Opportunities and limitations of strategic csr

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Opportunities and limitations of strategic CSR

In the recent decades the companies' attention to Corporate Social Responsibility has been increasing immensely. Predominantly the critical view of the public's eyes has led to many companies engaging themselves in social and environmental projects. For example governmental pressure, the existence of rankings showing how companies perform insocial activities and figures revealing that socially and environmentally responsible companies are clearly preferred by job applicants meanwhile make this topic inevitable for businesses. Some enterprises do markedly well in CSR, others still fail in their performance as a socially responsible corporation. Concerning those who fail the problem might lie in their inadequate application of CSR. Someregard it as a social aid for the environment which simply causes costs others misuse it as a public relations tool to reflect well on the company's image. But strategic CSR provides a way in which social responsibilities can be implemented in the company's strategy that facilitates the best possible benefits for both - business and society. This concept discloses a lot of possibilities for acompany to improve their economic performance and simultaneously makes an impact on the environment but nevertheless existing boundaries can signify obstacles.

Whereas simple CSR deeds are a reaction to the public's pressure, create a good company reputation and satisfy customers, strategic CSR intends to integrate the social issues in its own business strategy and value chain in order to synergize(Porter & Kramer, 2006 p.1).

This approach is attributed to the interdependence of business and society which means that both are able to influence each other in a positive manner (Porter and Kramer, 2006, p.4 & p.7). By strategic CSR on the one hand the company invests in creating a social and environmental impact which is beneficial to society. And on the other hand the business itself gainsfrom its social investments whilst their CSR initiatives strengthens the corporations competiveness (Porter & Kramer, 2006, p.10).

This competitive advantage can be achieved through the direct implementation of CSR activities in the corporations business strategy. By considering its value chain, the company is able to select and focalise those social issues on which it has the best effect andsupport achieving their businesses goals (Porter and Kramer, 2006, p.4) The value chain serves as a framework that provides potential areas whose specific strengths can be exploited to make an beneficial impact on the environment (Porter and Kramer, 2006, p.5). At best every department is able to contribute to CSR. However not all possible CSR activities lead to the highest level of positiveimpact. In consideration of the mentioned factors the concept of strategic CSR intends that every business applies its capabilities and resources to those activities that can emerge the greatest social benefits (Porter and Kramer, 2006, p.10). So the company's decision where to implement CSR depends on the areas where their resources can be best applied (Porter and Kramer, 2006, p. 13). In reversethese social activities become essential for the companies own creation of value. Hence the social projects are fully integrated in the company's value chain and consequential the two dimension develop an inseparable relationship which implies mutual benefits (Porter and Kramer, 2006, p.12).

In the end strategic CSR reveals more than social and environmental responsibility, it initializes greatlong-term advantages for a company. This goes beyond the improvement of the company's reputation and image, there are a lot of opportunities that can be exploited. First of all CSR initiatives encounters a positive reaction by the costumers. Customers as well tend to become more interested in social problems and are attracted by a responsible companies which encourages them to consider this...
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