Since last few years CSR, as a concept, has been the focus
of many deliberations and research. It has grown in importance both
academically as well as in business sense. It captures a spectrum of values and
criteria for measuring a company’s contribution to social development. As the
term “CSR” is used continually, many complementary and overlapping concepts,
such as corporate citizenship, business ethics, stakeholder management and
sustainability, have emerged. These extensive ranges of synonymously used terms
indicate that multiple definitions has been devised for CSR, mostly different perspectives
and by those in facilitating roles such as the corporate sector, government
agencies, academics and the public sector.
A Widely cited definition of CSR in the business and social context
has been given by the European Union (EU). It describes CSR as “the concept
that an enterprise is accountable for its impact on all relevant stakeholders.
It is the continuing commitment by business to behave fairly and responsibly,
and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of
the work force and their families as well as of the local community and society
In other words, CSR refers to ensuring the success of the
business by inclusion of social and environmental considerations into a
company’s operations. It means satisfying your shareholders’ and customers’
demands while also managing the expectation of other stakeholders such as
employees, suppliers and the community at large. It also means contributing
positively to society and managing your organization’s environmental impact.
Hence, CSR is a contribution to sustainable development, implying the way a
company balances its economic, environmental and social objectives while
addressing stakeholder expectations and enhancing shareholder value.
Some existing CSR policy initiatives across countries As the
importance of being socially responsible is being recognized throughout the
world, governments are aware of the national competitive advantages won from a
responsible business sector. Large corporations have progressively realized the
benificts of CSR initiatives in their business operations are located.
The Organization for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) established a set of guidelines
for multinational enterprises in 1976, and thus they are the pioneer in
developing the concept of CSR. The purpose of these guidelines was to improve
the investment climate and encourage the positive contribution multinational
enterprises can make to economic and social.