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Corporate Social Responsibility

Introduction

Corporate social responsibility has much to do with the activities an organization engages in for the social good of the larger community over and above their legal obligation and interests. Many theories have been advanced that try to explain why companies release their corporate social responsibility reports. It is a fact that is difficult to deny that most corporate social responsibilities that companies engage in do benefit individual companies. However, due to the longevity of these activities, it has become absolutely difficult to quantify some of these CSR activities (Jones and Jonas, 2011). Companies’ CSR is primarily meant to respond to the expectations of the stakeholders. CSR activities are supposed to minimize the potential harm that the companies’ activities may have on the people around their establishment.

This assessment is aimed at examining students’ ability to select an article on a specific topic, analyze the argument presented in the articles, and put forward recommendations as to how the topic could be further researched and expanded upon. Part one of the report will capture a selection of a peer-reviewed journal article touching on corporate social responsibility. Questions relating to the process that the writer went through in choosing the article will be addressed here. Reasons for settling on such a particular article will also be brought into perspective. Part two of the report will tackle issues relating to comprehension and analysis. In the final part, questions relating to the general arguments that the author posited in the article will be addressed. Supporting evidence for these general arguments will also be tackled. Finally, the report will capture the writer’s opinion concerning whether he/she agrees or disagrees with the author’s arguments and advance reasons why he or she has chosen to agree or to disagree.

The journal used here was settled on because it extensively talked about CSR reporting. Moreover, the journal was the latest article that elaborately talked about corporate social responsibility reporting. The major reason why the journal was settled on was that the CPA journal is renowned for the robust way it tackles issues relating to corporate social responsibility. All articles posted in this journal are peer-reviewed thereby dispelling fears that may be associated with misrepresentation of facts. A Google search engine was used in searching for the article. A search word ‘Google Journals’ was keyed and then a search was initiated. In the Google Journal Window, a search for a peer-reviewed journal article on corporate social responsibility was initiated. Myriad results were shown. The CPA journal was settled on because it was current having been authored in February 2011 and also because it was peer-reviewed.

Comprehension and Analysis and Authors’ general arguments

Jones and Jonas (2011) posit that companies report on CSR activities to clearly show that they comply with both their legal obligations and borrowing requirements. They also undertake to do CSR to satisfy the expectations of the community. In instances where certain environmental concerns have been raised by the media, they do CSR reports to dispel these environmental fears. CSR reporting is also done by companies to manage particular stakeholder groups and also to attract investment funds. Many theories have been advanced that try to explain these. These theories include stakeholder theory, economic theories, and political cost theory.

Global Reporting Initiative

The effort has been made to enhance (Jones and Jonas, 2011) sound and consistent reporting by companies by the launch of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Other than addressing environmental concerns, GRI also tackles social and economic dimensions. It has resultantly received enormous support from many stakeholders like the nonprofit making organizations, the business community, and the bigger society. Reporting according to GRI guidelines is purely voluntary. The G3 version of GRI defines what the report must contain and it’s quality. It calls upon companies to carry out triple bottom line reporting.

CSR reporting and SMEs

CSR reporting by SMEs should be made to appeal to owners and managers. CSR reporting by SMEs can make their suppliers have a competitive advantage above other suppliers (Jones an Jonas, 2011).

CPAs

CPAs have in a great deal helped in providing external assurance to reports that have been done by CSR reporters. CPAs assure both informal and formal reports are advanced especially by the advent of the GRI G3 reporting mechanism. ISAE 3000 was established in 2005 to ensure that the CSR report meets the intended users. To distinguish between the engagements a practitioner is supposed to engage in terms ‘reasonable assurance engagement’ and ‘limited assurance engagement’ have been conceived (Jones and Jonas, 2011).

ISAE 3000

It is imperative that while ISAE 3000 engagement is conducted, a proper understanding of the subject matter and criterion suitability is evaluated and aspects of nonfinancial performance, physical characteristics, systems and processes, and behavior be brought into perspective (Jones and Jonas, 2011).

AA1000AS

AA1000AS is supposed to help promote accountability to enhance sustainable development and increase trust between corporations and stakeholders (Jones and Jonas, 2011).

Writers Opinion

A company’s financial performance can be enhanced by engaging in CSR activities (Devinney, 2009). This is true when they are seen to be having society’s interests at heart like when a company that emits dangerous effluents decides to mitigate the effects of these effluents on the environment. Many people including prospective clients will tend to associate with them. There is a very significant relationship between corporate financial performance and stakeholder weighted CSR index as posited by Choi et al (2010). The advent of south centered CSR agenda due to criticism that was advanced against mainstream CSR discourse has given the birth critical perspective of CSR that has immensely contributed to its maturation. However, its effects are yet to be felt in Africa. It is therefore imperative that integrative research is instituted so that its full potential is realized (Idemudia, 2011). Companies should ensure that they engage in ethical practices, build the neighboring communities concerning its policies and the products they produce, and erect social infrastructures for the local communities. A cleaner environment should be their core responsibility and by large enhance the economic well-being of the locals (Kanji and Chopra, 2010). Finally, companies should not just engage in CSR activities because of material gain but should engage in these activities even if they impact negatively on their cash-flows (Mackey et al 2007).

Conclusion

A company’s corporate social responsibility should not only be intended for increasing a company’s cash flow but should look into the general well-being of the neighboring communities. The company should ensure that its activities do not become an environmental concern to the neighboring community. There should be frequent reports on their corporate social responsibilities and these reports should be assured by professional bodies to guarantee their acceptability.

Reference List

Choi, J., Kwak, Y., and Choe, C. (2011) Corporate social responsibility and corporate financial performance: Evidence from Korea Australian. Journal of Management, Vol. 35, no.3, pp. 291-311.

Devinney, T.M. (2009). Is the Socially Responsible Corporation a Myth? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Corporate Social Responsibility. Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol 23, No 2: 44-56.

Idemudia, U. (2011) Corporate social responsibility and developing countries: moving the critical CSR research agenda in Africa forward. Progress in Development Studies, vol.11. No.1, pp. 1–18.

Jones, A and Jonas, G.A. (2011) Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: The Growing Need for Input from the Accounting Profession. The CPA Journal, vol.65.

Kanji, G.K. and Chopra, P.K. (2010). Corporate social responsibility in a global Economy. Total Quality Management, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 119–143

Mackey, A., Mackey, T.B. and Barney, J.B. (2007) Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Performance: Investor Preferences and Corporate Strategies. Academy of Management Review, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 817–835.