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 Corporate Social Responsibility - A Marketing Scheme?

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FleurDeLis
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PostSubject: Corporate Social Responsibility - A Marketing Scheme?   Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:24 am

The notion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been around for almost a century. In recent years, the notion experienced significant exposure due to the unveiling of corporate corruption in several unrelated cases. The current economic crises that originated in 2008 is said to be, at least in part, a result of corrupt business activities. Governmental regulatory efforts, such as the Sarbanes Oaxly Act of 2002, require businesses to deliver accurate financial statement and inflict punishment on corporate executives who vouch for falsified, fraudulent statements. All around, businesses are scrutinized and examined in great detail.

Public opinion has become become a valuable asset for corporations; the power of public stakeholders continues to rise. Consumers, connected and informed through the media, boycott products, business ventures, ... . Stakeholders, in general, may sue companies that engage in activities that recklessly endanger communities and the environment; breach labor laws ...

Corporations answer to the the threat to their reputation with CSR activities, such as funding for educational services or environmental protection programs. The primary goal is to establish a good name and reputation in the public eye because a bad reputation is bad for business. Social charitableness or stewardship are a shiny wrap for the corporate incentive to maintain a good public standing; a marketing effort.

Marketing efforts, however, are generally misleading as they emphasize positive attributes and avoid the mentioning of drawbacks. If we apply this to CSR efforts, we must assume that the highlighting of social responsibility is potentially misleading. How likely are we to fully examine businesses that display engagement in social causes? Is CSR a way for businesses to veil their recklessness and corruption?
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PostSubject: Re: Corporate Social Responsibility - A Marketing Scheme?   Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:28 pm

Corporate social responsibility, in all reality, is indeed a marketing scheme. For example, it is socially unacceptable in the U.S. to utilize child labor, which is why it is illegal in the U.S.. What a corporation does is utilize child labor outside the country. Of course, it is still unacceptable, but it is out of sight, out of mind. If uncovered, money is spent on public relations to repair and/or mitigate damage caused to profit.

Everything about a corporation is strictly to maximize profit. Ethics and morals go straight out the window, which a corporation will give the illusion that it practices in ethics and morals if it results in profit. Most of the time, greater profits are derived through unethical and immoral practice i.e. exploitation etc.. The mentality is that of a sociopath.

Corporations operate within an environment. The general environment is the external environment and encompasses technological, natural, sociocultural, economics, legal/political, and international, which it is the most difficult to control because these things operate outside the corporation and are completely unpredictable. The goal is to control and/or manipulate the external environment, making it predictable in order to maximize profits.

A good example of the external environment being internalized would be The Green Movement, though not limited to this. Lets say you go to Wal-Mart and you happen to come across a package of water, which it has an emblem on it (60% less plastic used. Go Green!). Sure, 60% less plastic may have been utilized, but the price for the package of water didn't drop, it remained the same. That is direct incentive for corporation's to use the Green Movement in this aspect, because due to it being socially acceptable, it allows them to make more profit for delivering a cheaper product without question. They didn't do it for the environment, they did it for profit. This example can be personally verified by anyone, though things like this are typically overlooked due to psychological conditioning and the stigma society places on people who don't go along with the program, such as Global Warming.

The following are examples of maximizing profit in the areas the external environment is comprised of:

Technological - buying patents and shelving technology.
Natural - creating artificial scarcity in resources.
Sociocultural - the major news media.
Economics - NAFTA.
Legal/political - lobbying.
International - mergers and erosion of sovereignty.

All of those areas in the external environment are high risk and do go hand-in-hand, which a legal/political risk would be like Venezuela taking over a corporation's infrastructure in said country by nationalizing it. The U.S.'s practice of freezing assets is another example of legal/political risk. Personally, I feel Global Warming is a by-product of corporate control over most of the external environment to the point that it was engineered. One reason I think this is due to the focus being primarily placed on carbon dioxide output. The focus being on carbon dioxide output detracts from the alarm over toxic chemicals being introduced into the environment. It also explains why major corporations are gung-ho over *combating* Global Warming. It is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. This means Global Warming is a marketing scheme.

Ultimately, in the attempt to achieve maximum control over the general environment to acquire maximum profit, corporations are seemingly waging war on the world, which is resulting in corporatism. If the external environment is ever completely internalized, that would be the making of a one world government.



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FleurDeLis
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PostSubject: Re: Corporate Social Responsibility - A Marketing Scheme?   Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:15 pm

Nice post smiley ... gawd, I wish we had a Thanks button already!

I'd like to add too, any social engagement that a corporation might pursue to aid the CSR marketing scheme is financed through consumers. Corporation may support social causes but they will not pay out off pocket out of the goodness of their hearts! Product/service prices increase marginally as the corporation claims to support social causes to off-set the high profits they incur from society. We are paying for their marketing scheme that baits us into judging the as more social. Moreover, the same funds (if we had a choice) could likely be used more effectively for social causes if professionals (i.e. EPA) would allocate the funds to worthy causes.
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