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Article Review: The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research and Practice. By Archie B. Carroll and Kareem M. Shabana
Several studies have been conducted over the past on the Corporate Social Responsibility. This review intends to analyze the main concepts presented in the article “The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research and Practice”, which was compiled by Carroll and Shabana.
This article gives a clear analysis of business case for the corporate social responsibility. The article also seeks to find out how organizations benefits in one way or another by engaging themselves in CSR policies. In other words, it seeks to find out what organizations really get by engaging themselves in CSR policies and practices.
The article begins by giving a general background on the topic. By so doing, the article gives an outline on how the idea of how the practice of business participation in community activities has been viewed over the past as well as the evolution of these views over time.
This includes the ideas opposing business participation in community activities and the ideas proposing business participation in these activities. Initially, there was little effort to study the benefits organizations get by participating in community development activities.
The main focus was the business responsibilities to the societies and the duties they are expected to meet (Carroll & Shabana 2010). This undermined the CSR to some extent since this view presented the program as a cost ignoring the benefits associated with it.
In the recent past, the idea of corporate social responsibility has been a critical issue in business policies. According to Tonello (2011), there has been a measurable payoff of corporate social responsibility efforts both to the stake holders and their respective companies over the last decade.
There are some benefits for a company enraging in CSR. It has been realized that CSR can assist an organization in creating its competitive advantage (Tonello 2011). In the contemporary business world, the market has become very competitive, a condition which has threatened the performance of many organizations.
Therefore, this article touches important issues which can significantly help organizations in improving their performance by reducing their operational expenses and improving their competitive advantage.
The issue of CSR can be traced far back before the World War II. The concept of CSR has been used over the past by various organizations in an attempt to align their business interests to defend the free market capitalism (Carroll & Shabana 2010). This was aimed to counter the danger posed through the soviet communism. However, there are increased benefits for organizations engaging on CSR.
As already noted, this article gives an analysis of the company participation in CRS, how a company benefits from it as well as its shortcomings. The authors recognize the importance of the CSR in the contemporary business world.
For instance, the authors have identified several bodies like the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) which has been organized by the business community in order to understand these issues better and hence enjoy its benefits (Tonello 2011). Other than thinking about their profits and their employees, organizations are encouraged to think about the entire public as well in order to achieve their goals effectively.
The article has clearly analyzed the reasons why companies are advised to engage themselves with CSR activities, policies and practices. On the other side, the article has also analyzed the reasons against the idea of CSR. According to this article, the main reason against the CSR policies and activities is based on Friedman’s classical economic argument that argues that the management has one responsibility, which is to maximize profits (Carroll & Shabana 2010).
Therefore, the social responsibility in this case is not one of the businesses. According to Friedman’s argument, the social issues are automatically resolved through the operations of the free market. In case the free market fails to meet these functions, then it is the duty of the government and not the business’s responsibility.
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It has also been argued that the business does not have the capacity to handle the social responsibilities in the society. The managers are trained to handle the management cases and do not have the social skills. Therefore, the business should not be given any social responsibility. There is also another group which argues that CSR makes an organization to be less competitive in the global market (Tonello 2011).
Despite of these arguments against the idea of CSR, there are several reasons for the CSR policies and practices presented in this article. To start with, every business aims at creating a good working environment by cultivating good relationship with the society (Carroll & Shabana 2010). This is realized by promoting operations, which makes a company to bed socially responsible.
This article has also paid attention in analyzing the concept of the CSR business case purposes. CSR has been said to cover four main areas that includes legal, economic, discretional and ethical practices which the society expect from organizations (Carroll & Shabana 2010). By accomplishing these expectations, an organization manages to fulfill its social responsibilities and in the process helps in solving the problems in the society.
Finally, the article has given an analysis of the business case for the CSR. It has been pointed out that CSR has been evolving over the past decades, which have led to change in how it is viewed over time (Carroll & Shabana 2010). Although there has been several social responsibility business cases that have been developing over the past years, there has been no single rationalization for ways in which CSR improves the bottom line.
This article has presented a clear explanation in its purpose to achieve its goals. The article has presented a clear background of the general issue at hand that has helped in understanding the problem. This has been supplemented with the past studies which have been on the field. This provides a firm support of the ideas presented.
Through the CSR policies and activities, an organization manages to facilitate its operational efficiency as well as creating competitive advantage. For instance, an organization can reduce the level of government intervention in the business activities since the practices provide a kind of self discipline and standards (Carroll & Shabana 2010).
This increases the efficiency in the business operations. It is also advisable for business to act rather than just reacting to the problems facing the society. This will yield better results.
Since several parties have tried to solve the social problems in vain, it is advisable for the businesses to play their role in solving these problems (Carroll & Shabana 2010). These are some of the most convincing points in the article. This is because they are supported with evidence.
However, this article suffers from the fact that it has failed to provide figure to support its arguments. Figures can increase the convincing power by providing evidence.
In conclusion, this article has helped in understanding the importance of CSR in the contemporary business world. Over the past, this has been viewed as an obstacle since it comes as a cost to an organization.
However, this article has revealed some of the benefits which are associated with the CSR activities, practices and policies. There is several business benefits associated with CSR. It is therefore advisable for all organizations to adhere to the CSR policies and practices.
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. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2370.2009.00275.x. pp. 85-pp. 104.
Tonello, M. (2011). The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility. Retrieved from https://hls.harvard.edu/