Friday, January 14, 2011

Corporate Social Resposibility

I am not sure what the singular goal is for the entire human population.  However, I am certain that peaceful coexistence is one goal that we all strive for.  In so doing we have taken some very drastic measures to ensure that peace is achieved, such as WWII.  A little further down the drastic scale is the pursuits of order through codes of conduct, law, charters, constitutions, declarations and a host of other labels used to achieve peaceful coexistence.
For this paper, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and governance efforts will be discussed.  The main questions are:  
How are they the same/different?
Do they have the same purpose/goals?
How does corporate social responsibility (CSR) and governance work for/against each other?
In order to discuss these topics a definition of their meaning needs to be provided.  To begin, a definition of CSR is as follows:
“Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is about the contribution a company makes to society through its core business activities, social investment and philanthropy programs and governance.”[1]

“Introduced in the early 1930s, corporate social responsibility (CSR) was initially
concerned with the role of corporate managers and their ability to consider interests
other than those of their shareholders.”[2]

As you can see the word “governance” is in that definition.   What is governance?  “Governance is ultimately concerned with creating the conditions for ordered rule and collective action”[3]

Taking those two definitions and melding them together we can get a good idea as to the relationship of CSR and governance.  If CSR is about the contributions a corporations makes to society and governance is about creating order, the two can be seen as a method in which CSR (through governance)is used to bring order to the actions of a corporation.

[1] Macys, Gediminas and Juozas Vijeikis.  Does the social relationship matter? The corporate social responsibility.  African Journal of Political Science and International Relations Vol. 4 No. 8. Nov 2010.  Pg., 309.
[2] Whitehouse, Lisa. Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Citizenship and the Global Compact: A
New Approach to Regulating Corporate Social Power. Global Social Policy Vol. 3 No. 3. pg., 301.
[3] Stoker, Gerry.  Governance as theory: five propositions. International Social Science Journal Vol 50, Is 155. March 1998. Pg.,17.