Things you need to know about corporate social responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility - Corporate social responsibility has been one of the most problematic and troubling factors of business management since almost the very beginning of the corporation. Social responsibility corporate used to be a very simple thing, but it is no longer so. In the beginning, corporate charters were extremely simple. You would charter a corporation for one task – say, to build a bridge. That corporation would have the right to perform that one task and no further tasks. Back then, socially responsible corporations were the rule rather than the exception. Because they had such limited power, they would be forced to stay within the law.

Nowadays, corporate strategy is the main concern. Corporations social responsibility always takes a back seat. You see, it comes down to this: competition is the bottom line. A socially responsible corporation will, in general, be at a disadvantage when compared to one that is more ruthless. This is why, as citizens and as business people, we have to do everything that we can to keep corporations socially responsible. Otherwise, the disturbing trend of corporate corruption will continue and even get worse. As corporations get bigger and globalization takes off, corporate responsibility is vastly becoming one of the greatest concerns of the 21st century.

Environmental corporate social responsibility is one of the areas that have been most problematic. Since the beginning of the industrial age, and perhaps even before, corporate social responsibility with regard to the environment has been abysmal. Nowadays, fortunately, there are signs of hope. New government laws to protect the environment, as well as consumer watchdog groups help enforce corporate social responsibility with regard to health and environmental concerns. The popularity of green products, as well as organic foodstuffs, has made corporate social responsibility much more profitable in some areas. Hopefully, this trend will continue.

Unfortunately, some social issues are not improving. Corporate social responsibility with regards to workers rights has never been good, and it is only getting worse with globalization. Although the fair trade movement, the anti-sweatshop movement, and other similar workers rights initiatives have done some good, we generally continue to lose ground rather than to gain it. As companies are moving overseas to cheaper labor markets with less workers rights protections, this trend will only get worse. Until workers are able to unite on a truly global basis, corporate social responsibility will remain abysmal. After all, it is in their interests to pay less, and no one is stopping them.

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