Social responsibility is known to be a doctrine aimed at identifying whether a particular entity (individual, organization, corporation, state or government) has certain responsibilities to society. However, responsibilities maybe either positive meaning that responsibilities aim at acting or negative meaning that organization may refrain from acting. Social responsibilities are claimed to voluntary. As it is noted, social responsibility is “about going above and beyond what is called for by the law”. Actually, each entity should think that acting to problem should be top priority instead of reacting to it. (Griffin & Mahon 1997)
The core principles of social responsibility are eliminating corruption and unfair policies within entity and avoiding unethical and irresponsible behavior. Therefore, social responsibility prevents entities from doing harm to people, community and environment. Usually, social responsibility is associated with corporations and large businesses, though it is also applied to activist groups, governments and communities. For example, the social responsibility of the state is to ensure performance of civil rights, whereas the social responsibilities of corporations and organizations are to respect employees and to promote the ideals of universal human rights. It is necessary to outline three issues in social responsibility: human, environmental and ethical corporate responsibility. (Maignan & Ferrell 2001)
Firstly, human responsibility aims at making entities responsible to people and society for actions taken and decisions made because people are strongly affected by performance of particular corporations. In other words, human responsibility suggests holding company accountable for its effect on particular society: company’s partners, employees and operating communities are involved. Social responsibility promotes the idea that business ethics should pay attention to responsibilities to customers meaning that customers should be treated with respect and managers should be interested only in sales and commission. Nowadays, human responsibility means that company mustn’t profit from its customers, instead it should care of customer’s needs, demands and wants. For example, accountability for employees is rather new concept. (Griffin & Mahon 1997)
Secondly, ethical responsibility is also of importance. Nowadays, public trust is rather shaken in the USA because of recent corporate scandals. Therefore, ethics should play important role in decision-making process as it gives thinkers an opportunity to make such a decision won’t oppose anybody’s suggestions or preferences. Therefore, corporations should be encouraged to feel responsible for people they directly or indirectly affect. Also corporations are responsible for indecision and inaction as well. Entities are provided with power to help people, to do no harm to them and to ensure moral responsibility.
Finally, environmental responsibility suggests that corporations are responsible to the environment and the world. It means that companies operate on a larger scale than individuals and, thus, they produce greater harm to environment. For example, many products are wrapped up in far more packaging than it is needed. Certain products and actions aren’t available for customers and only few people have access to nuclear and toxic waste. Furthermore, people are involved in illegal production and dumping of those products. Therefore, the environmental costs and impact of the companies is in abilities to dispose packages in eco-friendly manner. Only socially responsible entities take the mentioned considerations into account when making up decisions. However, it is difficult to push entity to be responsible and initiative for actions taken and to be taken. (Ncube & Wasburn 2006)
Corporate social responsibility should be core principle within organization meaning that it should consider interests of employees, shareholders and customers in all aspects of operations. Such responsibility reaches far beyond statutory obligation of a company, corporate responsibility suggests sustainable development meaning that entities should make up decisions which focus not only financial factors, but also on long-term social and environmental. (Ncube & Wasburn 2006)
Griffin, J. & Mahon, J. (1997). The Corporate Social Performance and Corporate Financial Performance Debate: Twenty Five Years of Incompatible Research. Business and Society, 36, 5-31.
Maignan, I. & Ferrell, O. (2001). Corporate Citizenship as a Marketing Instrument – Concepts, Evidence and Research Directions. European Journal of Marketing, 35, 3, 457-484.
Ncube, L., & Wasburn, M. (2006). Strategic Collaboration for Ethical Leadership: A Mentoring Framework for Business and Organizational Decision Making. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 13, 1, 77-93.