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Principles of Management Essay

Use the text and your personal experiences to enhance your responses and demonstrate your understanding of these concepts.

3. Discuss three approaches to meeting social obligation

To answer the question it is imperative that I explain the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR refers to managing organizations in a way that matches or exceeds the ethical, legal, commercial and public expectations. Ethical and proactive organizations take corporate social responsibility very seriously.  Each decision in every area of business is made according to the principles of Social Responsibility.

According to Sethi (1975) there are three approaches to meeting social obligations: (1) the social obligation approach, (2) the social responsibility approach, and (3) the social responsiveness approach. Each approach deals with a different attitude of businesses regarding corporate social responsibility.

Businesses that confine socially responsible activity mainly to conformance to existing laws exhibit the social obligation approach. The approach considers businesses to have purely economic purposes only. This kind of behavior is exhibited mostly by smaller reactive firms. Businesses that have both economic and societal goals display the social responsibility approach.

While the businesses employing social responsiveness approach have both economic and societal goals but they also anticipate upcoming social problems and work diligently to prevent

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their appearance. Shell is a great example of a socially responsive organization. Organizations like Shell incorporate social goals into the annual planning process and seek comparative industry norms to make their own social programs. They measure their social performance by calculating the cost and return of each social program.

Socially responsive organizations contribute to the society with actions and behaviors that reduce future liabilities. Most organizations start off by caring more about making money as opposed to being socially responsive. The organizations that realize the need of social responsibility adapt these behaviors into their everyday practices. Businesses that don’t take CSR seriously often face litigations and liabilities.

It is imperative that an organization determine the social responsibilities to pursue and also choose how to pursue them. Some organizations undertake the activities on their own or ask for help of experts.


“Ethics in Management.” Encyclopedia of Business and Finance. Ed. Allison McClintic Marion. Thomson Gale (2001). eNotes.com. 2006. 4 Feb, 2007 <http://business.enotes.com/business-finance-encyclopedia/ethics-management>

Sethi, S. P. (1975). “Dimensions of Corporate Social Performance: An Analytical Framework.” California Management Review Spring:58-64.

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