From Reactive to Pro-active Corporate Social Responsibility

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From Reactive to Pro-active Corporate Social Responsibility
Genevieve Northup, Editor, Germany

According to Kreitner (2009), there are FOUR STRATEGIES for responding to social responsibility that companies can utilize (p.124). Beginning with the least responsibility and moving toward the greatest CSR:
  1. REACTION: A reactive CSR approach is taken when a company “resists change” and defers “responsibility,” commonly used by tobacco and oil companies (Kreitner, 2009, p.124).
  2. DEFENSE: This approach relies on developing a positive corporate identity through advertising and publicity to avoid taking on greater responsibilities (Kreitner, 2009, p.124). These organizations are often politically active in the hopes of preventing legislation resulting in greater legal obligations.
  3. ACCOMMODATION: Organizations utilize this approach when they take steps in response to governmental or political pressures (Kreitner, 2009, p.124).
  4. PRO-ACTION: The greatest CSR is apparent in organizations that initiate “progressive programs” to set the bar for the industry in which they operate (Kreitner, 2009, p.124). Altough this stance requires time and money to constantly monitor social issues, the potential benefits to companies include: attracting “socially responsible” investors and employees, improving brand recognition, and adding value, not only for customers and shareholders but also for the groups who benefit from the programs (Kreitner, 2009, p.126).
Companies should move away from less responsibility and toward a proactive approach to reap the benefits for society and themselves (Caudron, 2000).
Caudron, Shari. (2000, October 1). The "Greening" of Corporate America, Business Finance
Kreitner, R. (2009). Management. (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Examples of Proactive Companies
Ismael Bena - MBA, Management Consultant, Netherlands
@Genevieve Northup: I see your point, and agree that proactive CSR oriented companies should step-up and positively influence others to follow suit. Although, in the case of Starbucks, you might question their "license to operate", as they simultaneously engage in tax evasion, hence neglecting the communities they thrive on. This, in my opinion, demonstrates the complexity and multi-dimensionalism to get CSR right.



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Ismael Bena - MBA
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