This article will provide brief overview about definition, conceptual views as well as possible environmental actions related to the notion of business’s social responsibility. Example will be cited to highlight successful facilitation of a socially responsible business.
With ever increasing concern on environmental hazards and issues related to various products and services, it is becoming an undeniable fact that a business should ensure its social responsibility to facilitate a societal sensitive corporate image. Koontz & Weihrich (1990) asserts that corporate social responsibility is nothing more than seriously considering the impact of company’s action on society. However a more comprehensive definition refers social responsibility with the degree to which a company recognizes what being a good community and global citizen means and acts accordingly (Slocum, 1995:17).
It was further asserted that there are three basic conceptual views of social responsibility are generally acknowledged. First ‘traditional social responsibility’ is referred to the perception that by serving the interests of shareholders, organization is fulfilling its social responsibility. Second, ‘stakeholder social responsibility’ perceives that managers and employees have obligations towards identifiable group (stakeholders) that are affected by or can affect organizational efforts to achieve its goal. The difference here is replacement of group definition ‘shareholder’ with ‘stakeholder’ where latter covers broader range of members including shareholders, customers, competitors, government agencies, unions, employees, debt holders trade unions, suppliers and consumer groups. Third, ‘affirmative social responsibility’ initiates dimension broader that organizational stakeholders by arguing that business has obligations to avoid problems by anticipating changes in its environment, blending goals with both stakeholders as well as public and promoting their mutual interests (Papers4you.com, 2006).
To fulfill environmental obligations, social audit is a tool corporate can adopt. Social audit is to identify, measure, evaluate and more importantly report on with continuous monitoring the effects of organization on society and is not manifested through financial statements (Weiss, 1994) . Organizations may carry various affirmative environmental policies to ensure the environmental issues relate dot different areas. For instance in area of accidents, open disclosure of accidents, usage of homogenized standards worldwide can be some options (Papers4you.com, 2006). Pollutions can be reduced by providing incentives internally as well as externally and green teams can also be evolved. Moreover wastes can be minimized through waste disposal services and taking back it from customers. Similarly environmentally safe substitutes can be used in product with minimum and safe packaging (Corbett & Wassenhove, 1993).
Now considering these standards, example of Body Shop can be taken as most suitable case. Body Shop has developed its corporate image as provider of environmentally friendly and natural cosmetics (Slocum, 1995). It was further asserted that company sales and profits were ever rising however the business opposed animal testing, sell most products in reusable bottles with refilling services and always supported recycling process written on their packaging.
So the discussion and example of Body Shop asserts that by fulfilling social responsibility, businesses can win society’s heart and remember customers are always associated with society.
Corbett. C, J, & Wassenhove, L, N, (1993),’The green Fee: Internalizing and operationalizing environmental issues’, California Management Review, Fall 1993, 116:135
Koontz, H, & Weihrich, ‘ Essentials of Management’, Fifth Edition, New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company
Papers For You (2006) “P/B/641. Theoretical issues of CSR”, Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprtbus32.htm [22/06/2006]
Papers For You (2006) “C/B/353. Literature Review on CSR”, Available from Papers4you.com [21/06/2006]
Slocum, h & Hellriegel, D (1996), ‘Management’, Seventh Edition, Ohio: South-Western College Publishing
Weiss J, W, (1994),’Business Ethics: A Managerial Stakeholder’s Approach’, Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth