The View from Organizational Studies: A Discourse Based Understanding of CSR and Communications
As the editors observe in their introduction to this volume, there has been a long-standing debate on whether Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities are good for business (Friedman, 1970; McWilliams and Siegel, 2001; Mintzberg, 1983). While the business case for CSR in terms of reducing risks, forestalling legislation, developing reputation, increasing employee loyalty, attracting potential employees, and so on, is persuasive (Greening and Turban, 2000; Porter and Kramer, 2006), we are constantly reminded that ultimately profit trumps any consideration for broader societal or environmental issues (Banerjee, 2008; Prasad and Elmes, 2005). There is even a danger in supporting arguments in favor of CSR on the basis that it represents (enlightened) self-interest, since it would suggest that (a) under circumstances when it is not profitable, corporations should not undertake CSR activities, and (b) it is up to broader society to ensure that CSR activities are rewarded. The irony here is that such arguments leave very little room for responsibility on the part of corporations. It is equally dangerous to suggest that public multinational corporations hold any sense of ethics or morality when their ownership is spread over thousands of shareholders, in the hands of mostly institutions rather than people, and with ownership changing hand in seconds (Spurgin, 2001). Further, with the average tenure of CEOs and other senior managers becoming shorter and shorter and often linked to financial performance measures such as profitability, stock value and so on (Kaplan, 2008), any notion of morality often appears cyclical at best.
Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility
Business and Management not elsewhere classified