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Csr With Focus On The Employee Perspective

8553 words - 34 pages

1 IntroductionThis first chapter aims to present our subject in focus; Corporate Social Responsibility. Thebackground is followed by a problem discussion, which in turn will lead us to the purpose of thisstudy. The purpose is broken down into three research questions. Thereafter the scope of thethesis and central concept are described, and finally a disposition is presented.1.1 Background"CSR is like motherhood and apple pie. Everybody is for it; who wants to make the case forcompanies becoming more unjust, unfair and irresponsible?" (Hutton, 2000:2).Traditionally the main purpose of business has been to achieve profitability byproviding consumers with goods and services. In 1776, Adam Smith published"The Wealth of Nations" and observed that people enjoy their daily bread notthanks to the benevolence of their baker, but to the baker's selfish pursuit ofmaking profit. His economic theory of 'the invisible hand' states that theaggregated behaviour of people serves the public good better than any socialplanner could ever do (Henderson, 2002).Today, however, the question of whether companies should shoulder a greatersocial responsibility is widely debated and there is a widespread support for theconcept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the business world.According to the concept of CSR, a company should focus on other values thanprofitability and efficiency and therefore take greater responsibility for thesocietal and environmental consequences of their activities. Hence, a company'slicense to operate and grow is no longer seen exclusively in terms of maximisingprofits (Kaptein & Van Tulder, 2003). Embedding an organisation in society - ina sustainable manner - has become a condition for continuity and growth.Companies establish CSR as part of their mission and core values in response toemerging issues from within the organisation while other companies have takenon CSR initiatives in response to consumer activism, government interventionand demands from investors (Gillis & Spring, 2001). Hence, there are differentpressures, internal and external, leading companies to integrate CSR in theirCSR with Focus on the Employee Perspective Introduction-2-operations.In opposition to the pressures for an increased social responsibility, there are asubstantial number of opponents of CSR. The opponents include journalists,economists and managers who disagree regarding the need for companies to takea wider interest in societal and environmental issues. Some critics also regardCSR as solely a marketing tool.Although the CSR has gained much attention and acceptance in recent years, thesocial responsibility of business is not a new phenomenon. It has been on theagenda of public policy for centuries. However, over the last ten years therelationship between companies and society has been especially highlighted andthere has been concerns for an increased transparency and accountability forbusinesses. This is due to, among other things, increased...

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