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Definition Of Corporate Social Responsibility Management

Essay add: 2-09-2016, 14:05   /   Views: 69

Corporate Social Responsibility is a widely used term in the business context nowadays. However one of the factors responsible for limited conceptual understanding of CSR is the complexity and absence of consensual definitions of the concept (Perrini, 2006; Idemudia, 2008; Gulyas, 2009). Although the concept of CSR is widely discussed in theory and practice (Weber, 2008) a universally accepted definition of CSR is yet to emerge (Turker, 2009). Indeed Amaeshi and Adi (2005) argue that there are as many definitions of CSR as there are writers on the topic.

As such for the purpose of the dissertation four key definitions will be used; World Bank, European Commission, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the National Empowerment Foundation (Mauritius) which covers all the elements of CSR.

2.1.1 World Bank

According to the World Bank, "Corporate social responsibility is the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development by working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their lives in six ways that are good for business and for development" (Djordjija Petkoski and Nigel Twose).Thus CSR is seen as a sustainable process which helps balancing the three pillars of sustainable development - economic growth, social development and environmental protection.

2.1.2World Business Council

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication "Making Good Business Sense" by Lord Holme and Richard Watts highlighted the following definition. "Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large".

2.1.3 European Commission

For the European Commission, CSR is "A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis". In the European Commission's Green Paper 2001, corporate social responsibility is further extended to "voluntary taking on commitments which go beyond common regulatory and conventional requirements" and by which companies are trying to "raise standards of social development, environmental protection and respect of fundamental rights and embrace an open governance, reconciling interests of various stakeholders". (European Commission 2001)

2.1.4 The National Empowerment Foundation

The National Empowerment Foundation (Mauritius), refer CSR to "the concept whereby companies act to balance their own economic growth with the sustainable social and environmental development of their areas of operation. A company performing highly in CSR is one that goes beyond compliance with the legal framework to actively pursue positive impacts on local communities and its environmental footprint." (National Employment Foundation)

Thus based on the above definitions the following key elements of CSR can be underlined:

It is Voluntary commitment by business.

It goes beyond the statutory obligation of what is prescribed by the law.

It is directed to society at large and large number of stakeholders (including employees, communities, customers, and the natural environment).

It is in compliance with applicable law and international norms.

It is used as a corporate governance tool.

It is used to counter balance the negative impact of businesses on society.

2.2 Evolution of CSR

The evolution of CSR can be summarised as follows:

1950's

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