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2013年12月26日

Philanthropic Responsibility of CSR (revised)

The dictionary defines philanthropy as “a desire to help mankind as indicated by acts of charity; love of mankind.” (Business &Society p.626)The philanthropic responsibility is desired of business by society, but when this desire become a pressure, a force, what will it be? Does our society turn out to promote hypocrisy?
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  In these days, entrepreneurs become more and more aware of public welfare. It’s not because businessmen finally learn that they’ve earned a lot of money plus brought much harm to society, but they have learned that the more they donate, the more they earn. Robert H. Lorsch, an entrepreneur in Los Angeles, admitted that every dollar he donate can turn into 1.01dollars to two dollars profit. Moreover, entrepreneurs build better corporate images through engaging in charitable activities which convinces consumers to believe that they are conscientious firms. Another shocking fact is that entrepreneurs can have tax credit by donating money: in Taiwan, if they give disaster relief to the government, they can have the deduction rate up to 100%!
  Some people would say that although corporation do charity to promote their image not because they are kind-hearted, it still bring good effects for our society. After all, it’s better than nothing! But the problem is that the moment when they show their charitable moves to us, their firms still do things that will harm our society; this brings out two problems: one is they don’t really pay responsibility for their harm, but donating their money to those issues that are more noticeable and more appealing, which will gain public notice more effectively. The other is that through doing charity, corporations can blur the point that they are the origin of these problems. Because we often see their benevolent moves but the wicked behavior is left unsaid, publics will gradually have false notions that businessmen may have conscience: good corporations can help government build a better society.
  For the company, the problem is that they have to pay extra expense to fulfill this responsibility. The profit is unclear but the expenses are real, especially for smaller companies.

Representative Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio) said that he introduced the disclosure bill, which was cosponsored by Representative Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio) and Representative Thomas Manton (D-New York), because he had set on corporate boards and observed executives distributing corporate assets to their pet charities while ignoring shareholders.
Gillmor’s concern was shared by law professors such as Charles M. Elson of Stetson University, who argued that philanthropy often only serves to glorify corporate managers and that, unless the philanthropy clearly benefits the company, it represents a waste of corporate assets. (Business &Society p.628)

Plus, the more you devote on social responsibility, the more the public want you to do.
Executives increasingly see themselves in a no-win situation, caught between critics demanding ever higher levels of ‘corporate social responsibility’ and investors applying relentless pressure to maximize short-term profits. Giving more does not satisfy the critics—the more companies donate, the more is expected of them.
  All in all, philanthropic responsibility brings more disadvantages than benefits. To big corporations, it is the opportunities to promote the image but they have to take the risk of wasting money. To medium and small firms, it’s a big burden to fulfill this kind of responsibility. To the public, we only got facial benefits and their hypocrisy, but miss the chance to solve the basic problems.

Reference

Caroll A. B. & Buchholtz A. K. (2008). Corporate citizenship: social responsibility, responsiveness, and performance: the corporate social responsibility concept. In M. Acuna (Ed.), Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management, 7th edition (pp.43-45). Mason: South-Western

Caroll A. B. & Buchholtz A. K. (2008). Business and community stakeholders: corporate philanthropy or business giving. In M. Acuna (Ed.), Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management, 7th edition (pp.626-630). Mason: South-Western

Bo Yi Lin (林柏儀,2012). Facing Youths Impoverishment: The Limit of Corporate Social Responsibility. Retrieved November 28, 2013, from Lihpao: http://www.lihpao.com/?action-viewnews-itemid-117568

Porter M.E. and Kramer M.R. (2002). The competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from Expert2business.com: http://www.expert2business.com/itson/Porter%20HBR%20Corporate%20philantropy.pdf

Mei Jen Chen (陳美珍,2011). Deduct Tax Through Public Interest Organization When Donating Abroad. Retrieved November 28, 2013, from Chihlee Institute of Technology: http://ai100.chihlee.edu.tw/files/16-1018-8021.php

Shau Chiang Yang(楊少強,2006). Rich people earn money and reputation through donating while poor people aren’t necessarily benefit. Retrieved November 28, 2013, from Business Weekly: http://www1.businessweekly.com.tw/article.php?id=22364

Picture 1: http://blog.zopim.com/2013/09/10/the-bottom-line-of-corporate-social-responsibility/


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