Corporate Social Responsibility and Role of Business Leaders in Times of Coronavirus


How Business Leaders Can Help Us Fight the Coronavirus Outbreak

As the Covid 19 outbreak rages on around the world with entire economies shutdown, it would be pertinent to explore the role of business leaders and the practice of corporate social responsibility.

To start with, as economies grind to a halt, corporations and business leaders have to take the lead to protect the vulnerable and the marginalised from destitution.

Indeed, this is the basic human duty that all and especially those in a position to help the poor ought to do.

In addition, many business leaders have Rock Star like appeal among the Youth and Elderly alike and hence, they must parley this influence to encourage and motivate their followers to help the needy.

For instance, world over, business leaders are respected and given their huge follower base on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, the least that they can do is to initiate a conversation with the legions of their followers and inspire them to help the national cause.

Moreover, business leaders, by virtue of their wealth, can donate money through their Philanthropic Foundations or in their individual capacities as the world cries out for help from fellow humans.

How the Practice of Socialism for the Rich and Capitalism for the Poor is Condemnable

Next, this is the time for corporations and business leaders to put people before profit and ensure that they are humanitarian instead of being driven by money.

Indeed, while some corporations and business leaders have done so, it is unfortunate that the majority of them are resorting to Price Gouging and Fleecing governments and citizens alike.

This is especially the case in the United States where the Stimulus Package has sops for businesses and corporations that are larger than the ones for the unemployed and the needy.

This is highly objectionable in any time and is downright condemnable in these times. Indeed, some experts have likened to the Mega Bailouts that are being organised by the Governments as practising Socialism for the Rich and Capitalism for the poor.

In other words, while corporations that do not pay taxes are being bailed out at the expense of the poor and funded by the taxpayers, the average person on the street is poorer than before.

The fact that there has not been much resistance to these measures indicates the extent to which the businesses have captured the institutions and the governments worldwide. This is a sure fire recipe for outright class conflict.

Some Notable Exceptions of Business Leaders Who Are Rising to the Occasion

Having said that, it is not the case that all business leaders and corporations are resorting to these tactics. For instance, the likes of Bill Gates in the United States, Jack Ma in China, and Azim Premji, NR Narayana Murthy, and Ratan Tata in India shows that there is still some hope left.

Among others, these business leaders are responding to the call of their conscience and are helping those in times of need.

Moreover, there are the Millions of Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners who are similarly doing what they can to alleviate the suffering of the masses.

It is high time the others who are in a position to help do so as otherwise it can lead to a corrosion of the social fabric and breakdown of the social contract.

Moreover, there are many business leaders who are actively lobbying the governments to be humane and fair in times when trust is at an all time low.

More power to them and it is hoped that this would inspire and motivate the youth to follow in their footsteps.

In addition, there are many corporations who are coming to the rescue of the governments by producing goods with urgency.

The Case for Compassionate Capitalism and What Economics Says About This

The point that one must note is that unless there is collective actions and coordinated responses, the world would find it difficult to emerge from this crisis and what more, society would collapse if it is everyone for them.

After all, even the most ardent capitalists would pay heed to economic theories that describe how the desire for profit cannot come at the expense of the people beyond a point.

In other words, there is a case to be made for Compassionate Capitalism in these times.

Moreover, modern day economists talk about how the relentless drive for profits would lead nations to ruin and collapse since unbridled selfishness is corrosive to the social order.

Therefore, it is high time we embraced cooperation instead of confrontation and coordination instead of rampant competition.

Hopefully, the Covid 19 Crisis would mark a Tipping Point in our evolutionary history and lead to a better world.

As the Chinese are fond of saying, Crisis in Mandarin means Danger as Well as Opportunity and hence, it is up to us to reject the former and embrace the former.

After all, if future generations have to flourish and prosper, this is the least we citizens can do.

Concluding Thoughts

Last, it is also incumbent upon the government to bring on board the business community that is willing to help and involve them in the Fight against Corona.

This is the need of the hour and hence, political and societal leaders can seek the help of the business elites and forge a common response and a collective approach.

To conclude, we are in the Midst of a Transition and much depends on how we either swim together or sink together.


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Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)

The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.


Corporate Social Responsibility