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The topic for today is “corporate social responsibility”.
Read the text below to get the general idea:
The term ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) was coined in the 1960s and has been widely used ever since by many organizations throughout the world. It is used interchangeably with expressions like ‘corporate citizenship’ or ‘sustainable responsible business’. However, some experts tend to differentiate between corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship. While the first expression implies predominantly to production and management processes taking place in a company, the second one refers to actions undertaken in relation to a local community and the natural environment.
In general, the CSR policy within a company sets clear standards, defines precise rules, describes straightforward regulations and gives detailed guidelines concerning its business operation in compliance with labour laws, ethical standards, international norms and social expectations. It means that a business is no longer focused only on making profits, but it takes a full responsibility for its corporate actions and the impact it has on the environment and the society. According to experts, the CSR is most effective when it embraces responsibility shared both as a company and as individuals. Critics , though, tend to question its underlying values by saying that it is only a kind of cover-up which companies use to lure customers and to build a positive image on the market. For some businesses it has only become fashionable just ‘to be seen to be ethical’ as opposed to actually ‘being ethical’. It shows, at least, that companies are becoming more aware of the fact that both the market and the customers consider the CSR important.
Summing up, corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship are the two sides of the same coin. What really matters is the underlying idea that companies need to be profitable but also responsible for actions which have to be beneficial to the society. The CSR usually constitutes a vital element of an organization’s mission and to certain extent it reflects what the company stands for to its employees, customers, suppliers, the environment and the entire society.
Study the text carefully and decide whether the sentences below are true (T) or false (F):
- The concept of corporate social responsibility is more than 50 years old. ……
- The CSR embraces only production and management mechanisms of a company. ……
- The CSR can be compared to a pay-back to the society and the environment. ……
- The CSR is a form of self-regulation integrated into a business model in a company. ……
- According to the author, the main goal of every business is to make as much money as possible. ……
- Most companies are unaware of their impact on the community or on the environmental protection. ……
- Creating shared values and responsibility is crucial in the CSR. ……
- The CSR puts an emphasis on social awareness and community development. ……
- The focal point of the CSR is creating a positive image of a company in the workplace, on the market and in the society. ……
- The CSR is an integrated part of a company’s mission. ……
Watch the video Corporate Social Responsibility and match sentence beginnings (1-10) with appropriate endings (a-j):
- In the past, most companies …….
- Nowadays, companies ……
- Sustainability means ……
- Creating products to suit particular needs of society …….
- It is also a good practice for companies …….
- Ben & Jerry’s is said to have …….
- A solar-panelled backpack …….
- The stakeholder theory emphasizes …….
- Although employees, managers, customers and suppliers may seem to have varied goals, …….
- Critics say that only non-profit institutions, …….
a. they should all embrace the concept of social responsibility.
b. used to be focused only on earning money.
c. not for-profit businesses, are truly concerned about the society.
d. is meant to charge electronic equipment.
e. are concerned about both making profits and the society’s welfare.
f. donated 7.5% of the pre-tax profits to various charitable organizations.
g. doing business along with helping the society.
h. helps the world and brings profits.
i. to import ingredients from developing nations.
j. different views concerning social responsibility as such.
1. In the past, most companies used to be focused only on earning money.
2. Nowadays, companies are concerned about both making profits and the society’s welfare.
3. Creating products or services to suit particular needs of society helps the world and brings profits.
4. It is also a good practice for companies to import ingredients from developing nations.
5. Ben & Jerry’s is said to have donated 7.5% of the pre-tax profits to various charitable organizations.
6. A solar-panelled backpack is meant to charge electronic equipment.
7. The stakeholder theory emphasizes different views concerning social responsibility as such.
8. Although employees, managers, customers and suppliers may seem to have varied goals, they should all embrace the concept of social responsibility.
9. Critics say that only non-profit institutions, not for-profit businesses, are truly concerned about the society.