Corporate Social Responsibility

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, corporate social responsibility (CSR) "is a company's commitment to manage the social, environmental and economic effects of its operations responsibly and in line with the public expectations. It is part of a company's approach to corporate governance and often touches every part of the business - operations, human resources, manufacturing, supply chain, health and safety, and more."

Key Concepts and Definitions

Business Ethics: According to Investopedia, business ethics "is the study of proper business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial issues, such as corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility and fiduciary responsibilities. Law often guides business ethics, while other times business ethics provide a basic framework that businesses may choose to follow to gain public acceptance.

Corporate Governance: According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, corporate governance "is the practice of ensuring a corporation conducts itself accountably, fairly and openly in all its dealings. It is the responsibility of a company’s board of directors. One of the main goals of corporate governance is to ensure a company’s leaders are managing the finances of the business effectively and that they always act in the best interest of stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and creditors). Companies often have their own corporate governance frameworks—rules and processes for managing the conduct of the organization. Most also have to comply with external regulations or laws governing their industry or sector.

CSR Research at the University of Ottawa