Social Responsibility Beyond Neoliberalism and Charity Volume 3: Social Responsibility - Methods, Dilemmas and Hopes

Implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility: Can We Manage to Save Our World in Time?

Author(s): Grażyna O'Sullivan

Pp: 163-206 (44)

DOI: 10.2174/9781608059068114030012

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The content of this chapter can be divided into two parts. In the first, the reasons why corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not working properly in current business activities are identified. The second part suggests solutions to that problem. Barriers against universal, strategic, and successful implementation of CSR in companies include the political and economic context of their functioning, i.e. capitalism based on the idea of individual freedom not balanced with (or even contradictory to) the idea of common good, and insufficient knowledge of managers about how to incorporate CSR principles into the operations of their companies. The author argues that to make CSR and sustainability work, a revolutionary change in the established modes of thought is necessary, to exchange the liberal principle of individual freedom to the reciprocal principle of caring for others (people and the environment) as for ourselves, i.e. interdependence-based requisitely holistic behavior.

She presents Whitehead’s concept of internal relations as one of the tools that can help us to understand both the meaning and practical dimensions of interdependence. Even though the change requires the combined effort of politicians, scientists, business people and the public, the main responsibility lies on businesses. That is why values management, as the way of assessing all organizational operations from the perspective of their possible negative impact on stakeholders, should be jointly introduced to help managers face the challenge. Values management can help with implementing a consistent system of values, including the implementation of CSR principles.

Keywords: Business, capitalism, change, common good, corporate social responsibility, effort for change, ethical business practice, interdependence, internal relations, knowledge, moral principles, obstacles, principles of action, reciprocal principle of caring, socially responsible business practice, stakeholders, sustainability, system of values, values, values management.

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