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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a central issue in contemporary busines

s. Over the last 20 years, CSR seems to have become more prevalent and has the p
erception of being relevant to organizations worldwide (Aras and Crowther, 2008)
. The problem with CSR is that it seems to be divided and viewed as a contradict
ive element. That somehow CSR policy and financial performance cannot coexist si
de by side (S.Y. Park and S. Lee, 2009). The purpose of this assignment is to e
valuate the position of CSR in the business world today. The aim is to determine
whether there is any logic in a company using its profits in order to increase
its CSR awareness, by first looking at what CSR is and what advantages can be re
aped by a company utilizing it. It will be divided into subsections that will ad
dress different aspects of the dilemma, and once all this has been analyzed ther
e will be an agreement or rebuttal on this issue as to whether there is any trut
h to the following statement, ’The idea that the company’s resources should be devot
ed to some cause other than making a profit, is outrageous’.
What does CSR entail?
“The basic idea of corporate social responsibility is that business and society ar
e interwoven rather than distinct entities’ (Wood, 1991)
CRS is a term used in the business community. It is the idea that organizations
should consider their impact on society while they conduct themselves on the bus
iness stage. The idea is that CSR would act as a regulatory function that would
help businesses to adhere ethical standards and laws (T. Bredgaard, 2004). These
acts would then coincide with them acting responsibly towards the environment,
employees, consumers and stakeholders, etc to name a few.
Are there any advantages of a company utilizing CSR?
There are many benefits a company may gain in they decide to incorporate a CSR p
olicy in to their domain. These benefits although being either of a social or co
rporate nature, are in effect intrinsically woven (G. Doukidis, N. Mylonopoulos,
N. Pouloudi, 2004). One of the biggest corporate advantages of a business using
CSR is the increase of its reputation (L. C. Rodríguez, J. LeMaster . 2007)

In opposition to the embracement of CSR you have a group that see the only respo
nsibility of a company is to its shareholders and that means purely and simply m
aximizing profit. One of the main advocates of this notion was a man named Milto
n Friedman. His stance against CSR can clearly be seen for the following stateme
nt, “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits” (Friedman, 19
70). H. L Johnson in his book Business in Contemporary Society: Framework and is
sues he states continues with this theme, ”Social responsibility states that busin
esses carry out social programs to add profits to their organization” (Johnson, 19
In the current climate of corporate law, many company’s although stating that ther
e are aware of there social responsibilities to the environment and society and
may profess to have a code of conduct that addresses this issue, in actual fact
have a stance would be the complete opposite (Sethi, 2003).
There is no legal precedents for companies to follow a CSR code, so many of them
decide not to as although the policy makers states that’s CSR should be included
into company practices, there is no actual law requiring these corporations to d
o so, so they do not as it would inevitably have an effect of their profits earn
ings, the act is purely voluntary (Hansen, 2002).
In the real world, no organization apart from non-profit organizations, would de
cide to open a business that takes care of societies needs instead of attempting
to make a profit. The socioeconomic view although present, is not pushed or bei
ng implemented by many national and multi-national corporations. This could be d
ue to the fact that it would then treat the organization as a human rather than
a business, even though in legal terms, that is in essence what a company is. "C
orporations have no existence beyond this legal fiction, and, unlike real people
, can have neither responsibilities nor ethics" (Coelho, McClure, Spry, 2003).
So it is with this view in mind that I agree with the topic in debate, ‘’The idea th
at the company’s resources should be devoted to some cause other than making a pro
fit, is outrageous’. Until the law changes and companies are forced to abide by CS
R laws, there is no reason for them to act any different and their main focus sh
ould be to maximize profit while ensuring that minimum damage is done to the env
ironment at a at large is voluntary option.