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Social responsibility is the organization's responsibility towards the community. These responsibilities reflect the company's ideals and principles which must clearly be attained by every citizens and any groups or organizations to benefit the society. Social responsibility acts as the link that preserves the values of the company, not just through the eyes of the society and the greater public, but also to every single person that make up the organization. Social responsibility creates an environment within the organization which ultimately influences the organizational cultures and ethics developed from among the human resources. It may be concluded from the definitions that social responsibility comprises practices that are beneficial to the improvement of the workplace. It also comprises the ability to benefit the society in such a way that the company goes beyond what enterprises are legally required to do.
Social responsibility includes aspects which concerns the proper functioning of the organization as an economic unit that provide for a good public image, proper obedience to the law or being legally concerned as part of its image building as well as a responsibility that must be attained by the organization, the obligation of the enterprise to do what is right, just and fair and philanthropic responsibilities including the contribution of resources to the community for the improvement of the quality of life within the ultimate goal of being a good corporate citizen (Taylor 2002). From these scopes of social responsibility, it is safe to say that social responsibility is understood as an organization's obligation to meet the interests of its shareholders, through its economic responsibilities, and considers both social and environmental consequences connected to its business activities in the context of globalization. Being primarily and solely concerned with the economic situations and conditions and all other aspects that concerns the business operations must not be the principle that the organization should attain. A clear and concise understanding of what ought to be undertaken by the company in terms of the overall aspects that affect the social culture of the company must be established. Organizations must be concerned with the ethical, legal, moral and social impact of its decisions. An organization that incorporates its social responsibilities as an essential part of its daily business often emerges to the top with the competencies developed in connection to such endeavors. It is a general belief that organizations have responsibilities to societies, which extend beyond their obligations to stakeholders, investors and business partners.
Social responsibility extensively involves participation in the environmental issues faced by the society. One prominent environment issue relating to both the organizational activities and social or community problems is the impact of pollution in the environment. Pollution control is strictly implemented by the government against the organizations applicably affecting such. The environmental responsibility relating to such not only promotes legal ethical values but also social responsibility. By engaging into such social responsibility, the organization minimizes its cost related to social responsibilities by following the laws and regulations while at the same time engaging into a social responsibility endeavor (Thompson 2004).
Importance of Social Awareness and Responsibility
With the recent advancement in technology, people sometimes tend to forget to maintain the natural balance which often leads to the point of exploitation of the natural resources. Global awareness on this matter is crucial. Individuals especially company has a responsibility to the preservation of the environment since most of the company's uses extensive natural resources for the industry to run. This social problem must be addressed and the same time assessed with concrete plans and actions on the part of the company.
Through Corporate Social Responsibility, the company can make known of its products and services. Wide array of clients will be reached if the company will start contributing in its sincere efforts on the welfare of the individual in the locality. It's one way or another a form of free promotion for the company and at the time building a sociable, diverse and sustainable relationship with future clients.
Another plus point in developing a thriving corporate social responsibility is the impact that it will create to the competitors existing in the market. A company who developed a strong countenance on its corporate social responsibility is somehow a threat in the small and even big competitors. This will make the neophyte competitors think twice before engaging in the same business and create a fear in the old market players. This set up will also encourage other market players to invest on their corporate social responsibility thus creating a healthy competition in the market for the benefit of the people and the environment as well.
A sound corporate environmental responsibility must be consistent with a sound financial responsibility as a business organization pursues its goals.
We cannot deny the fact that our natural resources are slowly deteriorating because of our selfish desires and greediness. We are only humans and we sometimes tend to forget the most important thing and that is to protect and maintain the equilibrium of our environment. Rapid industrialization and modern advances in technology which uses natural resources as industry inputs caused this great problem. Now, we are facing the great dilemma of restoring what we have lost due to our inactions. This restoration process however requires time and financial assistance.
It is a fact that every program launched for the preservation of our environment involves large amount of money. Due to financial constraints we seldom see these philanthropic acts of environmental preservation.
A company before taking bold steps in helping in any environmental programs and projects must first assess its financial capabilities and the foregoing consequences of its actions. Before engaging in any environmental programs and projects a company needs to have a stable fund to maintain and sustain the initiated work since this kind of initiatives are basically continuous in nature.
It is now the practice of multi-national companies to integrate the environmental responsibility projects of the company on its annual working budget. However, before a budget can be processed and approved, programs and projects for the environment must be clearly set out. Upon the approval of the budget targeted programs and projects must be strictly implemented.
This way the company doesn't have to worry on the funds for the environmental responsibility since it was already incorporated in the annual company budget. All that the person in-charge left to do is to implement it according to the given budget.
Programs and project collaboration are also common. These collective efforts of engaging companies results to a higher yield and productivity. Time saving and energy saving is also the advantage of this collaborations. This unified actions results to a more healthy market competition at the same time building of mutual respect and trust towards each other.
Projects for the environmental responsibility requires large financial assistance but we must bear in mind that it is our doing of what had become to our environment and it is our duty to restore it once again to its former glory. Nature has its own way of eliminating things thus we must reconsider even if it means at a higher cost in giving back what we owe to our environment.
Corporate Social Responsibility as it relates to Organizational Ethics
A correlation between organizational ethics and corporate social responsibility as it affects and influences the whole organization must be established. As previously mentioned, in a way, social responsibility and organizational ethics are interchangeable because both aspects deal with values and principles reflected through its internal and external dealings.
Research evidence suggests that there is a small, but positive relationship between ethical and socially responsible behavior and the organization's financial performance (Daft 2008). As previously noted, social responsibility activities highly influences the organization's public image. Corporate social responsibility is the term used by companies to denote its corporate duties in the society. There are no particular or standardized measures for the valuation of social responsibility in connection to the financial performance of a company. However, financial performance has implications against social responsibilities in a sense that financially capable companies have more resources to engage in extensive social responsibility activities. No particular valuation relates to such information either but it is an obvious consequence for higher financial performance. Nevertheless, social performance is still both a cause and consequence of financial performance.
Considering ethics and social responsibilities as a huge part of the organization's activities and operations creates a wholly established company, that not only considers the major aspects of business or organizational operations, as the case may be, but also considers the overall functions that make up a true organization. The perception that an organization is construed to be an entity that operates solely for purposes of business and profits must be eliminated. An organization fulfills all purposes and duties imperative in its existence. This general perception towards organizations must be reduced through subsequent engagement in social issues and investments in ethical behaviors. One cannot fully determine the ethics of the organization without taking into consideration the social responsibility of the company and vice versa. To fully effect the realization of both, an assessment of the effects between the two must be considered. Ethics are highly influence by the company's social responsibility endeavors. The same principles, ideals and values must be present when creating social responsibility actions. In creating a harmonious organizational ethic, social responsibility actions must be considered in order to evaluate what principles and values are inherent in the overall operation of the organization.
Advantages and Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibilities
It is important for every company to center its corporate social responsibility towards advocating environmental issues that needs to be addressed.
One of the most important factors in determining the company's economic standing is the Corporate Social Responsibility status of the company in the community where it belongs. The corporate social responsibility of every company has its big role in the existence of the business and to its crucial development. Through these humanitarian acts affirmative relationship will start with the citizenry, government as well as to the competitors. Every businessman must emphasize the importance of social responsibility and its essentials in a thriving business. Collective efforts must be made to come up with a feasible business plan with corporate social responsibility integration. However this attitude of responsibility towards others together with the sustainability growth of the business requires strict discipline and dedication.
Public reputation is one of the most evident consequences of social responsibility in relation to organizational financial performance. By engaging into social issues and activities, the company not only fulfills its social corporate duty in the community, it also contributes to the organization's operation. One other consequence of social responsibility in the financial performance of the organization is the consistency of employee relations. Furthermore, social responsibilities permit organizations to perform at their utmost capability considering the manner in which it operates. Employee performance also relates to the company's operational and financial performance. Social responsibilities in turn relates to employee performance in that it provides its employees a harmonious view of the organization as being supportive of fair and ethical conduct and its leadership as caring about ethical issues observe less unethical behavior and perform better to the satisfaction of the organization. Employees also show more concern towards the customers when employers show more concern for them. This view rests in the idea that employee satisfaction improves customer satisfaction and retention. It further enhances the workplace trust, cooperation, and innovation. Moreover, it saves substantial costs resulting from misconduct. Employees tend to perform better when their employers are treating them fairly and justly. Workers who are treated with no respect and dignity in the workplace often find themselves having grudges on the organization and performing at worst conditions (Thompson 2004).
Social responsibilities also attract support from environmental sectors and social groups. Being socially active in the society creates an image that is highly commendable in the public eyes, especially in the eyes of environmental or social activists. Associating the names of the environmental sectors in the organization's image greatly contribute in building a good image in the public. These image building consequences would similarly sum up to advertisements. People or consumers tend to know the organization and the products or services they offer. This way, the organization's cost related to advertisements in minimized and additional exposure in the public's eyes is attained, while at the same time, performing its social responsibility. Clearly corporate social responsibility is seen as having multiple purposes such as the fulfillment of its social responsibilities and cost reduction (Nussbaum 2008).
Profit wise, being socially responsible has its benefits. Being socially responsible creates an image that appeals to consumers and businesses. This increases the organization's customer base and consequently, its profits. It is clear that social responses directly contribute to the organization's ultimate goal, which is, to maximize its wealth. Considering that such is the case, the company must direct its social responsibility towards the public, taking into consideration the awareness within the organization.
Disadvantage of Corporate Social Responsibility
One of the major concerns in corporate social responsibility is the cost associated with the activities and social awareness programs incurred by the company. CSR involves the establishment of certain organizational endeavors. Such endeavors include stringent social awareness undertakings that require substantial amounts of investments and workforce. It is important to note that social responsibility involves costs which may have been attributed to other operational activities of the company.
In lieu of this, corporate social responsibility also takes up most of the company's workforce and work times. Instead of focusing on the operational aspect of the business, a portion of the company's workforce subdues their time into providing good corporate responsibility in the society. Such time and effort allotted to CSR functions may be allotted to the operational aspect of the company and may consequently bring higher profit to the company. Much of the company's attention could be shifted from attaining corporate social responsibilities to its operational undertakings without the added costs associated with such responsibilities in the society.
As a conclusion, Corporate Social Responsibility is a substantial part of a company's operational aspect and has been seen as having significant influence on the financial aspect of the company in a sense that good corporate responsibility in the society may propel the company's reputation and consequently its profits. It also saves companies from expensive lawsuits, particularly those which are in industries with higher volatility to environmental damages. Despite the existence of disadvantages pertaining to CSR such as those pertaining to the additional costs and additional workforce required for such undertakings, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. This is true considering that corporate social responsibility has been seen and considered as mandatory requirement for most industries. Almost all entities engage in corporate social responsibilities in different degrees of involvement. It is essential to note that CSR is hugely becoming a significant part of the operation of companies rather than a separate function adapted by the company. In addition to the benefits that CSR has on the companies themselves, CSR also support the preservation of the environment. The world, as we know it, is vastly disintegrating. CSR and social awareness support the continuous conservation of our home and likewise influence other entities as well as individuals in preserving the world. We must also consider the fact that there are so many civil society groups right now that is campaigning to boycott the products of companies who has a reputation of having unethical and unsustainable corporate practices. These being said, the costs and effort which may be seen as a disadvantage of CSR to entities employing such endeavors are significantly outweighed by the advantages that affects and benefits not only the company themselves but the world as well.