The Hot Air of Corporate Social Responsibility

Last month, Stefan Stern wrote an article in the Financial Times about the hot air of CSR. I got a kick out of his opening statement: “Thank goodness, now the recession’s here we can forget all that nonsense about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and get back to trying to make some money.”

At the risk of offending liberal entrepreneurs, I have to agree with Stern. Too often, our responsibility to our community or the preservation of the environment distracts entrepreneurs from their responsibility to the bottom line, even during the economic downs. While I think it’s important that a business operate ethically and make a positive contribution to society, it should not invest in CSR initiatives just for the sake of being seen as a socially responsible institution. But I’m interested in your perspective:

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2 Responses

  1. I like your voting thing! Interesting result.

    JPMorgan and Goldman bonuses and risk-taking (i.e., ignoring the society’s criticism regarding the financial crisis) may be a counterexample to the importance of CSR in business. I just posted on this example, in case you are interested.

    Nice post!

  2. Thanks. Good to hear from you.

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