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SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
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Social Responsibilities
The concept of social responsibility relates with the obligations of social good that each
entity ought to have, whether individual or business. Since it is obvious that all too often, such
conduct will require expenses, social responsibilities are seen as a balancing force to the regular
conduct of business for profit. These responsibilities can be conferred upon a section of the
society, such as the destitute or disabled, upon the environment, specially if it is adversely
affected by the activities of the business or upon the community wherein the business is located
or serves in.
The concept of equilibrium is important because such a contribution always takes from
the profiteering. Each company is expected to contribute in proportion to its size, while there is a
minimum offering expected, depending upon the case. Social responsibilities can also be sub-
divided into active and passive responsibilities. Passive responsibilities include not indulging in
any socially adverse actions. Active responsibilities relate to engaging in positive conduct that
directly benefits the environment.
Larger, sustainable businesses like to engage thoroughly in social responsibility projects
for other reasons as well, including to limit governmental intervention. Such an intervention can
be abrupt, unsophisticated and may lead to sweeping regulations motivated by the hue and cry of
the public – whom they have made no attempt at reconciling with. Organizations also like to
passionately give back to the community they are situated in, for all the support and welcome
they receive at their hands.
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Criticism
Corporate social responsibilities have often been criticized as being too ineffective since
they are moderate in their reach and scope. At the same time, due to the duality they introduce in
a business’ priorities, it is blamed for distracting from the fundamental profiteering model that
businesses are tuned to become. Lastly, the concept of social responsibilities is also seen as a
ploy by big businesses to prevent it getting to the point of governmental intervention in their
industry. Research has shown no negative effects on shareholder performance owing to a current
corporate social responsibilities project. Some examples of handling CSR are as follows.
Southwest Airlines
Demonstrating superior understanding of the concept of corporate social responsibility,
the company believes its future is tied to the well-being of the community in which it operates. It
aims to be “the hometown airline of every community we serve, and because those communities
sustain and nurture us with their support and loyalty”. Additionally, in an effort to reduce
emissions, the company strategically got rid of the larger and more fuel exhaustive Boeing 737,
its principal workhorse and substituted the “fuel cow” by the cheaper and more fuel efficient
Embraer ERJ 145 family of jets. This is specially a priority for less busy routes (Grubbs-West,
2005).
BMW
BMW has demonstrated a long standing commitment to environmental concerns, among
the first in its industry to take such initiatives. In recognition for its many pioneering initiatives,
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
it has been listed as a respected automotive manufacturer in the Dow Jones Sustainability Group
as well as the FTSE4Good indexes. It is also an active member at the Swiss SAM Sustainability
group. In fact owing to many criteria, BMW may be referred to as a sustainable organization
(Murray, Poole & Jones, 2006).
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