Every business in order to consolidate and carve out its image uses various means and develops actions like advertisement, public relations and nowadays corporate social responsibility, that features social consideration, conscience and business ethics. Businesses nowadays operate in an environment that requires a new way of thinking and concern for the needs of both the present and the future generations.
Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR – is the continuing commitment by businesses to behave ethically and to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce, of the local community and society at large. It is the way that accompany manages the business to produce an overall positive impact on society and environment by adopting policies of social, environmental, cultural or research character (External CSR) as well as policies that reflect an anthropocentric character like working conditions, human rights, social equity etc (Internal CSR).
Internal Social Responsibility.
Internal Social Responsibility refers mostly to the employees of a company and to issues like health and insurance, human resources management, management of change as well as to environmental practices like waste and pollution reduction processes.
One of the most serious challenges for a business is the attraction and retention of specialized personnel which can be accomplished through educational programs and career perspectives or by balancing work, family and free time, by assigning responsibility and authority to employees etc.
External Social Responsibility
External Social Responsibility refers to the responsibility of the company towards the local community that includes employees, shareholders, stakeholders, suppliers, customers, state authorities, non governmental organizations etc. and can take the form of contribution through work positions, salaries, social benefits, taxes, quality standards, volunteering, donations (money, products or services).
Corporate social responsibility can be distinguished as strategic aiming at improving the long term financial goals of the company, ethical that involves the avoidance of practices that harm the society either economically, mentally or psychologically and humanitarian targeting at protecting the environment, donating to philanthropic institutions, participating in programs for reducing unemployment and generally actions that benefit the living conditions of people in need.
At the stage of implementation, a company, in order to adopt CSR policies and operate in respect to them as well as benefit long term goal success, should follow certain steps including determining its vision and mission and the executive responsible, defining the priorities and the interested parties, shaping the action plan depending on the interested parties, implementation – monitoring – measuring and finally communication and publication.
Undoubtedly CSR practices, when applied in an organized and programmed way, are welcomed by society and help a company improve its image and acquire long term benefits despite the short term losses. The company gains credibility and trust by society, customers, suppliers and employees. Surveys prove that one out of two European customers is willing to pay more for products that respect society and environment while businesses attract and retain more easily quality personnel.
Concluding, more and more companies nowadays invest in both External and Internal Social Responsibility and the financial resources that would have been bound for advertising purposes are converted to social and environmental programs resulting in the strengthening of the non material values of our world.