Since the last decade, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been integrated in policy of many companies due to the fact that it helps to increase a positive social impact on people, environment and enhance firm reputation. Most businesspeople seem to agree that CSR provides only advantages; for example, increasing product differentiation that can appeal to consumers, decreasing operating costs in recruiting and retaining employees and reducing turnover costs (The Financial Times). However, companies appear to have a hidden agenda - an underlying financial purpose - behind CSR. For this reason, this essay will indicate contradictions against CSR and will argue that corporations which practice CSR do not always perform well financially.
Business Responsibility consists of three main aspects to be considered which are profit, society and environment. A way of operating business with responsibility does not only act strategically and manage a business ethically, but to achieve long-term sustainability. Investing in such activities that mainly focus on communities, such as improving quality of life and developing people’s potential, which these might also be another interesting option of using CSR to become successful in business. Business and society belong together; if strong society and well living people merge, of course, those will drive business in that society to move towards a better position. Since business is a part of society, it needs support from people who are consumers. On the other hand, despite the fact that CSR is receiving much attention globally, it has become a trend in business. CSR objectives might distort and turn to be a new tool for social marketing.
We all know that everything always has two sides, including CSR. There are both supports and critics on CSR. Some believe that it helps to build brand loyalty, which leads to a significant improvement of long-term profitability whereas some believe it is another profit-making strategy. Eventually, it is up to companies to decide if they are going to apply CSR. This might lead to questions like "Will it reflect companies’ character?", "Will it improve companies’ image/reputation?" or "Will it create more profit?" It is very necessary for companies to be aware of the level of integrating CSR in their policy because, as many people say, too much of something is never a good thing. Therefore, the misunderstanding of companies’ intention might occur. Companies should be confident with their choice whether do good will worth the investment, since “almost all CSR has at least some cost.” (The Economist, 2005).
Many people see CSR as a point in adding capital cost of business; however, in a long run, it appears to reduce cost. Besides, it increases operational efficiency at work like Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), for instance. It is one of Asia’s leading conglomerate businesses (CP Group, 2008), the franchisee of Thailand’s 7-eleven stores, who launched...