This chapter seeks to offer a critical account of CSR. While it is believed that CSR is a reaction to Milton Friedman’s argument: ‘the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits’, this chapter suggests that CSR is an economic reformist view that sees that the free market mechanism has some inherent problems which marginalize ethical behavior. Nevertheless, such a view is still rooted in an economic concept that assumes that companies should balance their financial performance and social responsibility, ultimately measured in terms of economic usefulness. The outcome is that CSR seems to legitimate an equation: good business = good ethics. The chapter employs an empirical case in China which shows that CSR can be used as a strategic tool for the companies to compete in the global market. Insofar as CSR is rooted in an economic logic, its contribution is also economic and limited to a managerial tool in dealing with the company’s relationship with society. The overall orchestration is well illustrated in Adam Smith’s story of the poor man’s son: economic progress = ethics.
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Claus D. Jacobs, Chris Steyaert and Florian Ueberbacher
This chapter is the final and concluding chapter of the book. The research questions that were presented in Chapter 1 are discussed and answered. The beginning of a contingency model for corporate social responsibility (CSR) is presented on the basis of the chapters in the book that dealt with examining the relevance of the seven aspects model of CSR for organizations in various particular generalized contexts. In some cases the original CSR model (that is, all seven aspects) is fully relevant, while in other cases the model has to be somewhat adapted to fit perfectly. Thus it is concluded that CSR is an idea that is universal in a contingent (or inspirational) sense, but not in an absolute sense. Suggestions for further research are also outlined. For instance, there is a need for studies on the relevance of the seven aspects model for organizations in generalized contexts other than those dealt with in this book, to add to the contingency model. In such studies there may be reason to address different stakeholder perspectives and interests more explicitly, and a suggestion for how such studies could take place – in terms of 10 steps (‘Corporate Social Responsibility Contextualization Research Advice Instrument’ (CSR-CRAI)) – is outlined. There is also a need for further discussion about the seven aspects model of CSR and whether it is the ideal definition for studies of CSR and its relevance for organizations in various generalized contexts.
George Michael Hall
The relationship between the consumer and food is personal and defined by cultural and social norms such that the application of CSR in the food processing industry is unique. In no other industry is the consumer as intimately related to the product, except perhaps in health. This chapter examines the role of CSR in the food processing industry against this backdrop and in a range of countries and regions of the world, reflecting on the special demands on the industry and possible responses based on CSR theory.
Irene Fafaliou and Tina Aroni
The shipping industry lies at the heart of global commerce, allowing raw materials and finished goods to flow around the world. However, it still remains a risky business and most public references to the shipping industry give prominence to cases of accidents, loss of life at sea and environmental pollution, thus creating a sense of an undisciplined environment. In contrast to this broad misconception, over the last four decades the industry has developed a strict set of rules and mechanisms controlling most – if not all – aspects related to the above criticism. However, compliance with this bundle of regulations does not necessarily imply the development of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) culture for shipping companies. Based on a review of CSR literature, we explore the nature and current practice of CSR within the context of the Greek shipping companies, aiming to offer a framework of thinking ideally suited to such firms and stakeholders. The present research is mainly exploratory and descriptive, based on responses derived via the use of an online questionnaire, focusing on elements of organizational structure that challenge CSR, the extend of understanding and applying CSR, the expected benefits associated with CSR adoption, the management systems and the factors affecting CSR implementation in Greek shipping. Findings indicate that Greek shipping companies are aware of CSR and implement many of its aspects; however, their approach is rather implicit and mainly Greek-centric, with a lack of a common and clear idea of CSR’s broader and multi-dimensional context.
Wen Li Chan, Jeremy Eng Tuck Cheah and Luiz Montanheiro
The pharmaceutical industry has evolved from one that was initially profitable and perceived to be doing well financially to one that has increasingly suffered erosion in public perception in terms of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. Reactions by industry players to various external factors resulting from changing social and economic realities have led the industry’s critics to view the business as one that sacrifices CSR at the expense of profit. We suggest the CSR challenges launched against the industry be viewed in an alternative light by summing up the various disconnects existing in current views. We conclude with an assessment of where the industry stands today in terms of what they have achieved thus far in the various aspects of CSR that are the theme of this book and how it should move forward, as well as recommendations on areas that would warrant further study in order to usefully guide pharmaceutical companies on continuing on their CSR journey.