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Last Updated: 04/15/2011Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Contrary to criticism by neoliberal economists, NGOs and academics, Mayuri Misra comments on the utility of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), offering a perspective on how to strengthen CSR for authenticity and effectiveness toward change.
“Neo- liberal economists like Milton Friedman view CSR as a distraction from the core business of business.”
“Many NGOs and some academics are critical of CSR, suggesting there is a thin divide between CSR from PR (public relations).”
Like most well-intentioned ideas, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has acquired negative, even harmful hues. The primary charge against it is that it is distracting companies from their fundamental responsibilities of making profits. On the other, however, there are insinuations that many companies are using public relations and brand marketing strategies as their CSR initiatives; that they are using CSR practices in a superficial manner just to abide by the law, if not to get a competitive edge.
The big questions today, therefore, are: Does CSR really work? Is it serving its purpose? Or is it a sheer waste of time and money? Some turn the question on its head and shout: Is the pursuit of a profitable business not a socially responsible thing too?
Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong in having money-money as your sole goal: as the hunger for profit grows, your business grows, too. In turn, you are providing employment to people, improving the quality of your product or services, or simply making them cheaper or more easily available. By each account, society benefits.
They can start by picking the relevant issues that leverage the organizations’ core competencies; this will not only help solve a significant social problem but also enhance the organization’s image.
 Chapter: Understanding Sustainable Development, page 139, Reader RMSED6052: Sustainable Development
 Chapter: Understanding Sustainable Development, page 141, Reader RMSED6052: Sustainable Development
Mayuri Misra is a graduate student at the University for Peace.