About Social Responsibility

Definition

Social responsibility is the obligation of an organization’s management to make decisions and take actions that enhance the welfare and interests of society as a whole. Social responsibility is not corporate charity. It is not enough for organizations to simply parcel out charitable contribution.

Historical Perspectives

In this perspective the relationship between business and society in the twentieth century has fallen into three categories, they are

Profit maximization management: In the prevailing view among business leaders was that business had a responsibility only to those who had a direct interest in its success.

Trustee management: In response to great human suffering and massive economic problems in the 1930, the U.S. government began to play a larger and larger role in regulating business activities.

Quality-of-life management: The relationship between government and business shifted again. This time, direct management involvement in the attempt to cure society’s problems was emphasized. The quality-of-life management have 10 characteristics, they are Vision, Empowerment, Performance, Team approach, Customer Service, Quality, Communication, Ethics, wellness, profit.

Philosophical perspectives

In this perspective not all business leaders agree that corporations have a responsibility to help cure social problems. In fact the opinions of business leaders today appear to be split among three different philosophies.

Traditional Philosophy: In this philosophy it was believed that the primary goal of business was the maximization of profits. This philosophy is still held by many business leaders today.

Stakeholder Philosophy: In this philosophy contends that managers are responsible to certain groups of stakeholders. Generally stakeholders are those groups and individuals-both within and outside an organization-who have a stake in a company’s performance.

Affirmative Philosophy: The third major philosophical approach to social responsibility is the affirmative philosophy. This approach is typified by companies that anticipate changes in stakeholder needs and voluntarily curtail activities that may be seen as damaging to society as a whole.

Responses to Social Responsibility

Businesses today generally take one of four different approaches to social demands, they are

  • Obstructive response
  • Defensive response
  • Accommodating response
  • Proactive response

Related to social Responsibility

Socially responsible investing, green business, social ethics, social investing, ethical responsibility, business ethics are some of the things that related to social responsibility and ethics.