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Corporate Social Responsibility

One of the concepts covered early in business ethics course was corporate social responsibility. Understanding the concepts of corporate social responsibility are helpful guidelines when considering questions such as what is the point of being in business, or what is the true and underlying goal of specific business related activities. Applying concepts of corporate social responsibility brings me to the conclusion that businesses not only have to make money, but businesses also have to make sense.

In other words, businesses exist not only to make products and profits. Businesses also exist to make communities and the world functional. In the process of finding themselves, individuals are faced with questions and dilemmas including why am I here, what is my purpose, what are my goals, and how will I achieve them. Academic Foundations of Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility, CSR, as a theoretical framework and a practical application helps large and small businesses to answer those same questions and find their corporate uniqueness or individuality. When a company implements a social responsibility or sustainability program, that is a demonstration of understanding of basic ethical framework such as the difference between laws, morals and values, and of practical application in solving business dilemmas.

Corporate social responsibility communicates that business is not guided simply by laws and regulations and that businesses are motivated by reward and punishment. In studying the concepts presented in this course, surveying popular literature on the subjects of corporate responsibility and sustainability, and in considering this information in light of current events, a few things are apparent. Corporate social responsibility is emerging as an academic and professional discipline.

Corporate social responsibility is highly developed in theory, but lacks in practice. (Porter & Kramer, 2006) The topic is presented as a small part of the overall text, but I see opportunity to train management students in social responsibility and sustainability, as CSR managers, in the same way that project management has emerged as a working, certifiable business discipline. For instance, learning the social contract approach helps financial managers to think at the social obligation level while creating strategies to increase corporate profits.

Learning the instrumental approach helps marketing and public relations managers think of the profit maximizing potential of implementing responsibility and sustainability programs. Career Opportunities in Corporate Social Responsibility A certified CSR manager could be the key to bridging the gap between financial, marketing, and public relations management. Two of the driving forces behind corporate social responsibility, namely globalization and failure in the public sector, highlight some of the shortcomings of corporate responsibility in practice.

(Ghillyer, 2008) Business leaders, especially multinational corporations, are in position to influence, guide, and lead in solving many social and environmental problems throughout the world. However, businesses exist to sell products and reap profits, not to solve the problems that governments should be handling. (Gettler, 2007) A CSR manager who is specifically trained to focus on separating corporate responsibility from government responsibility will achieve more profit for the company and create a better corporate citizen than a nominally trained manager.