Straight Talk About Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

via Economist’s View:

May firms engage in CSR, beyond the law? An affirmative though conditional answer seems appropriate. Can firms do so on a sustainable basis?  Outside of monopolies and limited niche markets, the answer is probably negative.  Should they carry out such beyond-compliance efforts, even when doing so is not profitable?  Here – if the alternative is sound and effective government policy – the answer may not be encouraging.  And the last question – do firms generally carry out such activities – seems to lead to a negative assessment, at least if we restrict our attention to real cases of “sacrificing profits in the social interest.”

But definitive answers to these questions await the results of rigorous, empirical research. …

BusinessWeek: The Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs

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Back in January, the BusinessWeek SmallBiz team asked readers to collaborate on its first annual roundup of the most promising social entrepreneurs in the U.S. The idea was to track down trailblazing companies, in operation for at least a year, that aimed to turn a profit while tackling societal problems. Over 200 impressive nominations streamed in, representing a range of industries and target markets.

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