Corporate social responsibility is important, but so are the financial performance and market outlook of a business. In fact, social responsibility in business is nothing new, so understanding how it has evolved can help us to understand it better now and in the future as well as to better understand the culture of enterprise behind it all.
A paper by Panda Snigdharani, a lecturer at the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) at KIIT University in Bhubaneswar-Odisha, India, which was recently published in the International Journal of Management, IT and Engineering is a useful read that can help to better understand the connection between corporate social responsibility (CSR), business sustainability, and market outlook.
It opens with a simple observation. As Panda Snigdharani says, “CSR activities is (sic) not new, they have already more than 100 years [of] history. […] Corporations around the world are struggling with a new role, which is to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the next generations to meet their own needs. Organizations are being called upon to take responsibility for the ways their operations impact societies and the natural environment.” Balancing a business’ financials with environmental sustainability is no easy task, and it requires an ability to analyse the present and to look to the future.
In the view of Panda Snigdharani, the key to this reasoning is the concept of “sustainability”. For the paper, “sustainability” refers to activities that show an understanding of the “inclusion of social and environmental concerns in business operations and in interactions with stakeholders”.
However, it is not to be seen as something that holds back business growth. After a clear analysis of the history and current state of corporate social responsibility, the paper explains that CSR activities can be an effective aid to “business sustainability”.
In other words, a focus on others leads to growth, even in business.
Corporate social responsibility: the mantra for business sustainability
Panda Snigdharani (Lecturer, Commerce, KISS, KIIT)
International Journal of Management, IT and Engineering2014, Volume 4, Issue 7