What is CSR? To what extent is there a business case for CSR?

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What is CSR? To what extent is there a business case for CSR?

In recent years, increasing number of customers and businessmen start to concern about the ethical issues in businesses. Although the main purpose of business is to make profits, the social influence of it also appears to be focused by a large proportion of customers and businessmen. Corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is closely connected with this concentration, was put forward in 1953 with the meaning of interacting social, environmental, and economic considerations into the decision-making structures and processes of business (Industry Canada, 2013). Although criticized, there is a business case for CSR because it could enhance customers’ loyalty, improve
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In other words, CSR is like a potential rule or standard, companies try to follow it and may feel anxious about violating CSR. Thus, these individual firms may operate in a similar way inevitably, and fewer innovations are added to their businesses which results in fewer competitive advantages. However, some arguments may present that CSR itself could be the competitive advantage of corporations, but reflect on Hawthorne (2013), 40.6% of customers would not pay extra money for products or services, which comes to a pretty high “unwilling fraction”. This might prove that customers would not buy anything primarily depends on the ethical or environmental issues. Thus, CSR would not be a major competitive advantage of corporations. In addition, Godelnik (2011) claims that CSR might compel companies to delay or pre-empt some effective measures, such as regulations, when addresses social problems. This will also limit the performance of firms, because some methods may be more profitable than others, but less beneficial to society. In order to adopt CSR, corporations may need to choose the less profitable one, so their performance would be limited. Therefore, CSR may restrict corporations’ performances through two ways.

The last disadvantage of CSR is that it may restrict some kind of trades and investments. “Since circumstances differ widely across countries, CSR would restrict the scope for mutually beneficial trade and investment flows” (Henderson, 2001, P.31). In other
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