Is CSR to blame for financial collapse?

Posted on Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 by

A recent article in asks the following: ‘Is CSR to blame for America’s financial collapse?’ It’s a question that’s equally relevant here in the UK, particularly given the monetary-meltdown we’ve witnessed in recent weeks. Suzannah Chapple, Chapple Director, believes that whilst myopic business practices and bad management certainly played a part in tipping the financial sector into a tailspin, practising corporate social responsibility in its broader sense could prevent other organisations, not just those in banking, from following suit. “CSR is the notion that an organisation should consider more than the short-term (and short-sighted) pursuit of profit in how it operates,” she says. “The hall mark of a healthy CSR programme is one which addresses long-term sustainability including developing mutually beneficial relationships with all business partners and stakeholders, as well as considering the social and environmental impact its business may have.” What the current situation demonstrates is that organisations have confused corporate responsibility with philanthropy – a common and understandable misconception. “Responsibility is about how a business conducts itself, not just the charitable contributions it makes. Recent weeks have highlighted how important true CSR is, but also how misunderstood it is”. Perhaps CSR needs its own PR campaign? If you are a CSR person looking for a move or need to recruit in CSR then Chapple can help. Email