“CSR is not a new concept, but has rapidly come to prominence in the past few years with hardly a day going past without a new report on CSR by leading company, international organization, NGO or journalist”
The criticism of CSR can be channeled into seven essentially different statements.
1. CSR lacks universal definition; everyone seems to have their own concept or definition.
2. CSR is just part of public relations plan to bamboozle an increasingly skeptical public.
3. CSR is just another word for corporate philanthropy and the contribution that a business directly makes to the welfare of the society (or “the planet”) is to be viewed as largely independent of its profitability.
4. CSR is misleading as it diverts attention from key issues; it is a curse rather than a cure.
5. CSR ignores development economics and its concerns with capitalism and neo-liberalism and it is just a way to introduce socialism through the back door.
6. The social responsibility of business begins and ends with increasing profits; CSR is unnecessary distraction.
7. CSR is sham because companies cannot be left to self regulate.
“With these criticisms is CSR to stay? Or will CSR disappear into the mists of time as just another fad?”
Most likely is that CSR will transform into different concepts but not disappear entirely. Since the realm of the business in society is so crucial, CSR and its entrails will eventually become embedded in all organizations rather like the concerns with environment right now. Consequently in the future there would be less talk of CSR simply because it will become just part of routine daily operations.