A Model for Partnering with Not-for-Profìts to Develop Socially Responsible Businesses in a Global Environment

Journal of Business Ethics 85 (1):111 - 120 (2009)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly important in the global environment. Businesses that want to be socially responsible, but do not have the resources of multinational corporations, can partner with non-governmental (NGO), not-for-profit (NFP), and religious organizations to access information about the culture, customs, and needs of the people in areas where they wish to do business. Without such information, CSR projects can have unintended consequences that are not beneficial for the community. Suggesting that local farmers sell corn to ethanol producers may increase the farmers' income but also increase the cost of a food staple to the community. Providing food aid may result in local farmers being unable to sell their crops for enough money to buy seed for the next harvest. Donating cheaper cinder blocks instead of adobe bricks may result in more available housing, but the housing may be unlivable in the summer heat. This paper presents a three-part model for businesses to follow to develop socially responsible projects. The first strategy is to use electronic sources of information about a country and area for background information. The second strategy is to gather on-the-ground information about important issues from the people who are already operating in a community as part of NGO, NFP and missionary initiatives. The third strategy is to develop scenarios that will help identify possible negative consequences of socially responsible projects so that the project implementation can be monitored for such consequences and interventions designed to decrease or counter the impact of negative consequences
Keywords corporate social responsibility  CSR  scenarios  unintended consequences  multinational  non-governmental  not-for-profit  global environment
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