Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) Leads to Increased Business Efficiency

In case corporations need some convincing to be done to adopt CSR, the model proposed by Young and Tilley (2006) where they list six criteria for corporate sustainability that not only contributes to the social responsibilities of the business but also improves the business efficiency. The latter if presented in a convincing manner would appeal to businesses since increased efficiency leads to greater cost savings as well as improved profit margins.

The six criteria discussed by Young and Tilley are:

  1. eco-efficiency,
  2. socio-efficiency,
  3. eco-effectiveness,
  4. socio-effectiveness,
  5. socio-sufficiency and
  6. ecological equity

Taken together as a whole, these six criteria form an integrated model which corporations can follow for sustainable business practices and reap profits as well as be conscious in their business practices.

The point here is that the motto that CSR pays in real economic terms ought to be broadcast far and wide and only when corporations realize the economic benefits of conscious capitalism would they embrace the paradigm of CSR wholeheartedly (Young & Tilley, 206, 411).

Given Friedman’s injunction that the social responsibility of businesses is to make profits, if it can be shown that being socially responsible brings in profits, there can be no better business case for CSR.

This is realizable given the emerging research into CSR and business practices which throw up several connections between conscious capitalism and increased profits and the new “renaissance” in business thought and corporate behaviour ought to gladden the hearts of all CSR enthusiasts.

Before concluding the paper, it would be pertinent to note that Friedman’s article though cited widely might be a bit anachronistic for the imperatives of the 21st century and while the great professor was far sighted he could have not foreseen the complete breakdown of the neo classical model of economics that the Great Recession of 2008 has engendered.

Thus, while views such as that of Friedman’s can be a good starting point as to debate the relative merits and demerits of social responsibility versus profits, to base the whole idea of CSR on his ideas alone would be doing a disservice to the non-linear, complex and interconnected world in which we live in and which demands appropriate out of the box solutions.

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Corporate Social Responsibility