR may PREVENT activities, so instead of measuring what happens, you need to look at what DOESN’T happen as a means of measuring success.

For example, a successful safety and quality of life standard policy may prevent accidents and improve employee job satisfaction. But can you definitively state that either policy directly saved X lives or prevented Y
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