Corporate Social Responsibility is a belief that companies should perform activities that benefits society. In other words, CSR is a way how companies benefit themselves while keeping in mind the benefits of our society in which we live. In the content below, we will discuss CSR benefits and challenges.
CSR is an ethical framework that every individual or company should follow to maintain harmony between the economy and the environment. It is one of the newest management strategies adopted by many organizations which aims at creating a positive impact on society while practicing business. It refers to maintaining and sustaining the equilibrium between the two.
Customers form an essential part of society. In today’s world, a customer is a sovereign and so it is the company’s duty to keep all his existing and prospective customers happy and satisfied. In order to do this, a company has to follow certain norms and ethics of its own and of society, so that both the company and the society are benefitted at the same time. This will come as a pack for CSR benefits and challenges.
A business can attract more clients if the business focuses and caters to the needs of its employees and the society. Both the business and its clients should actively participate in making a healthier and productive environment by using the most effective and efficient strategies so as to concentrate consciously on the vision and mission of the organization. It is our obligation to determine and help people enjoy the CSR benefits and challenges.
A CSR policy should form the basic part of an organization that helps in the day to day management and also in guiding the future of an entity. It should be an organization’s duty and responsibility to protect society and the environment via its activities. Furthermore, CSR encourages inspiration in the community which tells an organization how to run its business and also to the people on how to lead one’s life and promotes social responsibility in everyone.
The CSR programs help in developing happier and satisfied employees which further enhances their talent and will to work in the organization.
Many companies have scaled up the operations in CSR in these past few years. To name a few: Mahindra and Mahindra, SAIL, Bharat Petroleum and the Tata Group of companies. These companies spend large amounts of money on CSR and have relatively high scores of CSR. CSR focuses on business ethics, responsibility, values, and principles. It means to go beyond what the law requires you to do for the welfare of society.
Dimensions of corporate social responsibility include many aspects like accountability and transparency, commitments to socio-economic developments, environmental concerns, human rights, workers’ rights, and welfare, market relations, sustainability, and corporate governance.
Benefits from CSR are multi-fold
- Increases employee loyalty and retention
- Increased customer loyalty
- Increased reputation in the corporate world and brand image
- Greater productivity and quality
- Increased quality of products and services
- Product safety and decreased liability
- Less volatile stock value
- Reduced regulatory oversight
- Ensures the company’s sustainability and long term performance
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Increase in the growth potential of an organization
- Prevent the focus of companies from only profit maximization
Corporate Social Responsibility means working in an organization where it benefits both the organization and the society. There is much debate on the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility. Some people have a strong belief that the sole aim of the business is only to take care of the interest of the owners and the shareholders of the business while others believe that a business should benefit all, including the environment and the society. Hence, on a social level, the concept of CSR faces many challenges.
CSR benefits and challenges
1. Responsibility towards Shareholders only
People confuse the objective of a business with the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility. Some entrepreneurs say that the sole aim of the business should only lie in the interest of the stakeholders. Anything done out of this objective violates the fundamental principles of the business and moreover is not acknowledged in the eyes of the community.
An organization has the responsibility to earn as much profit as it can for the shareholders or the owners. It is totally accountable to the shareholders of the business. How can a business forgo this basic purpose just for the sake of society or how can it even make a decision that undermines the basic objective of the business?
2. Failure of the public to recognize organizations through CSR
Even if the activities of the organization benefit the society, the actual benefit is totally negligible in the eyes of the community. Companies that work in this direction never get the due credit for it. Moreover, Corporate Social Responsibility should result in a positive outcome that benefits both society and the organization as a whole.
3. Input not equal to the output
The input provided by the organizations in the business for the community is far less than the output received. But if they use the same input for earning purposes, the organization will end up making huge profits for themselves. The public always fails to see the good deeds of the organization made for the betterment of society. It always denies them the appropriate appreciation and acknowledgment for their work.
4. Mentality of consumers
Many organizations work in the best interest of the community and the environment. But the consumers always think that the business is done for some secret objective which is for their own good. So the hard work of the organization is never recognized. Hence, there is no point working day and night for the benefit of society. No matter what, the organization is criticized by society even if they are actively involved in socially responsible projects.
Therefore, every organization wants to be good in the eyes of the community and sustain its business for long. To achieve this, it should take up socially responsible projects keeping in mind the CSR benefits and challenges.