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CSR, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1124

Essay

Introduction

As important as profits and growth are to businesses, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become just as important for companies who seek to improve beyond dominance and monetary gains. To become a better corporate citizen, CSR is the momentum behind which business seek to have a greater social impact on the environment in which they thrive. To do so, CSR is built into the business plan, which drives innovation and boost performance; examples and details of which are discussed herein.

Business Plan Description

When integrating CSR into a business plan, there are a number of factors that need to be considered. Firstly, the type of approach that the company takes to CSR, be it strategic, incremental or mission-oriented, determines the implementation of CSR into the business. For example, this company will be most suited to an incremental approach to CSR, considering that it does not have any prior experience in the social responsibility aspect of business. As the business continues to expand, the shift of focus from profits to people has become increasingly important, especially in regards to every part of the business’ functionality.

Often, CSR can be tied into all aspects of the business, including human resources, marketing, operations, etc. Firstly, the employees of the company will be rewarded with increased remuneration and mutual benefits. This will include bonuses and commission for achievement of early targets, as well as recognition for fundraising and community work, which will be promoted throughout the company.

Secondly, CSR can also become a unique selling proposition for the company, in terms of building customer loyalty and highlighting ethical practices. As a sign of integrity of employees and best practice, a national marketing campaign that highlights the company’s increased interest in CSR will be able to differentiate the company from competitors.

Thirdly, CSR can improve the operational process of the company, by increasing the quality of goods and services provided to customers and clients. Some of the elements that will be introduced as part of the new operational process include continuous improvement and price reductions, which will be able to improve the business on a short to medium term timeframe.

Benefits of CSR

By incorporating CSR into a company’s business plan, the flow-on effects, in regards to the benefits that it produces to the company, are numerous. For example, when BMW introduced CSR into the company, it was able to introduce value orientation into the supply chain, corporate volunteering, increased diversity amongst employees, higher operational standards, safety programs, intercultural learning, social engagement projects, and the like. As a result, employee satisfaction rose and the public voted BMW in the top 3 best luxury car automakers in the world. Such CSR initiatives are shown to strengthen stakeholder relationships and increase functional aspects of the business (Bhattacharya, Korschun and Sen, 2009). Not only did the customer base of BMW increase, but the employees of the company were also able to find more innovative ways to fine-tune vehicles, leading to increased production and sales as well.

The primary reason as to why CSR is introduced into a company’s operation is to seek a way to move beyond maximising the financial well-being of the business alone, and to assume responsibility to society beyond profit-seeking (Carroll and Shabana, 2010). Despite being a business which focuses on placing customers first, the company has done little to reinvest back into the community and improving the ethical vision of the company. In order to build a new company image centred around the concept of being socially responsible, the company must be able to identify opportunities within the business community and society at large in which to make a difference.

For CSR to become an important facet of the company, its benefits should be seen throughout the workplace. The distinctive features of CSR can be seen in the perceived influence in the eyes of stakeholders, managers’ perceptions on performance, and organisational activity (Lindgreen, Swaen and Johnston, 2009). Company partners and suppliers relationship should take on added meaning, as well as placing customers on a pedestal, which should become a priority. Senior management must be able to see differences in both company and employee performance, in regards to increased involvement in community affairs and greater emphasis on healthy work ethic. As a result, the company will be able to experience growth in more ways than one.

The company can engage in corporate social responsibility, and reap the benefits in terms of better facilities, employment opportunities and additional company standards (Du, Bhattacharya and Sen, 2010). This reinvestment for the short and medium term will be able to improve the company’s position in the corporate marketplace. For instance, improvement in ergonomic workstations will allow employees to work smarter, not longer; the addition of health programs and community volunteer events will increase employment opportunities; and the company’s interest in promoting ethical and social outlooks will create a rejuvenised corporate culture.

By placing an emphasis on the social aspect of the company, in terms of what is being done to improve our ‘business space’ and the environment around us, the economic aspect of the business will fall into place as a backdrop for what the company is to achieve. Business is all about serving the needs of customers and clients, while doing so in such a way that everyone can be proud (Cavico and Mujtaba, 2012). After all, the company is not founded on the principle of money, but on the dedication to its people; and such dedication should be realised in order for a company to become truly successful.

Conclusion

In summary, the company should introduce CSR into the business plan, in order for the business to reinvest back into the community and highlight its dedication to become more ethically and socially accountable. In doing so, all departments of the business will embrace a new corporate culture dedicated to placing customers at the top, improving supplier relationships, and giving back to society at large. This will ensure that the company can strengthen its position in the marketplace, and move beyond monetary gain to making an impact on the environment in which it operates.

Reference List

Bhattacharya, C., Korschun, D. and Sen, S. (2009). Strengthening Stakeholder Relationships through Mutually Beneficial Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives. Journal of Business Ethics, 85(2), 257-272.

Carroll, A. and Shabana, K. (2010). The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research and Practice. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(1), 85-105.

Cavico, F. and Mujtaba, B. (2012). National and Global Perspectives of Corporate Social Responsibility. International Journal of Management Sciences and Business Research, 1(3), 1-24.

Du, S., Bhattacharya, C., and Sen, S. (2010). Maximizing Business Returns to Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of CSR Communication. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(2), 8-19.

Lindgreen, A., Swaen, V. and Johnston, W. (2009). Corporate Social Responsibility: An Empirical Investigation of U.S. Organisations. Journal of Business Ethics, 86(3), 303-323.

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