Corporate Social Responsibility evolution & impact on Development in South Africa
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has come to the forefront of every stakeholder's thinking. Particularly, the recent global financial crisis has led to a remarkable debate to the corporate sectors about their role and responsibility towards the community and the society at large. On the other hand, the contribution of business firms, government, regulatory bodies and other organizations to the society is important to a greater extent for addressing socio-economic problems of a country. Thus, CSR is an important issue and its involvement by corporate sectors, government and other agencies in society are imperative. Hence, this study aims to gain a deep intuitive knowledge of their influence on CSR adoption in South Africa (Perrini et al., 2007). There is no single, universally accepted definition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). According to the definition in the “Green Paper – Promoting a European framework for Corporate Social Responsibility” of the European Commission corporate social responsibility is described as a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. The International Standards Organization (ISO), while considering organizations in general, define social responsibility as "a balanced approach for organizations to address economic, social and environmental issues in a way that aims to benefit people, communities and society” (Csrtoday.org, 2011). Due to social and economic gradual changes across the globe, business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues are given high priority by the corporate sectors. Companies are being urged to focus on CSR related issues such as environmental, economic, ethical and other social issues besides the financial aspects due to the fact that they are responsible for the impacts of their operational activities on the wider community. Moreover, it has been argued that CSR also derives from other factors such as government’s inability to provide adequate social services, having different cultures within the society, and increase in pressures of globalization and international trade. Thus, CSR is an important factor for socio-economic development and its involvement by the business firms and other various stakeholders are imperative (Kamal and Deegan, 2013).
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