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Social Responsibility

Last updated date: 28th May 2024
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What is Social Responsibility?

In today’s changing world, the way of doing business has also changed positively. With maximizing the shareholder’s value, the company is taking major concerns about the society at large and thus acting in its best interest in the same. The modern view is that a company must not only be profitable but should also contribute to the welfare of society and the environment. 

We see social responsibility as an important factor in the company thus we included the study of the same in this content. In this article we will discuss ‘What is Social Responsibility?’, and ethics that come under social responsibility. 

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Social Responsibility means that a business takes social responsibility of the society with the act of maximizing the interest of the shareholders.  The companies that perform social responsibility are known as socially responsible companies. These companies adopt policies that will promote the well-being of the society and the environment by eradicating all the negativities like pollution, using toxic raw- materials while engaging in helpful activities like planting trees, contributing to charitable organizations. 

On the other hand, the critics justify their motion of standing against social responsibility by saying that social responsibility is the opposite of doing business. Business and social responsibility are two polars that never can align together. Thus, social responsibility can never be a part of a company’s concern. 

But, nowadays, who does not love the tag of – ‘environment friendly’ on the products of the various brands. The smart generation is more inclined in investing in these brands. So, we see in today’s market scenario, the consumers are relying on the companies who do business with an element of social ethics.  

Example of Social Responsibility 

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Social responsibility is also known as Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. CSR has become a focal point within businesses due to the effect of modernization.  

The context of this theory is to enact the policies which will promote an ethical balance between both the mandates – working for profitability and also benefiting the society as a whole. These policies can be donations of money, time, or resources, initiating the "go green" policies like reducing the emittance of greenhouse gases, or abiding by the EPA regulations to limit the pollution.

Ethics and Social Responsibility

Social ethics can be defined as the systematic reflection on the moral spheres of the social structures, systems, issues, and the community at large. Social ethics is analyzed as a branch that is studied under ‘applied ethics’, this is analyzed and studied as the application of ethical reasoning to all social problems.

Social ethics that highlights the ethical responsibility of a business include:

  • distribution of the economic goods

  • research on the human subjects 

  • animal rights

The principal tasks that are performed by the social ethicists are to: examine the social conditions existing in the society.

  1. determining which of that social responsibility is problematic in regard to the societal norms that concerns what is good or right or fair.

  2. Then analyze if it is possible to take actions that could alter these problematic conditions. 

  3. Then prescribing solutions which are based on the examination of the problem and the analyzing the options for action which are involved in it. 

Each of these steps is a thorough value-laden activity that helps in the social responsibility in business ethics.

Business Ethics and Social Responsibility 

While performing business ethics, social responsibility gets fulfilled by the business automatically. It is a business's duty to make ethical decisions that will positively reflect an impact on society at large. Organizations must note how their actions lead to affect the communities. By performing social responsibility, a long-lasting and trusting relationship is created. To become socially responsible, the companies must strictly follow the code of ethnicity.

Being socially responsible pays off the company with the benefits of:

  • Gaining more customers: Consumers are very much likely to continue their support of the businesses that care to make an impact in the society. Casting a positive influence on the communities and thus maintaining ethical standards allows the businesses to grow and gain newer customers and thereby maintain the existing ones as well. The existing customers are also likely to promote the reputation of the company by word of mouth.

  • Creating a positive work culture in their business framework: When the employees agree with the company's code of ethics and social responsibility, they feel even more motivated and accordingly they support the organization. Employers who encourage their employees to take the act of representation of their community also gain more approval and commitment in the work process.

Individual Social Responsibility 

Individual Social Responsibility is abbreviated as ISR which refers to our own awareness of how we display our actions which will affect the community as a whole. ISR includes volunteering time, giving money, and standing up for the issues which are in conflict with the environment or betterment of society. 

Responsibility towards Society

The responsibilities of business as a society are as follows:

  1. Adopt socially desirable behavior with a healthy standard of living, avoiding wasteful expenditure.

  2. To have an active role in civic affairs.

  3. To provide and also promote the general type amenities which will help in creating a better living condition for the general mass.

  4. To preserve and promote the social and cultural values that exist in the region.

  5. To undertake socially effective projects which are relevant for the betterment of the community as a whole.

  6. Taking steps for developing the backward areas.

Did You Know?

Important skills required for a successful CSR Professional are: 

  1. Skill in business (including building insight, decision making, communication skills, IT, innovation, commercial awareness, strategic awareness, handling complexity and problem solving and leadership)

  2. People skills (including ability to adapt, developing those around, impacting without power, open-mindedness, integrity, political knowledge, self-development and acquiring knowledge, partnership building, collaboration, and questioning "business as usual")

  3. Technical abilities ( technical expertise, understanding & analyzing impacts, internal consultancy, understanding human rights & understanding sustainability).

In this content after studying social responsibility, we understand that the new phase of modernizing is being aligned with the concerns of society, environment. A business being socially responsible is a big contribution to society. As consumers, we must encourage these types of businesses and promote social awareness in the same regard.

FAQs on Social Responsibility

1. What is Social Responsibility Theory?

Social responsibility is nothing but an ethical theory in which the individuals stay accountable for fulfilling their own civic duty. They make sure that their actions must be at the benefit of the whole of society. In this way, a balance is created between economic growth and the welfare of society and the environment at large.

1. What is the disadvantage of social responsibility?

The main disadvantage of installing a CSR in the company is that its costs might fall disproportionally on the small businesses as well. CSR also takes time to monitor all the contributions made, it also involves the extra cost of hiring any extra personnel which many businesses may not be able to afford it.