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Social Responsibility is an Ethical or Ideological Theory That an Entity Whether It is a Government

Social Responsibility is an Ethical or Ideological Theory That an Entity Whether It is a Government

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Published by: anon-49201 on Apr 16, 2008
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11/21/2012

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Social responsibility
is anethical or ideologicaltheory that an entitywhether it is a government, corporation, organizationor individualhas a responsibility to society. This responsibility can be "negative," in that it is a responsibility to refrain from acting(resistance stance) or it can be "positive," meaning there is a responsibility to act(proactive stance). While primarily associated with business and governmental practices,activist groups and local communities can also be associated with social responsibility,not only business or governmental entities.There is a largeinequalityin the means and roles of different entities to fulfill their claimed responsibility. This would imply the different entities have differentresponsibilities, in so much asstatesshould ensure thecivil rightsof their citizens, that corporations should respect and encourage thehuman rights of their employees and that citizens should abide with writtenlaws. But social responsibility can mean more thanthese examples. Many NGOsaccept that their role and the responsibility of their members as citizens is to help improve society by taking a proactive stance in their societal roles. It can also imply that corporations have an implicit obligation to give back to society (such as is claimed as part of corporate social responsibilityand/or stakeholder  theory
 
).Social responsibility is voluntary; it is about going above and beyond what is called for  by the law(legal responsibility
 
). It involves an idea that it is better to be proactive towarda problem rather than reactive to a problem. Social responsibility means eliminatingcorrupt, irresponsible or unethical behavior that might bring harm to the community, its people, or the environment before the behavior happens.In today’s society a business must maintain ethical principles in order to be successful.(Kaliski, 2001) Businesses can use ethical decision making to strengthen their businessesin three main ways. The first way is to use their ethical decision making to increase productivity. This can be done through programs that employees feel directly enhancetheir benefits given by the corporation, like better health care or a better pension program.One thing that all companies must keep in mind is that employees are stakeholders in the business. They have a vested interest in what the company does and how it is run. Whenthe company is perceived to feel that their employees are a valuable asset and theemployees feel they are being treated and such, productivity increases.A second way that businesses can use ethical decision making to strengthen their  businesses is by making decisions that affect its health as seen to thosestakeholdersthatare outside of the business environment. (Kaliski, 2001) Customers and Suppliers are twoexamples of such stakeholders. If we were to look at companies like Johnson & Johnson,their strong sense of responsibility to the public is well known. (Hogue, 2001) In particular, take for instance Johnson & Johnson and the Tylenol scare of 1982. When people realized that some bottles of Tylenolcontained cyanidethey quit buying Tylenol, stocks dropped and Johnson & Johnson lost a lot of money. But they chose to loose evenmore money and invest in new tamper resistant seals and announce a major recall of their  product. There was no “certain amount” for this situation; Johnson & Johnson had to losemoney to be socially responsible. But in the long run they gained the trust of their 
 
customers. Now when people look at other products, there is a sense of faith and trust inthatJohnson & Johnsonwould not allow a product to harm people just to meet their own bottom line.A third way that business can use ethical decision making to secure their businesses is bymaking decisions that allow for government agencies to minimize their involvement withthe corporation. (Kaliski, 2001) For instance if a company is proactive and follows theEPAguidelines for admissions on dangerous pollutants and even goes an extra step to getinvolved in the community and address those concerns that the public might have; theywould be less likely to have the EPA investigate them for environmental concerns. “Asignificant element of current thinking about privacy, however, stresses "self-regulation"rather than market or government mechanisms for protecting personal information”(Swire , 1997) Most rules and regulations are formed due to public outcry, if there is notoutcry there often will be limited regulation.……………………………………………………………………………………………
Corporate Social Responsibility
CII and Ficci must speak out on Gujarat 
 
Posted online: Saturday, April 20, 2002 at 0000 hours IST
 
Many leaders of Indian industry have raised the issue of corporate social responsibilityin the context of the communal violence in Gujarat. While some have been bold enoughto be willing to be quoted, in reports appearing in this newspaper and
The IndianExpress
, many others have echoed these sentiments in private, afraid to go on record.At a recent meeting of a premier industry organisation a concerned CEO spokeeloquently about the need to take a public stance condemning communal violence andthe government’s handling of it. Others present at the meeting preferred to gloss over the issue and not get drawn into what some think may be a purely political issue. A pity.Influential industry associations like the Confederation of Indian Industry and theFederation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry have in recent years tried tokeep in step with the global trend of corporates playing a socially responsible role. Bothorganisations, as indeed other such chambers, have willingly adopted a range of codeson corporate social responsibility, willing to be pro-active on issues such asenvironmental damage, poverty reduction, women’s empowerment and so on. Theassurance of communal harmony should also come within the purview of CSR. The CIIcould make a good beginning in this direction by making a pointed reference to it at itsannual session next week.After all, business has been hurt badly in Gujarat. Not only has it been directly hurt bythe targeted destruction of shops, factories and work premises, but also by the recklesslooting of shops and the prolonged imposition of curfew thereafter in many parts.Political parties have protested, the media has made its mind known, non-governmentalorganisations have been pro-active. Surely it is time for the corporate sector to do its bittoo. Industry chambers have tried hard to convince the public that they are not self-serving lobbyists of sectarian interests. Sure they lobby the government to improve the

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