Corporate Social Responsibility

Benefiting Both Your Business and the Community

Make corporate involvement strategic.

© iStockphoto/CharlesTaylor

Today's societies often ask more from major corporations than simply making a profit and paying taxes.

There's a general expectation that companies should do their best to trade fairly, uphold human rights, and protect the environment. And the focus is not just on big corporations: small companies are often asked to support local causes and play their part in community development.

So, how can a business manage these expectations, but benefit its bottom line as well? A successful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy can help.

Understanding CSR

No company exists by itself in a vacuum. Every business operates in society, whether on a global or local scale. Its impact and behavior – ethical, social, economic, and environmental – are open to examination and criticism, typically from politicians, the media, and other campaigners, as well as from its own customers.

Corporate history is full of examples of companies that have suffered commercially because they've behaved in ways that are unacceptable to the public. Clothing manufacturers have been damaged by the discovery of child labor in their supply chains, while oil companies have been charged with environmental damage and complicity with human rights abuses. And, of course, there have been many recent accusations (some devastating) that the financial houses of Wall Street and the City of London do not perform any "socially useful" activity.

These cases show the kinds of risk to reputation that can be associated with an organization's business activity. CSR helps manage such risk. It's not just about charitable giving or philanthropy. Effective CSR is about strategically positioning a company in society so that it can actually take advantage of public concerns, like poverty or global warming, rather than be damaged by them.

A company's CSR program needs to consider...

... for the complete article:

Mind Tools Club members, click here.

Join the Mind Tools Club to finish this article AND get 1,000 more resources

Join now for just $1, first month

"When I started using Mind Tools, I was not in a supervisory position. Now I am. Along with that came a 12% increase in salary." – Pat Degan, Houston, USA
Add this article to My Learning Plan

Where to go from here:

Join the Mind Tools Club

Click to join Mind Tools
Printer-friendly version
Return to the top of the page

Create a Login to Save Your Learning Plan

This ensures that you don’t lose your plan.


Connect with…

Or create a Mind Tools login. Existing user? Log in here.
Log in with your existing Mind Tools details
Lost Username or Password
You are now logged in…

Lost username or password?

Please enter your username or email address and we'll send you a reminder.

Thank You!

Your log in details have been sent to the email account you registered with. Please check your email to reset your login details.

Create a Mind Tools Login
Your plan has been created.

While you're here, subscribe to our FREE newsletter?

Learn a new career skill every week, and get our Personal Development Plan workbook (worth $19.99) when you subscribe.


Thank You!

Please check your Inbox, and click on the link in the email from us. We can then send you the newsletter.