Why should corporate social responsibility be made mandatory?

By on August 14, 2012

Global businesses have significant technological and managerial capabilities and have the potential to transform the society and contribute to social welfare (Lea, 2002). For this to come about, as it can be argued, firms ought to direct their capabilities at societal value creation rather than value appropriation.

A sustained change in the world

From profit as the ultimate goal to profit as the means to serve society—is needed. And, herein lays the long- term sustainability of firms as well (Carroll, 1979). To become socially responsible in the real and deepest sense of the term calls for change in the businesses. The first step in this direction would be for firms to critically assess their core capabilities. Then restate their corporate mission in terms of a few social problems that they are uniquely placed to address. Some people believe that regulation is necessary, others that it is convenient and pernicious (Friedman, 1962).

Responsibility towards society

It hardly needs to state that the role of the top managers in bringing about such a shift is crucial. Treading this alternative path requires a firm commitment on their part and the ability to translate this commitment into a clearly defined corporate purpose that permeates the organization as a whole and behind  which the organizational culture of cooperation are the two most important and immediate tasks that top managers would need to address (Lantos, 2011).

Therefore it is clear that there is a need to make corporate social responsibility mandatory in organizations since it is often seen as a strategy to clean the sins of pollution, or to provide a face lift to the company’s public image.


  • Carroll, A.B(1979), A Three dimensional conceptual model of corporate performance, Academy of Management Review, 4(4): 500.
  • Friedman, M (1962), Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Lantos, G.P.(2001), The boundaries of strategic corporate social responsibility, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7): 595-632.
  • Lea R(2002), Corporate social responsibility: IoD member opinion survey, the Institute of Directors:10


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