I think corporate social responsibility is an ethical framework

Posted: June 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

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I think corporate social responsibility is an ethical framework for running an organization. Ideally, companies need to take responsibility for their effects on the environment and impact on social welfare.

But like most companies in a capitalistic system, the prime directive is always to act in the best interests of the stakeholders–and that interest of course is vast amounts of revenue. It is a system that works because it has to listen to the people who have invested interest in it. This by definition makes it a teleological structure. And I think that is good thing.

Companies that once pursued growth and success regardless of the cost to the environment are now being scrutinized. Organizations must look at the bottom line and the fact is very simple–disgruntled investors, consumers, employees, and communities are bad for profits.

Does that mean that corporate social responsibility is fodder for a chicken or and the egg debate? In the end, I don’t think it matters. What is important is that companies–because of their very nature– can be pushed towards a more sustainable future whether companies choose to hind behind a mask of ethical virtue or not. And in the end, it is good for everybody.

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