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Corporate Social Responsibility CSR and Corporate Governance Workshop

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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Governance Workshop
1. Using the assigned reading describe, in your own words, how Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) has changed (part 1).
In the 1950s, organizations understood CSR as the responsibilities to pursue the policies, make the
decisions, and follow the plans that are desirable and effective regarding beliefs and values of their
communities. This understanding was based on the popular belief that large businesses were critical
centers of power and their decisions affected the welfare of people in different ways. For instance,
business leaders were expected to ensure that resources were used to address social needs as opposed
to narrowly circumscribed interests of individuals and organizations. Corporate managers were,
therefore, regarded as public trustees, while philanthropy was seen as an illustration of a business
that supported the common interests of society.
Five decades later, the understanding of CSR has changed from societal-needs-centric to an
effective sustainability tool aimed at advancing the benefits of good governance to the shareholders.
Hence, companies are now taking CSR as an opportunity to explain their strategic frameworks on
long-term value creation to the members who should then use these opportunities to assess the
progress. For example, if members are not convinced that the progress is sufficient, they may vote
against the incumbent directors or call for a review of the director’s compensation schemes in place.
Furthermore, members rely on CSR to review a company's alignment to sustainable business models,
internal and external factors affecting the firm, and the organization’s contribution to the welfare of
the community. Therefore, CSR is now more concerned with long-term growth, research, human
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resource development, and the financial health of a firm. For these reasons, the current CSR policies
emphasize the long-term sustainability of the companies.
1. How the CSR Pyramid can be used to help develop a strategic plan to meet the expectations
of stakeholders while at the same time staying focused on the long-term growth of the business?
(Part 2)
The CSR Pyramid allows the corporate leaders to incorporate the economic, legal, ethical, and
philanthropic social duties. With this pyramid, the stakeholders' needs can be met by enhancing the
sustainability of an organization. Furthermore, CSR Pyramid can enhance the long-term growth by
enabling a business to incorporate the legal and ethical needs to create a favorable environment for
the long-lasting growth and sustainability of the business. On the other hand, the philanthropic
responsibility in the pyramid should be used to meet the society’s expectations such as promoting
human welfare or goodwill. What is more, the CSR Pyramid can assist corporate managers to
address the risks by balancing societal risks and business decisions while engaging all the
stakeholders on different issues. Therefore, the pyramid must incorporate the economic, legal,
ethical, and philanthropic social responsibilities to address the expectation of the stakeholders,
promote long-term growth of the business, and manage the risks.
1. Describe what is needed to ensure an organization is able to compete effectively in the
marketplace and invest in a robust CSR program (part 3).
To enhance their competitiveness in the marketplace and invest in robust CSR programs,
organizations must align their CSR initiatives with corporate objectives. Well-designed CSR
programs increase competitiveness by enhancing reputation and the returns as well as the loyalty and
motivation of employees. Many firms have used CSR to strengthen valuable partnerships. There is a
definite relationship between the strategic social responsibility measures and the competitive
advantages. Organizations should prioritize corporate activities that increase societal participation
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and generate a positive attitude towards the public and private sectors. Social cohesion has been
shown to increase the profitability of organizations. Investing in social capital will help the
organizations build expertise and reputation, which is an opportunity for the organizations to align
the CSR activities with the company’s objectives.
2. Explain in your own words how BlackRock expects Corporate Governance and the Lead
Independent Director to lead the organization to long-term growth using the guidelines spelled
out in the Corporate Governance, “Governance overview.”
BlackRock expects corporate governance and the Lead Independent Director to lead the initiatives
that are aimed at enhancing the long-term stability of the organization by paying close attention to
research, technology, human resource development, and financial wellbeing. BlackRock believes that
with the current challenges associated with globalization and technology changes, employees and
communities are facing unprecedented challenges. For instance, highly skilled laborers in the urban
centers have benefitted more than have the low skilled workers because technology is replacing
millions of jobs for the latter while creating more opportunities for the former. The firm believes it
must devise strategic frameworks that reflect and changes in the global environment and offer
solutions to the society. As such, corporate governance and Lead Independent Director must use the
CSR strategies to address these challenges.
Indeed, long-term growth should be anchored at the center of any CSR strategy. The
environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are critical determinants of the long-term
growth and sustainability of an organization. For example, the business model, operations, and the
external factors affect the business performance. BlackRock expects the leaders and corporate
governance to consider these factors and develop CSR strategies that promote long-term growth and
sustainability by creating a supportive environment since the organization is part of the community in
which it operates. Furthermore, financial management is a critical determinant of a company’s
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sustainability. It is important for the Lead Independent Director and the governance model to ensure
that buybacks will contribute to the long-term returns. The company also expects the Lead
Independent Director to improve the employees welfare, implement robust retirement packages, train
workers on financial literacy, and empower employees to use the available resources to improve their
lives.
Based on the above discussion, BlackRock expects corporate governance and the Lead
Independent Director to have a wider role in managing the organizations. CSR must be used to
increase the competitiveness of the organization by creating a conducive environment. To achieve
this objective, corporate governance and the Lead Independent Director must focus on the
community needs, financial management, and employee’s welfare with the goal of achieving long-
term success of the firm.

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