Article Review Carroll, Archie & Shabana, Kareem. “The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of Concepts, Research and Practice.”

Introduction

This study is a review of the issue article “The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)”, whereby the chief focus is the business case (Carroll 86). This article revolves around the responsibilities of business enterprises in the society which goes beyond making of profits.

The writer acknowledges this as a subject that has been discussed over the past half century without arriving at any conclusion. The main focus of the discussion in this review includes the possibilities suggested by the article, the points that are very convincing and those that are not convincing and finally how well the article has been able to achieve its goal.

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Carroll and Shabana in this article try to review some of the ways through which CSR has been reviewed and discussed through a long period of time and what has been achieved so far. They illustrate how w ell or how poorly this issue is doing in its bid of the attainment of Corporate Social Responsibility, (CSR).

The key issue that the business case poses is what benefits and returns a community and more importantly the organization gains out of carrying out CSR initiatives and whether such benefits are in any way tangible or measurable. Another major thing that this document seeks to do is bring the reader to understand the real meaning of business case and its importance in relation to CSR.

Background information

In order for me to fully express the importance of this subject, I review the origin of CSR which can be traced way back from the World War 2, but the most important remarks recalled from way back then are those of Dean David addressing the new students of MBA in the Harvard Business School, 1946, whereby Bert Spector argues that CSR’s origin was founded during that period and thus Dean David together with some of his other counterparts are responsible for its founding (Carroll 86-94).

Summary

Carroll and Shabana observes the way by the 1950, the issue if CSR was not a subject of discussion among many business corporations and excerpts “Frank Abrams, a former executive with Standard Oil Company” remarks that pioneered the discussion after an appraisal that majority of the corporations were not in any way considering their employees, customers and the public in their wide-ranging plans, but were just concerned in income generation.

Carroll and Shabana are well able to justify these observations and argue that, according to research carried out concerning the 1950’s, the main ideas that made CSR to get appreciated in the business world included the manager being viewed as a public trustee, achieving a balance in the competition for corporate resources and the philanthropic support of good causes by businesses.

He also takes note of other important pioneers of CSR such as Theodore Levitt who closed the 50’s by being a pessimist about CSR, claiming it was posing some dangers to the corporate world. He dreaded that this attention to social involvement would divert the business’ attention from revenue generation.

There are some groups and movements that emerged and defined social changes through involving the business world and such groups focused on such issues as the rights of women, consumers and environmental conservation. Another important avenue through which CSR was being communicated well and was growing fast was through literature and books as Carroll noted (Carroll 86-88).

Carroll and Shabana findings illustrate that CSR’s development was pushed forward by these activists and the transforming social environment, which was on the other hand aggravated by these movements. Their key role was to bring about an understanding of CSR to the people and business corporations, what it meant and why it was important.

These ideas were transitioned into the years that followed and up to date they are still upheld as the main pillars. These authors acknowledge Patrick Murphy’s argument that 1960’s and 1970‘s were the ‘Awareness’ and ‘Issue’ eras of CSR. “This was a period of changing social consciousness and recognition of overall responsibility, involvement in community affairs, concern about urban decay, correction of racial discrimination, alleviation of pollution, and the continuing philanthropic era” he said (Carroll 96).

Critical Analysis

The main objective of this document is to illustrate the meaning and importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). They have been well able to do so using feasible examples of CSR and the efforts that have been put in the past to emphasize on the issue.

Through such examples as of the activists and movements that have been formed in the past to epitomize the subject expresses its relevance to majority of the people. They have also given examples of the people who have been for and against CSR over time entrenching their arguments and bringing up a conclusion that each of the reader is able to identify with.

Although the authors are able to bring out these justifications, their observations have not been brought out so entirely thus it takes a lot of effort to distinguish whether they are for or against CSR. They do well though by first analyzing the two sides before drawing to the conclusion of “business case”, and finally make their remarks in support of CSR.

Conclusion

This article was very informative in regards to the “business case”; its meaning and importance. It gives businesses the choice of taking the Corporate Social Responsibility, at the same time balancing with the maximization of income generation. It well illustrates previous experiences of businesses in their involvement in CSR and the benefits thereof both to the business and society in general.

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