Four Types of Corporate Social Responsibility
A company’s first responsibility is its economic responsibility — that is to say, a company needs to be primarily concerned with turning a profit. This is for the simple fact that if a company does not make money, it won’t last, employees will lose jobs and the company won’t even be able to think about taking care of its social responsibilities. Before a company thinks about being a good corporate citizen, it first needs to make sure that it can be profitable.
A company’s legal responsibilities are the requirements that are placed on it by the law. Next to ensuring that company is profitable, ensuring that it obeys all laws is the most important responsibility, according to the theory of corporate social responsibility. Legal responsibilities can range from securities regulations to labor law, environmental law and even criminal law.
Economic and legal responsibilities are the two big obligations of a company. After a company has met these basic requirements, a company can concern itself with ethical responsibilities. Ethical responsibilities are responsibilities that a company puts on itself because its owners believe it’s the right thing to do — not because they have an obligation to do so. Ethical responsibilities could include being environmentally friendly, paying fair wages or refusing to do business with oppressive countries, for example.
If a company is able to meet all of its other responsibilities, it can begin meeting philanthropic responsibilities. Philanthropic responsibilities are responsibilities that go above and beyond what is simply required or what the company believes is right. They involve making an effort to benefit society — for example, by donating services to community organizations, engaging in projects to aid the environment or donating money to charitable causes.