Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Ethics

Chapter 15 Lecture 1
Definitions and Relationships
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the
process by which businesses negotiate their role in
In the business world, ethics is the study of
morally appropriate behaviors and decisions,
examining what "should be done”
Although the two are linked in most firms, CSR
activities are no guarantee of ethical behavior
Recent Evidence of CSR Interest
An Internet search turns up 15,000 plus
response to “corporate citizenship”
Journals increasingly “rate” businesses (and
NGOs) on socially responsive criteria:
Best place to work
Most admired
Best (and worst) corporate reputation
Reasons for CSR Activities
CSR activities are important to and even
expected by the public
And they are easily monitored worldwide
CSR activities help organizations hire and
retain the people they want
CSR activities contribute to business
Corporate Social Responsibility Continuum
Maximize firm’s
profits to the
exclusion of all
Do what it
takes to
make a
profit; skirt
the law; fly
social radar
Do more than
required; e.g.
engage in
Fight social
Integrate social
objectives and
business goals
Balance profits
and social
do what
is legally
social value
Lead the
and other
with best
CSR are Grounded by Opposing Objectives
(Maximize Profits to Balance Profits with Social
Responsibility) and so Activities Range Widely
Do what it takes to make a profit; skirt the law; fly below
social radar
Fight CSR initiatives
Comply with legal requirements
Do more than legally required, e.g., philanthropy
Articulate social (CSR) objectives
Integrate social objectives and business goals
Lead the industry on social objectives
Businesses CSR Activities
give money or time or in kind to charity
Integrative philanthropy—select beneficiaries aligned
with company interests
Philanthropy will not enhance corporate reputation
if a company
fails to live up to its philanthropic image or
if consumers perceive philanthropy to be manipulative
Integrate CSR Globally
Incorporate values to make it part of an
articulated belief system
Act worldwide on those values
Cause-related marketing
Cause-based cross sector partnerships
Engage with stakeholders
Primary stakeholders
Secondary stakeholders
Business Ethics Development
The cultural context influences
organizational ethics
Top managers also influence ethics
The combined influence of culture and top
management influence organizational ethics
and ethical behaviors
The Evolving Context for Ethics
From domestic where ethics are shared
To international where ethics are not shared
when companies:
Make assumptions that ethics are the same
Ethical absolutism—they adapt to us
Ethical relativism—we adapt to them
To global which requires an integrative
approach to ethics
Emergence of a Global
Business Ethic
Growing sense that responsibility for righting
social wrongs belongs to all organizations
Growing business need for integrative
mechanisms such as ethics
Ethics reduce operating uncertainties
Voluntary guidelines avoid government impositions
Ethical conduct is needed in an increasingly
interdependent world—everyone in the same game
Companies wish to avoid problems and/or be good
public citizens
Ways Companies Integrate Ethics
Top management commitment in word and
Company codes of ethics
Supply chain codes
Develop, monitor, enforce ethical behavior
Seek external assistance
External Assistance with Ethics
Industry or professional codes
Certification programs, e.g., ISO 9000
Adopt/follow global codes
Caux Round Table Principles
Reasons for Businesses to Engage in
Development of a Global Code of
Business Ethics
Create the same opportunity for all businesses if
there are common rules
Level the playing field
They are needed in an interconnected world
They reduce operating uncertainties
If businesses don’t collaborate, they may not like
what others develop
Four Challenges to a Global Ethic
Global rules emerge from negotiations and will
reflect values of the strong
Global rules may be viewed as an end rather than
a beginning
Rules can depress innovation and creativity
Rules are static but globalization is dynamic
Go Green Initiative
The Go Green Initiative was founded in 2002 in
Pleasanton, California by Jill Buck [1]
The Go Green Initiative (GGI) [2] is an Environmental
Education & Stewardship Program located in all 50 states
and in 13 countries. It's free to all schools and operating in
pre-schools through universities.
The Main tenets of the GGI follow the acronym GREEN
and stand for "
Generate compost. This is nature's way of recycling.
Through basic and worm composting programs, children
learn about ecology, biology and waste reduction.
Go Green Initiative
Recycle everything that cannot be reused and purchase items that can be recycled. With
fast shrinking landfill space and diminishing natural resources, recycling has never been
more important. Recycling items such as paper, plastic, aluminum and ink cartridges
reduces toxic greenhouse gas emissions and conserves energy. Manage E-waste by
finding creative solutions to divert obsolete computer parts, cell phones and other such
devices from the waste stream. Schools that recycle provide much-needed materials to
manufacturers who produce recycled products.
Educate students, teachers and parents on environmentally-responsible behavior. When
students, teachers and parents work together to make their schools environmentally
friendly, they are more likely to take the same behaviors into their off campus lives. Our
goal is to create environmentally responsible school communities throughout the nation
and across the globe.
Evaluate the environmental impact of every activity. Identify products and practices that
could threaten the health of children and the world around them. Consider improving the
campus environment with activities such as eliminating excessive energy consumption;
evaluating the toxicity of pesticides used in classrooms and on playgrounds; improving
outdoor air quality through increased carpooling efforts; and working to improve indoor
air quality.
Go Green Initiative
Nationalize the principles of responsible paper
consumption. Consider purchasing post consumer recycled
paper and office products. Use technology to communicate
electronically as much as possible. Seek ways to provide
Internet access to all school families.
Since 2004, GGI has hosted a Global Summit servicing
students, teachers, parents, administrators, businesses and
government leaders. The 2008 International Go Green
Earth Summit will be held in Syracuse, New York October
17th-18th. Go Green Radio, hosted by the founder, Jill
Buck, begins June 27, 2008 at 12PM EST on