Corporate Social Responsibility

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Views: 204

Words: 1041

Pages: 5

Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012 12:17 PM

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CSR Definition

Treating stakeholders in an ethical and responsible manner is what comes to my mind when discussing corporate social responsibility. Stakeholders represent employees, suppliers, stockholders, customers, management, local community, as well as the environment. Ethical and responsible treatment of stakeholders entails honesty, fairness and integrity. Most corporations have a “Code of Ethics” which dictates acceptable behavior. The past twenty years I have adjusted claims in the property and casualty insurance industry which is littered with bribery and other illegal financial incentives. The code of ethics for claims adjusters is very clear regarding forbidden acts such as bribery. In Minnesota, state regulation requires adjusters to take responsibility so as to be in good faith in resolving insurance losses. Corporate social responsibility is about treating stakeholders within or without the company in a responsible or ethical manner.

My CSR Personal Perspective

The recently deceased economist, Milton Friedman, wrote a doctrine stating the only business social responsibility is to increase profits for itself and its shareholders. This doctrine is becoming obsolete as we realize other corporate obligations exist beyond profit maximization. I have witnessed socially irresponsible behavior involving corporations such as Enron, World Com, Arthur Anderson and most recently Lehman Brothers and AIG which followed such a narrowly focused doctrine to their demise. I watched a documentary by James Johnson who is the great grandson of Robert Johnson (co-founder of Jonson & Johnson). The documentary film, Born Rich, featured an interview with the now deceased Milton Friedman who accused Mr. Johnson of advocating socialism and abruptly ended the interview. What this interview and our seemingly corrupt business practices have demonstrated is that Friedman’s doctrine is unsustainable. Future generations (stakeholders) will suffer if we continue...