FirstName LastNameInstructor’s NameCourse Title14 April 2022
Corporations And Their Social Responsibility
The general structure of business operationalization is not only focused on the satisfaction of its internal needs but also on those from the wide external environment. The general idea of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) lies under its descriptive outlook as a specific way in which corporations regulate their operations to ensure that they present a positive outcome to society. The general structure of CSR is reflective of both the business entity and the government as they intersect through policy development, considerations, and enactment to ensure that an enabling environment is developed and nurtured. With this, the CSR policies are developed with an underlying aim of guaranteeing the society that a corporation is likely to operate in ethical terms with an in-depth consideration of the underlying human rights and the social, economic, and environmental effect of their existence on the society as a whole. This paper will focus on the aspect of Corporations and their Social Responsibility from a business and governance point of view to identify whether the government is providing a conducive environment for corporates to practice CSR. The issue presented, in this case, is a relevant consideration noting that the mode of governance that is practiced by the corporation has a substantial impact on society.
In 2010, the oil drilling rig, also identified as the Deep Water Horizon, working at the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, exploded and led to the death of 11 individuals and an underlying record of the largest oil spill in the history of marine oil drilling undertakings. The general oil spill included a total of 4 million oil barrels that flowed over a period of 87 days without any substantial response from the entity that ran the operations of the government. Regardless of the noted adversity of the occurrence, underlying reports and studies have revealed that there was a lack of urgency and actual consideration of the relevance of the issues, which had a wide impact on society. When focusing on such occurrences, the idea of CSR comes to mind and ways that it connects with businesses operationalization and social governance. In contemporary society, corporations have continued to thrive while society has remained in its destructive state. However, and based on the case example that is provided, there remains an underlying question of who is to blame for the issues and neglect that is currently noted between corporations and the society in which they operate. In different cases, solving the problem is seen as a specific role that the corporation is warranted but the general blame is presented to the government under an insight that it should broaden its inclusivity to create an enabling environment for CSR. The general essence of the issues at hand is that CSR is a directive that requires government inclusion in policy development and enactment within corporations, which is an aspect that reflects a lagging in both entities in the case of a failure as noted through the 2010 happenings at the Deepwater Horizon project at the Gulf of Mexico.
While current records present neglect of Corporate Social Responsibility, should the existing corporations be given the direct role of developing and enacting CSR guidelines and standards to minimize the confusion that exists between the corporate entities and the government and to, further, ensure that the underlying outcomes, whether positive or negative, are warranted or blamed on the corporation?
Corporations have been blamed for the specific role of CSR implementation while it should be the combined effort of both the government and the entities. Corporations have the direct role of implementing the CSR directives but the government is responsible for the development and governance of the policies by ensuring that they create a conducive environment in which the corporate entities can operate.
Detailed topic description
The contemporary concept of CSR has its roots in the aspect of business philanthropy. In the 1800s, philanthropists, such as Carnegie Andrew, and wealthy corporate leaders challenged wealthy people to take a direct course in supporting social operations through the concept of the gospel of wealth. This was first put to practice by Rockefeller in the late 1800s who donated millions of dollars for the enhancement of social causes. The move, in this case, was followed by the development of entities such as the Cleveland Foundation that purposed to issue power to the community through the acceptance of gifts from several donors other than a single entity that responded to the needs of the people by evaluation of their needs. However, it was until the 1940s that corporations followed suit through ethical considerations and responsiveness to social stakeholders which were otherwise referred to as the Social Responsibility of the Businessman. In the United States, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility took hold in the early 1970s following the idea of social contracts between the corporation and the society, which was enacted in the year 1971 under the Committee for Economic Development. The general context of the social contract was that corporations operate through the consent of the public and, therefore, have the obligation to serve society’s needs in a constructive manner. The inclusion called for corporations to contribute towards social development and not only through the sales of their products.
However, the 20th century marked a period when CSR initiatives took a different turn after some corporations neglected their relevance while others abused the policies based on their operational depth. A notable issue has already been portrayed under the presentation of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill where immense neglect of CSR directives was portrayed and a further inconsideration of the environmental wellbeing. Further, some existing corporations have used CSR programs to deviate their attention from the socially irresponsible practice that exists within their primary functionality. A notable example has been presented through the case of Walmart where its CSR initiative, which focuses on the handling of waste and enhancement of the energy efficiency within the wide network of Chinese suppliers, ignored the general health and safety of the workers. The noted issues, in this case, drive the underlying question regarding the main entity that should be warranted the role of CSR policy formulation and enactment. While some of the corporations have neglected the existence and relevance of the policies, the government has also given a leeway that seemingly ignores the unwarranted behaviors.
The history and underlying issues of the corporation’s concept of CSR lead to a specific need to identify stakeholders who, in this case, are affected by the interconnected events and the respective issues. In a case where CSR policies are not enacted in the most appropriate manner, the society, including the environment, remains the most highly affected stakeholder. A proper example can be seen by looking back at the case of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 11 workers died out of the occurrence while the spill led to the destruction of the surrounding environment, including the water body. Further, the CSR directives and underlying issues take a heavy toll on the stability of corporations, including their leaders, and the government, which are warranted the main role of guideline development and enactment. Therefore, the current state and advancement of the policies are like to impact the public as well as the policymakers and implementers, in this case, the government and the corporations respectively, in positive and negative ways. However, from a deeper look at the general destructiveness of the neglect and ignorance that follow the contemporary CSR initiatives, the public, in this case, the society in which the corporations operate, remains the most affected stakeholders.
However, the implementation of the CSR policies over time presents that its general context has changed and the perspective of stakeholder impact has been influenced by the respective changes. The early policies were grounded by guidelines of the 1940s when entities such as Hormel utilized their operational standards to deliver on the social good through the close relation with the government as implemented under the Lend-Lease program to deliver food supplies to the people who were affected by the World War II. These directives were further implemented in the 1960s when corporations were urged to increase their CSR initiatives with an aim of aligning business interests with the defense of capitalism. The 1980s saw a period when the government policies were deepened within CSR initiatives. President Reagan led the perspective of CSR through his belief that small corporations should consider implementing social responsibility initiatives to strengthen corporate America. The policies, in this case, were pronounced to the public through filming, philanthropic views, and entrepreneurship ideologies that supported charitable and educational entities. Noting from this outlook, the periodic evolution of CSR policies and directives has grown with a relative move in corporate influence and strength.
In the early 2000s, the digital age brought to light some of the inhumane violations that some corporate entities engaged to foster their profitability position while neglecting the CSR initiatives. In response, President George Bush led a grassroots movement that advocated for volunteerism in the mainstream through entities such as the Points of Light, which mobilized individuals to take action on specific causes they find appropriate through campaigns and events. This move is considerably the background of contemporary CSR policies. While there has been a periodic existence of the reported faults, companies have made a positive move towards aspects that they find relevant to society. The fact that corporations are given the mandate to decide their CSR actions means that they should conduct a social analysis of the needs and identify a move that will benefit the people. However, this has also emerged as the primary point of fault. Cases such as the presented outlook of Walmart’s CSR continue to show the detrimental nature of the wide range of operational freedom and the autonomous spectrum of CSR implementation.
Detailed outcome description
The implementation of CSR initiatives follows public policies that emerge effective when implemented rightfully. Among other reasons is the provision that it relies on the government, and not individual entities, to provide an enabling environment. The general context of CSR incorporates a wide array of issues including business operationalization and conduct, from the perspective of corporate governance and protection of the environment, to aspects of social inclusion, including national economic development and human rights. In a case where CSR is implemented from the private sector, an emphasis on the respective directives might be minimal and even differ based on the perspectives of the investors and the managerial team. On the other hand, the public sector is responsible for the general complexity of CSR as an existing, but periodically growing field. Evidently, public sector entities have barely aligned their operations with the broad concept of CSR but the push for its implementation as a public policy insight has encouraged them to incorporate the idea as a part of the agenda. With this, the government is warranted an active role in mandating the CSR directives through regulatory and commanding legislation, facilitating through the creation of enabling legislation and funding among others, partnering through stakeholder engagement, and endorsing through the implementation of political support and public praise. In developing nations, the government should guide CSR initiatives within the public sector to encourage activities that allow for the enhancement of sustainable development strategies.
Through the implementation of CSR directives into the public sector, the underlying policies and activities ought to be approached as priorities. The extractive industry, primarily the gas, oil, and mining entities, operates in multinational capacities with a country for a specific period. Their main operations include capital investments, developmental activities, regional and global sourcing, and facility management. However, when the respective entities are left to operate on private terms, their taxes and revenues will be substantial but might result in poor governance that disregards CSR. Therefore, aligning the corporate strategies with the public sector in terms of CSR policy implementation will encourage governmental engagement, which will ensure that the economic, social, and environmental activities reflect the wide scale of CSR. Further, there is an underlying notion that while the government focuses on the welfare of the people, its mandate towards corporate operationalization is focused on relative adoptions. With this, undertaking CSR governance as a public sector policy is effective in meeting the defined goals and objectives.
Further, there are some expectations that CSR will encourage the public sector to emerge mature as the underlying entities will focus on an operational line that surpasses their business expectations. In contemporary corporations, the idea of CSR is very immature as it has not been held effectively within the public sector entities, in both the developing and the developed nations. The increased need to generate equitable and sustainable development presents the general relevance of attaining an appropriate understanding of the basic functions of the public policy in line with CSR and its strength in contributing to the adverse developmental agenda. With the knowledge that CSR boosts the accomplishment of the developmental agenda, the regional government should emerge proactive in the bolstering of CSR strategies. A significant percentage of the CSR perspectives require voluntary engagement but the government has to become involved, as a primary stakeholder, in the business line with a sight of extending the underlying concepts into the future. With the current operational structure, most corporate entities seem to question the general stability of CSR. However, as corporations continue to grow, their sight on CSR develops relatively thus encouraging them to foster the general sustainability of their operational programs. The joining of operational efforts between the government and the corporations through public policies can bring about adverse solutions to the ongoing social issues, which have remained a concern to the government and the corporations. With this, CSR as a public policy is likely to push the corporation to a leadership position within the operational region as well as to shape the government strategies that are implemented to promote CSR.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has its roots in historical philanthropy where it was regarded that while corporations exist because of the people then they should incorporate engagement strategies that satisfy the society. Its primary focus was to foster community power through consideration of the general well-being of the people. However, modern corporations have disregarded some of the recommended aspects of CSR with minimal implications from the government. With this, an underlying question exists as to the specific entity, between the corporations and the government, which should take the active role in the development, enactment, and implementation of the CSR policies. While the entities operate under the directive of CSR implementation, the government is responsible for ensuring that the policies are enacted and implemented effectively in both the private and the public sectors. Noting from the adversity of CSR implementation, both the public and private sectors have a specific point of relevance and downfall. In most cases, the private sectors are fast in executing the CSR policies but the public sector has a high degree of surety. Therefore, the government should ensure that both the public and private sectors implement CSR through enabled and well-defined operational channels.
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