What is Social Responsibilities and Ethics of a Business?

August 18, 2010

Question: What is social responsibilities and ethics of a business? Please give me history, definitions, types, objectives, merits, demerits and significance with illustrations about social responsibilities..

Answer: The buzzwords are Corporate Social Responsibility.
What is CSR?
The entirety of CSR can be discerned from the three words contained within its title phrase: ‘corporate,’ ‘social,’ and ‘responsibility.’ Therefore, in broad terms, CSR covers the responsibilities corporations (or other for-profit organizations) have to the societies within which they are based and operate.
More specifically, CSR involves a business identifying its stakeholder groups and incorporating their needs and values within the strategic and day-to-day decision-making process.
Therefore, a business’ ‘society’ within which it operates, which defines the number of stakeholders to which the organization has a ‘responsibility,’ may be broad or narrow depending on the industry in which the firm operates and its perspective.
Other definitions of CSR:
The notion of companies looking beyond profits to their role in society is generally termed corporate social responsibility (CSR)….It refers to a company linking itself with ethical values, transparency, employee relations, compliance with legal requirements and overall respect for the communities in which they operate. It goes beyond the occasional community service action, however, as CSR is a corporate philosophy that drives strategic decision-making, partner selection, hiring practices and, ultimately, brand development. (South China Morning Post, 2002)
The social responsibility of business encompasses the economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary expectations that society has of organizations at a given point in time.
(Archie B. Carroll, 1979)
CSR is about businesses and other organizations going beyond the legal obligations to manage the impact they have on the environment and society. In particular, this could
include how organizations interact with their employees, suppliers, customers and the communities in which they operate, as well as the extent they attempt to protect the
environment. (The Institute of Directors, UK, 2002)
CSR is a means of analyzing the inter-dependent relationships that exist between businesses and economic systems, and the communities within which they are based. CSR is a means of discussing the extent of any obligations a business has to its immediate society; a way of proposing policy ideas on how those obligations can be met; as well as a tool by which the benefits to a business for meeting those obligations can be identified….