the weaknesses of the traditionally defined CSR
- CSR often associated with philanthropy and volunteer in the social sphere, rather than long-term sustainable development.. “Feel good” projects that give back” to society. Ex: building schools, hospitals,...
- Often understood to be optional add-on, external to core business operations. For example the scope of a CSR managers’ responsibility is limited to voluntary initiatives while responsibility for non-voluntary obligations falls to procurement officers, human resources or legal counsel. Therefore corruption issues are often not considered a CSR issue and are not dealt with by CSR managers.
- Used as a PR tool. Greenwashing: Form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s product, aims, or policies are environmentally friendly. Ex: Volkswagen, Enron.
- The ‘voluntary’ association of CSR severely limits the role of CSR managers within their companies if they only deal with issues that are viewed as peripheral.
- Finally, the ‘voluntary’ association with CSR suggests there are no consequences to noncompliance. That is a misconception. Responsible business practices can result in positive outcomes such as improved reputation and productivity. On the other hand, irresponsible practices can lead to significant financial liabilities and hamper access to finance.
The voluntary, peripheral connotations of CSR have been reflected in the sense that often there is little follow-up done to correct shortcomings identified in social audits unless they have an influence on other, generally economic aspects of business operations. The worst example of a failure of the audit system is the Rana Plaza collapse.