In recent years, CEOs have demonstrated an increased commitment to launching Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. CSR initiatives typically aim to benefit society, the environment, and the organization’s profitability. Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream was one of the first organizations to receive widespread public praise for its CSR efforts related to banning recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) from products and supporting causes such as the Human Rights Campaign. However, CSR initiatives are not always effective or beneficial. In some cases, CEOs may launch CSR efforts for the sole purposes of gaining a competitive advantage and improving public relations, without giving much thought to how the initiative actually benefits society and the environment. Furthermore, critics of CSR, such as Peter Drucker, Milton Friedman, and Jack Welch, argue that leaders and organizations should stick to what they know, which is making a profit.
In this Discussion, you will consider whether leaders should act as social change agents. You also will discuss the effects of CSR initiatives on employees, organizations, and society using specific real-world examples.
- Read the articles “How Can Leaders of Multinational Organizations Be Ethical by Contributing to Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives?” and “License to Ill: The Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility and CEO Moral Identity on Corporate Social Irresponsibility.” Reflect on the pros and cons of leaders as social change agents.
- Read the articles “Corporate Social Responsibility: Psychological, Person-Centric, and Progressing,” “Relationship Between Corporate Social Responsibility in Corporate Annual Reports and Financial Performance of the US Companies,” and “The VW Diesel Scandal.” Consider the effects of successful and failed CSR initiatives on employees, organizations, and society.”
- Read the article “The World’s Most Reputable Companies for Corporate Responsibility 2018.” Identify companies that have successfully implemented CSR initiatives, and consider the factors that led to the success.
By Day 4
Post a response to the following:
To what degree do you think leaders should act as social change agents with organizations? How do corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives affect employees, the organization, and society at large? Use specific examples from well-known organizations to support your response.