In a recent post on the goodpurpose® blog, authors Rodolfo Araújo and Leticia Born start to dissect The Evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility. After reading their well-thought out piece, I started asking myself “Is Corporate Social Responsibility really enough? Are we, as companies, just becoming a part of CSR efforts because it makes us look good or because we know it is becoming more important to our consumers? CSR efforts could be perceived as somewhat topical without true value to both sides.
The goodpurpose® blog explains how Harvard Professor Michael Porter has argued that the concept of CSR could be better practiced through a change of wording: CSV (Creating Shared Value), which reflects a deep connection between causes and companies, generating value for each side. According to him, the current way in which the majority of companies approach CSR is insufficient.
I think I would have to agree with Professor Porter that on some level, companies are using CSR efforts to only promote their brand and public image. The benefit to the cause is just a ‘secondary’ result. I also believe that we as consumers realize this and thought at one time that this was sufficient enough. Like Jon mentioned last week in his Do the Right Thing post, there is no rule that says any company has to be responsible, so any value that private companies can give to a cause would be considered ‘exceptional’.
At BiddingForGood, we have truly taken CSR efforts to CSV efforts…not because it makes us look good, but as Jon also mentioned, it is good business and at the end of the day, it is the right thing to do.
To round out Jon’s point, the goodpurpose® blog states that “A brand’s value is not only bound to the quality of its products and services, but to relationships built with a long-term perspective that engages individuals and creates a community of shared beliefs – in addition to profits.”
So as companies adopt CSR efforts, hopefully we will see more early adopters of CSV efforts -companies who decide that there should be more behind their efforts than just their public image. Companies who decide to have more soul and to dig deeper into what CSR should really mean.
Looking forward to what comes next,