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Corporate Social Responsibility - a Critical View to the Market and Education System from a Consumer Perspective

Autor:   •  December 10, 2016  •  Term Paper  •  1,462 Words (6 Pages)  •  506 Views

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Corporate Social Responsibility                         

A critical view to the market and education system from a consumer perspective

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an important part in business and most companies especially located in developed industries practiced already a long time with it. Currently, the pressure from the society, pointing at consumers, becomes bigger. Consumers do not only want the product, but they also do care about the process of manufacturing and how this affects their societal environment. What we also might know is that CSR plays an important role in consumer behaviour and that it can influence consumer’s buying behaviour. However, is this really true if I look from my own experiences with CSR from a personal view and a business view? I realized this, because during brainstorming about a subject for this reflection report I was drinking from a plastic bottle of water of Starbucks: ‘Helping children get clean water’. So apparently, I contributed $1 to a ‘water for children’ foundation by buying this bottle without knowing. Derived from this, this CSR action of Starbucks had nothing to do with my buying behaviour since I at first did not even realized it and secondly it was just a random acquisition and next bottle I buy would be in the first random store I see. This leads to an interesting discussion and I will approach this by the following structure:

First, I would like to reflect my own consumer behaviour by my own experience with voluntary work and how this changed my attitude against consumers and CSR activities of companies. Secondly, I would like to reflect the attitude of the academic world and how this field explains CSR and consumer behaviour. Finally I would like to come up with a main conclusion by combining the two sectors and give my opinion of the consumer perspective of CSR activities in business.

‘Sunrise is for nothing’: money is still an important factor in the market

During the time I grew up, I learned from life a very important quote: ‘the sunrise is for nothing’ (literally translated from Dutch). This means, everything costs money and from my opinion companies always try to let you pay more what you intended to pay. From a social aspect, actually the same mentality comes up: when you are willing to do something for another, do not expect they will do the same in exchange. Yes, this is a very negative view of life, but I experienced this a lot of times. However, being well-willing to the society gives also internal motivation which makes you feel better. Therefore, I chose to do some voluntary work and I will refer this in a certain way as my own CSR management in my life. However, when I became older and being able to understand the value of money I gave it up since it was very time consuming and I did not get any contribution for it, social and money wise. From my opinion, people (especially from my own age) take these activities for granted and do often not appreciate the effort of the volunteers. These I experiences might have nothing to do with the CSR management of very big companies, but it might explain the underlying concept of how many people are thinking in general and is important to take into account. Furthermore, I could easily understand that companies can struggle with the same effects and therefore not stick with the same quote that nothing is for free and that they would aim to get some money out of their CSR activities.  

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