Social Purpose Of Business Essay

1365 Words 6 Pages
1. Setting the scene: social purpose as business driver
During the last decades the social purpose of business has gained a prominent role in profit and accumulation strategies worldwide. Corporations invest more money and human resources in the development of social strategies as a key element for economic success. Between 2004 and 2013 the corporate social responsibility investments of the 261 world leading companies increased from US$7,6 billion to US$25 billion, roughly a growth of 328% (CECP, 2005 and 2014). Such a sum not only is important in terms of its size, which is above the annual GDP of at least 82 developing countries but also, and probably more significant, such increase occurred during and after the 2008 financial and economic crisis. Instead of reduce the expenses in corporate social responsibility the largest firms worldwide followed a counterintuitive path by increasing its social programmes. What have changed in the way businesses deal with social issues? What have changed in the way businesses are running?
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Each scheme represents specific understanding the social purpose of business: philanthropy is mainly guided by charity rationale; corporate social responsibility is oriented by a risk and externalities management approach; and shared value strategies incorporate the social purpose into the core business of corporations (Kramer, 2011).The increasingly strategic importance of the social purpose in business performance is at the heart of these shifts: a move from an exogenous conception of social purpose of business, that is, something external and even alien to profit making processes, to an endogenous perspective where solutions to social issues are tied to the core business of corporations and value creation

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