Corporate Social Responsibility Overload? Intention, Abuse, Misinterpretation of Csr from the Companies’ and the Consumers’ Point of View

Corporate Social Responsibility Overload? Intention, Abuse, Misinterpretation of Csr from the Companies' and the Consumers' Point of View

More recent incidents and scandals such as Sweatshops by different sports equipment and electronic devices producers and finally the financial crisis which made the headlines among many others, which did not make it to the front page, have forced companies to consider CSR way more than in the past. But also other issues such as climate change and global warming, human rights situation and terrorism affect how companies conduct their strategies and operational practices today. Almost every large corporation in the western world makes some effort to communicate how it is committed to social issues that lie beyond its basic profit objectives – even in controversial industries such as the tobacco and petroleum industry. The industries claim to produce healthier food more fuel-efficient vehicles, conserve energy and other resources in their operations to make the world a better place. CSR often begins to be wishful thinking to hide the true face of a business. Doubtless what has come to be called responsibility of companies for ecological and social issues besides economic issues is now a sales and branding instrument for many companies. Hence, numerous other companies, also small and medium sized companies are currently asking themselves the questions: Shall we also invest in CSR initiatives? Why should we do that – just to do something? Is this still an instrument to gain a competitive advantage? Especially the last question implies the question, if consumers still believe in the basic idea of CSR initiatives, or with the overload of CSR initiatives, if they even show reactance and mistrust against such issues.

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