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Article by Prof. Mirza Saiyadain.

 

(Mirza Saiyadain is Ex- Head of Department, HR, IIM, Ahmedabad. He has done his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and Ph.D. from University of Kansas, USA)

 

The notion that organizations should balance the interest of all stake holders including society at large began to blossom in 1960s. he core concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as it applies to business deals with the company’s duty to operate by means to avoid harm to stake holders and the environment and to focus on the overall betterment of the society. CSR is about how organizations manage their business process to create an overall and proactive impact on society. It also includes improving the quality of life of its employees and their families as well as their capacity building. These attempts generate wealth for the organization which can encourage them to invest part of it on CSR.


The contents and format of CSR may vary depending upon countries and cultures having different priorities and values. There is no "one single fits all". It may vary from village/school adoption to maintaining street lights. It may take the form of Grameen Bank as floated by Mohammed Yunus of Bangla Desh or Uniliver supporting sustainable fisheries approach. Toyota's focus on environment has made the company to create a hybrid vehicle (eco car). ABB in China developed a heating system helping one million residents to switch from inefficient coal-fired boilers to central combined heat and power plant. Samoa Consultant have implemented a project to improve sanitation in Apai, capital of Samoa. Microsoft and Johnson and Johnson support a wide variety of community art, social welfare and environment protection projects. McDonalds House Programme provides a home away from home for the families of seriously sick children who receive treatment at the nearby hospital. These are just a few examples. The canvas for CSR is vast and the possibilities are immense.

 

The pressure on business to play a role in social issues and conceerns will continue to grow. It is unthinkable to imagine a business that paid no attention to the ways by which it can pay back to society. Corporate darwanionsim would suggest that only those businesses that would show demonstrable concern for society would survive in the long run. Hence CSR make a good business sense.

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