The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Strategic CSR - A Rational Argument for CSR

This will be the last CSR Newsletter of the Spring semester.
Have a great summer and I will see you in August!
I thought this graphic is a great representation of how quickly the legal environment can change for firms:
As such, it provides evidence in support of the rational argument for CSR (Chapter 1: What is CSR? p26):

"CSR is a rational argument for businesses seeking to maximize their performance by minimizing restrictions on operations. In today's globalized world, where individuals and activist organizations feel empowered to enact change, CSR represents a means of anticipating and reflecting societal concerns to minimize operational and financial constraints on business."
At a minimum, it pays companies to be part of the conversation as issues evolve and new values become established. A good example of this is Chick-fil-A and its resistance to the idea of same-sex marriage and same-sex partner benefits. You cannot help but look at the way this issue is evolving and come to the conclusion that, however much it professes its values, Chick-fil-A is on the wrong side of history. While there is still stakeholder support for their position at present, that support is not guaranteed. And, given the pace at which society's perception of this issue is changing (see graphic above), it will not be long before their resistance becomes less a point of differentiation and more of a liability to their business.
Have a good summer.
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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