The world has become smaller and people are more easily reachable with globalization. Organizations at the same time are exposed to the world’s criticism with how it conducts its business. Therefore, a self-regulating mechanism must exist to ensure the consistency of ethical standards and international norms. These are imperative for any organizations that intend to stay permanently and gain acceptance from the society, and that’s where CSR (corporate social responsibility) emerges.
CSR is not only about being philanthropic in doing charities, it is about organizations behaving on a good corporate citizen terms with practical concept to integrate the environment and social concerns into their business. It is about driving stability, opportunities and reputation in the long term. Despite the understanding of these outcome, many view CSR as an odd for the goal of a corporation, as the results are usually not to be manifested instantly. CSR is not something that can be put on like clothes and take off when not in use, it is something that starts from the root of the organization. It is about how companies reciprocate its acceptance by the environment and society.
“Good corporate citizenship is good public relations and that good public relations is good for business” Harris 1998, pp. 24-5.
CSR is about the integrity of a company’s commitment as a good corporate citizen, it is not about making more profits, at least not directly. By saying that, CSR enhances the reason people buy products form a company that is willing to contribute to the world. Research has shown people are keener to purchase a cause-benefit product. In another word, people view companies who practice CSR adds more value on the products they purchase.
Aside from having more values for the products, CSR helps to reduce risks from the stakeholders, namely, media, activist and government who will be more welcoming. CSR can help to reduce poverty, provide more employment for better social development and preserve for the environment. Companies will be remembered for these good deeds and sums up an opportunity for effective branding at the same time. This helps to attract more employees, investors, bankers and better prospects for the organization.
With more good karma to reap CSR helps to build good reputation. Strong corporate reputation can help to sustain a company in times of crisis. Reputation is definitely the most important intangible form of asset for any organization. A good example can be taken from McDonald during the 1992 riot in Los Angeles where more than 2000 buildings were destroyed, none of the 30 McDonalds shops were damage during the riot. This was a result from the reputation McDonald has achieved on a long term by contributing to the society. People recognize and remember their reputation. The reputation of an organization is like an emotional bank account, ready to be used as a shield in times of crisis.
There are a lot more studies that discuss the benefits of CSRs, but the above mentioned are only presented as part of the benefits, and as the most important perspective on how CSR can benefit any companies in this simplified discussion.