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The Role Of Corporate Social Responsibility On Market Competition

2428 words - 10 pages

Corporate social responsibility
Besides being a buzz word in management studies parlance, corporate social responsibility is a very important aspect of corporate reality. There is some amount of vagueness associated with CSR and so this short paper is aimed at putting the concept within a modern post WTO perspective. While there is no single, commonly accepted definition of Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, it generally refers to business decision-making linked to ethical values, compliance with legal requirements, and respect for people, communities, and the environment. For purposes of argument one could easily follow the US-UK tradition according to which CSR is defined ...view middle of the document...

Ethics and governance are the pillars on which modern society rests. This has been their argument of Sadri and Jayashree have examined their proposition from several angles their textbook Business Ethics and Corporate Governance: towards organisational excellence (2008).
A thin line, however, divides the distinction between the business motive and the social role of an organisation. Giving scholarships to deserving students may be a business motive if the aim is to increase the company's public image. The situation is different if the aim of giving scholarships is to generally give back to society what the Company has taken from it. In the first case we see a business motive while in the second we see a social role. In the tradition of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau there exists a social contract which is at once implicit and explicit and which governs the operation of business within a given community. Business is expected to generate wealth, create jobs and thus contribute to economic development. On this there is hardly any debate. Surplus is generated that assists the enhancement of the quality of human life. Innovation and creativity give the consumer in the more developed countries a chance to exercise a greater number of exercisable choices than that given to the consumers in less developed economies. Students who are conversant with the circular flow of income would be familiar with this fact. Hence we see that the link between society and business in indelible. But this business does not operate in a condition of autarky. It depends on society to provide the means of production on the one hand and spend money as a means of exchange on the consumption of goods and services on the other. In the process of wealth creation and employment generation a sufficient.
However, as time passes, the role of business in society also changes. Whereas two centuries or so ago business was expected to wage war at the behest of the monarch, (the East India Company) the expectations from it today are different. The role of some multinationals in the political coups that toppled Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, Olaf Palme in Sweden, and Salvador Allende in Chile have indeed given grounds for questioning whether their political interests stem from their business interests. Conversely, in the case of the ill-famed collusion between the British Monarchy and East India Company, business interests stemmed from political interests. Moreover, whereas they do not actually go to war any longer, politically motivated violence is not ruled out. Whereas these may well be aberrations the fact remains that business needs social stability to prosper. The police firing at striking workers in Sokoto-Rima River Basin Authority in Northern Nigeria in 1983 at the instance of the Italian multinational corporation are well documented, as was the ruthless suppression of workers in the Iva Valley massacre in the colonial era. As...

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