Corporate Social Responsibility - It's a win-win, right?



What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

The International Organization for Standardization as part of its work on the new Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility, ISO 26000 states that:

“Social responsibility is the responsibility of an organisation for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behavior that:

  • contributes to sustainable development, including the health and the welfare of society
  • takes into account the expectations of stakeholders
  • is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behavior; and
  • is integrated throughout the organization and practiced in its relationships.”

There are strong proponents of the notion that businesses should be all about profits for their shareholders; however, in recent times, businesses have come under increased pressure to favorably impact not just their immediate shareholders, but rather should be concerned with all stakeholders, including the communities in which they operate. Accordingly, businesses are adopting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. These initiatives come at an operational cost to the businesses and arguably provide a competitive advantage. This webquest takes you through the process of understanding, developing and persuading management to implement a CSR initiative.

By the end of this webquest, you would be more enlightened about CSR with regards to the potential costs, benefits and underlying motivation (morally correct or good business sense). 

Is it truly a win-win situation for all stakeholders? Let's investigate!

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