Corporate Social Responsibility: unnecessary costs or increased revenue?

Business is increasingly becoming a target for ethical concern. One of the issues that has been debated in Sweden is corporate social responsibility(CSR). CSR has huge commercial benefits because most of the customers make purchasing choices based on the ethics behind the brand. Many companies need to recover the money that they have invested in the market. The fastest way of doing this is, of course, by profit maximization, even though they are considered to be a company that is socially responsible. CSR has existed for a couple of years in Sweden, and more and more companies claim that it is becoming very important part of their strategies. Are the companies who adapted CSR aware of that they might be fooled by their suppliers? Is it enough to trust suppliers, or do companies need to have their own staff to check that suppliers are really doing what they are saying?

In my opinion CSR is just used as a means to cover up the business practices that otherwise would not be socially acceptable. In the classical view, profit is the first and foremost priority of the firm. I believe that this is true in all companies, except for non-profit organisations, where social well-being is of primary importance. Another argument is that the costs of corporate social responsibility are passed on to the customers, and it is the customers, who have to bear its costs. The question is whether they can afford these costs. Moreover, ethical issues regarding the use of shareholder capital, and the fact that environmental and social contribution is difficult to measure and account for.

There are, of course, some arguments in favour CSR, which include enhancing a company’s reputation and brand name, promoting transparency and integrity, and exposing market opportunities while simultaneously benefiting society. In conclusion, the topic of corporate social responsibility will always be something debatable. Both the classical and socioeconomic view will be used in various organizations globally. However, the fact still remains that any company’s main goal is, without any doubt, economic interests. No organization in this world, except for non-profit organizations, will open a business to take care of society’s well-being. I believe businesses should balance their principle objectives with the broader interests of the societies which they are part of. Incorporating these values makes CSR a sensible corporate strategy, beneficial for both business and society.

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