CSR – from a manager’s point of view

7 Jun

When first being confronted with corporate social responsibility, I thought that a firm’s sustainability approaches restrict their ability to maximize profits. However, I learned that CSR can actually contribute to better innovation and development within a firm as I stated in my last blog post about CSR. Now, I want to have a closer look on that aspect!

  • What do managers think about CSR programs?
  • Is it in their personal interest?
  • Can their firm be profitable while spending enormous amounts of money on CSR strategies?
  • Is it solely for a better reputation?

CSR- a constraint or an opportunity ?

An interesting blog post I found, presents the opinions of different mining CEOs who state that CSR strategies put a high pressure on their firms. Donald Bubar, CEO of Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (junior exploration company) complains that besides meeting all regulatory demands, it is also expected that firms submit sustainability reports to prove their approach of ethical behaviour within their company. According to him, this is a major endeavour for junior companies since it is not only the huge amount of money they spend on doing community engagement but also what they invest into the sustainability reports. James Munson claims in his blog post that for larger firms it is easier to raise money for CSR programs because they do not operate with as tight margins as smaller firms do.

On the other site, CSR management can be very lucrative for the person being responsible for it. The company Barrick Gold Corporation pays a $15,000 honorarium for CSR experts to advise the company. Yet, James Munson reveals that junior companies like Avalon have a hard time staying profitable while managing their reputation for human rights, environment and good governance. One of Munson’s main arguments is that CSR is cumbersomely to implement in a world wide business environment of maximizing profits. However, Andrew Michelmore, CEO of Minmetals Resources Ltd., objects to Munson’s opinion. Instead he insists that it actually is possible to achieve “a business strategy where profits and ethics can converge”. Bubar, the Avalon CEO, confirms Michelmore’s approach, pointing out the increasing amount of money invested into social responsible investing funds. More importantly he sees:

“embracing corporate social responsibility early as a way of attracting capital”!

A professional’s approach to engage HR manager to CSR

The founding partner of Beyond Business Ltd and author of  “CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices” claims in her blog post the importance of HR managers to embrace CSR.

The problem Elain Cohen alleges in her video and blog post is that HR managers often think that there are already implementing all necessary steps to fulfil a well-organized CSR strategy:

However, there are more responsibilities categorized by Cohen a part from diversity recruitment strategies, employee wellbeing and engagement and volunteering programs.

Besides Cohen’s grievances about HR managers insisting to already meet all requirements of CSR, she implies in an interview that CSR is a “consistent creation of a sustainable culture in the organization and realignment of all HR practices in a more fundamental way”. To go beyond, Cohen observes the lack of pressure from leading positions. In her opinion most top manager do not recognize the essence of CSR for Human Resource Management.

Her argumentation is that the world is already growing green. Even if firms are not developing green technology, then at least they will use and adapt to it.
Human Resource managers need to be able to identify the people of the next generation who are going to manage the green revolution. This is also what melissano18 claims in her blog post:

“When managers hire people they have to look for people, for creative teams, who will make their company more effective and successful”.

Cohen’s aim is for HR management to deploy green teams that are being concerned about saving electricity and energy. This is what will save the company’s money.

Finally, she assures that every firm has the possibility to save through engaged managers and this is what all firms should be aiming for.

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4 Responses to “CSR – from a manager’s point of view”

  1. sabrinacz June 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Hey Rose!
    Your blog post is very interesting. I appreciate that you´ve chosen the contraversial topic of CSR. I also like, that you focuss on the manager´s point of view and state different opinions from different blogs.
    I have never thought about the fact, that for little companies, it is harder to inverst in really good CSR strategy, it is a new perspective that you gave me through your post.
    What will you write about in your next posts? I guess you will concentrate on CSR strategies?
    Apart from the well chosen topic, I like your style of writing, it is comprehensive and fluid.
    Well done!

  2. melissano18 June 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Hey Rose!
    This is a very interesting and important topic that you chose to write about. I really liked that you referred to many blog posts and opinions.
    A lot of people writing about CSR, however your post is very special, because you wrote it from the view of a manager, which catches even more the attention of the reader.
    Your blog post is very structured, which is very good for the reader as well.
    The pictures and the video are supportive and display different facts of your topic.
    You wrote this post in a very pleasant and appealing way!
    Well done! I always enjoy reading your posts!
    I’m looking forward to your next one!

  3. melissano18 June 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Hey Rose!
    This is a very interesting and important topic that you chose to write about. I really liked that you referred to many blog posts and opinions.
    A lot of people writing about CSR, however your post is very special, because you wrote it from the view of a manager, which catches even more the attention of the reader.
    Your blog post is very structured, which is very good for the reader as well.
    The pictures and the video are supportive and display different facts of your topic.
    You wrote this post in a very pleasant and appealing way!
    Well done! I always enjoy reading your posts!
    I’m looking forward to your next post!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. More than “hypocritical window-dressing”? « Curiosity Killed The Consumer - June 18, 2012

    […] though. So if you are interested in finding out more about how to integrate CSR in business, great post!  To end this week´s post I simply want to cite Matt Fair, member of “the power […]

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