Corporate Social Responsibility

Is good citizenship good for the bottom line?


Corporations across the country are embracing efforts to improve society. Unlike traditional efforts by businesses to appear socially responsible, the current movement emphasizes profit and long-term company success along with good works. Firms such as Whole Foods and Nike strive to make good citizenship a recognized part of their brand. General Electric, Coca-Cola and other more traditional corporations also support corporate social responsibility (CSR), motivated by advocacy group pressures, threatened government regulations and demands from employees, customers and investors. Some conservatives oppose CSR activities, arguing a company's only legitimate purpose is to enhance shareholder value. Some critics from the left label CSR a public relations ploy and say the government should expand corporations' legal responsibility to employees, the public and the environment.

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