The capitalist system is under siege. The businesses can no longer work in isolation with the societies. Business needs societies to function. The consumer is the market and a happy consumer translates into profit. So if there is a superior product in the market pitched against an equally superior product who has a history or image of being socially responsible and ethical, whom will the consumer choose?
CSR can be converted into profits resulting in the increase in the value of the stocks if pursued systemically. CSR is not philanthropy, it is an investment in the future to diversify and empower the prospective consumer.
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. They are also being asked to apply sustainability principles to the ways in which they conduct their business. Sustainability refers to an organization’s activities, typically considered voluntary, that demonstrate the inclusion of social and environmental concerns in business operations and in interactions with stakeholders (van Marrewijk & Verre, 2003).
So, how do we make CSR an Actionable business agenda? First and foremost, it should begin by treating it, as an investment rather than burden. Every businessmen likes profit. When it comes to CSR he/she has to choose whether, it’s a short term profit or a long term he/she is looking for. A socially responsible business strategy goes a long way in building the profits and the image of a company at large.
Research has confirmed leadership’s pivotal role in initiating and developing CSR programs and initiatives within and across organizations. Leaders in world business are the first true planetary citizens, they have worldwide 9 Capability and responsibility, and their decisions affect economies as well as societies (Pruzan & Miller, 2006).
Corporations are trying to imbibe CSR as an actionable agenda. Well, this won’t be easy. Firstly the kind of expertise these social interventions require is lacking in many companies. Secondly the impacts of social interventions cannot be calculated easily. So should the corporations give up on CSR, well Off course not .CSR in The Companies Bill 2013 is a learning opportunity for those who not only want to make immaculate brand image but also create a shared value and sense of belonging towards the people.
By – Joyita Bhattacharya