Friday, February 8, 2013

Corporate Social Responsibility

On Target by John K. Harrell
A reputation of being social responsibile as an organization is one of the most valuable assets a company can have (Peloza, Loock, Cerruti, & Muyot, 2012). "Many stakeholders, from customers to investors to employees to purchasing managers, report that sustainability is an important factor in their decision-making processes" (Peloza et al., 2012, p. Abstract).  Companies chose different levels of responsibility.  Some corporations make an effort to add this to their mission statement and really live this goal.  Other companies do not even consider social responsibility.  In this essay, three American companies will be reviewed for their corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Corporate responsibility … means… you must... take care of the shareholder, but that is not your exclusive responsibility” (Boatright, 2009, p. 348).  Boatright (2009) describes the concept of corporate social responsibility as a corporation’s voluntary assumption and belief in their responsibility beyond the economic and legal tasks of the company.  Corporate social responsibility has become very popular as corporations have become larger and even more powerful.  Organizations have formed to monitor the actions of corporations and report bad companies who do not keep their standards for being socially responsible (Logan, 2005).  
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Monitoring
The International Institute for Sustainable Development published a study in 2001.  Of note was the fact that 28% of people who invest money do the research into the background of the company to see if they are socially responsible.  A similar picture emerged in Canada, Japan, Britain and Italy (International Institute for Sustainable Development [IISD], 2013).  Corporate social responsbility (CSR) had a greater brand influence on a company than other influences.  " In 20 developed countries surveyed, CSR-related factors collectively accounted for 49% of a company's image, compared with 35% for brand image and just 10% for financial management" (IISD, 2013).  And, on the opposing side, companies that ignore CSR-related factors, well... buyers tend to ignore their products.  IISD (2013) stated,
Consumers, especially those in North America, are likely to vote with their wallets against companies whose social and environmental performance is perceived to be poor. Forty-two percent of North American consumers reported having punished socially irresponsible companies by not buying their products.
Coors, Haagen-Dazs®, and Tyson
Coors, Tyson, and Haagen Daaz are organizations that have devised clever ways to give back to the community.  Coors, for example, spends more money on responsible drinking education than on alcohol centered events (Coors, 2005.  
Haagen-Dazs® is committed to raising honey bee awareness.  The ice cream company has created a microsite to raise awareness that honeybees pollinate one-third of all the food we eat; including foods such as all natural ice creams/yogurt; tying it back to the company’s core mission.
Realizing early on that honey bees were crucial to the pollination of ingredients in more than half of the Haagen-Dazs brand's all-natural ice cream products, the brand created the Haagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees™ program and donated funds to Pennsylvania State University and the University of California, Davis for CCD and sustainable pollination research. In the past two years, the Haagen-Dazs brand has donated a total of $500,000 to both universities. (Haagen-Dazs, 2013).

Tyson is committed to fighting hunger. They have taken advantage of social media by creating a blog.  Tyson agreed to donate 100 lbs of chicken to the Austin food bank for every comment posted on its blog.  Tyson always give back to the military too ("Tyson donates chicken products to feed military", 2003).
As Peloza et al. (2012) stated that a corporation is wise to invest in a mission of corporate social responsibility.  Monitoring organizations exist to ensure they are adhering to their missions of CSR.  IISD (2013) stated that consumers in well-developed countries are more likely to vote with their wallets when they consider a company's corporate CSR mission.  Coors, Haagen-Dazs, and Tyson are just a few of the American companies that demonstrate corporate social responsibility.
 Author: Dr. Andree Swanson, EdD
Boatright, J. R. (2009). Ethics and the conduct of business (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Prentice Hall.

Coors, P. H. (2005). Corporate Social Responsibility: A Context tor Alcohol Policy. In M. Grant, J. O'Connor (Eds.), Corporate social responsibility and alcohol: The need and potential for partnership (pp. 97-101). New York, NY US: Routledge. 

Haagen-Dazs. (2013). Haagen-Dazs(R) Ice Cream Challenges Consumers to Imagine a 'World Without Bees'. PR Newswire. Retrieved from

International Institute for Sustainable Development [IISD]. (2013). Corporate social responsibility monitor. Retrieved from

Logan, J. (2005), Corporate Social Responsibility. Business and Economic Review, 31, 25-25.  Retrieved from 

Peloza, J., Loock, M., Cerruti, J., & Muyot, M. (2012). Sustainability: HOW STAKEHOLDER PERCEPTIONS DIFFER FROM CORPORATE REALITY. California Management Review, 55(1), 74-95. 

Tyson donates chicken products to feed military. (2003). Nation's Restaurant News, 37(17), 94-94. Retrieved from

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