Reference no: EM13300700
Becoming a corporate socially responsible (CSR) organisation is probably more an imperative today than what it was in the last decades of the previous century. Although Robins (2008) considers that CSR has not been clearly defined or delineated and that the CSR has not been universally accepted by all corporations or organisations, decisions about corporate social responsibility are seen as important and most likely made by the organisations' senior managers (Robbins, 2008, p. 335). There is support for this top-down approach to implementing and managing CSR in the discussion by Chin, Hambrick and Treviño (2013) about the impact that conservative as compared to liberal CEOs have on their organisations' CSR agenda. It would appear that even when it is not their own idea these CEOs exert significant influence on the suggestions of others (such as to embrace CSR or not). From another perspective, the study by Chin, Hambrick and Treviño (2013) also challenges the view that ‘one size fits all' when considering the classical or neo-liberal view of the organisation. CEOs identified as more liberal in their political ideology see CSR as a central part of their organisation's business strategy, whereas conservative CEOs see CSR activities as more cosmetic and related to corporate image and reputation (Chin, Hambrick and Treviño, 2013, p. 222). In addition, when looking at a company such as Yahoo7! (presented in the Week 3 lecture), it would appear that lower level staff are also actively involved in CSR activities as well and so may make their own contributions to CSR beyond their senior managers' influences. McShane and Cunningham (2012) further consider this issue of CSR and bottom up employee acceptance or participation in CSR activities rather than the process merely being top down (leaders' views on CSR). They also consider employees' perceptions of their organisations' CSR activities in terms of whether these activities are seen as ‘authentic' or otherwise. Within the context of this discussion, your response should focus on the following questions:
a. Do you believe that the leadership group of an organisation can have a significant impact on how a CSR agenda and its related activities are developed and implemented?
b. In terms of the leadership theories discussed in lectures, are the comments by Chin, Bambrick and Treviño (2013) more aligned with the behavioural theories of leadership (i.e. the notion that leaders are ‘hard-wired') than they are with contingency theories of leadership (i.e. the notion that leaders are flexible and adaptable)?
c. Is it possible to talk about superficial (unauthentic) CSR as compared to embedded (authentic) CSR? Alternatively, do organisations either have or do not have CSR? What arguments would support either of these views?
d. What role do followers (in the sense of employees) have in developing and implementing CSR broadly or specifically, with respect to particular CSR activities, within an organisation? Is it a necessary and sufficient condition for leadership to be involved in developing CSR top-down (which may result in superficial CSR), but only a necessary condition in terms of developing embedded CSR (with the sufficient condition being bottom-up involvement and engagement of employees or followers)?