The real reasons behind CSR practices by companies are many times questioned by critics. The specialized literature offers us three reasons for social responsibility. We can also add that the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility and business ethics is dependent on the reasons that stimulate a company to engage in social activities:
• The pragmatic reason appears in the specialized literature of business ethics also under the name of “enlightened self- interest” (the company wants to get involved in CSR activities): This is without doubt the strongest reason behind the social behavior of a company: the business organizations commit to further responsibilities and get actively involved in social projects to increase on long-term their profile and profits. Social responsible actions usually offer the company a certain competitive advantage.
• The deontological reason (the company feels constrained to carry out CSR): the specialized literature is based on the premise that businesses have a moral duty towards society and towards the community in which they operate; these obligations are not reduced to simple maximizing the profits, but target the voluntary actions of a company that generate wealth of the entire society. The reasoning is simple. Economic and commercial activities that businesses run are a result of a social need which has to be fairly and rationally satisfied. In other words the society allows businesses to function, therefore businesses have a moral duty towards the society. This duty is concretized in an ethic and social responsible behavior.
• The reason of social pressure (the company is forced to get involved in the CSR): another reason for which the companies commit to social responsibilities is that they have to comply with the increasing social demands. The society altogether rejects companies that do not prove they have a social responsible behavior and has some expectations on the corporate involvement in the social aspects. An empirical analysis of the global environment demonstrates that business organizations assume social initiatives for different reasons, sometimes integrating all the above reasons. Although in general the companies affirm that their social responsibility actions are dictated by deontological reasoning, in reality the rational reason or the social pressure reason determines companies to reconsider and to permanently updating their Corporate Social Responsibility policy.
Categories: Features & Analysis