CSR-CFP relationship

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Is there any relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Financial Performance in FTSE 100 (Financial Times Stock Exchange) companies?

Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

In today’s business world the phrase corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a relevant and frequently discussed topic. By definition it is the non-profit activities engaged by a business concern that aids the society, economy and the environment. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has defined CSR as “the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community, and the society at large.” (WBSCD, 2000)

Modern business concerns place CSR in high priority. In the fifth global CEO survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ World Economic Forum concluded that 70 per cent of chief executives around the world have the opinion that corporate social responsibility is fundamental in the process of profit making in the business. In the Western European region, 68 per cent of the big companies have joined the triple bottom-line performance namely the economic, social and environmental factors along with financial performance whereas in the United States, this figure is 41 per cent (PricewaterhouseCoopers/BSI Global Research Inc, 2002). However 80 per cent of the company managers in the US are of the opinion that CEO’s status is a factor of major influence on corporate reputation, although interestingly this value is just 56 per cent in the UK. According to Business in the Community, more than 70 per cent of business leaders believe that incorporating responsible business activities makes business concerns more competitive and profitable. (Hancock, 2006)

1.1 Why was this topic selected?

If the topic doing research to find out if there is a relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the corporate financial performance (CFP) of a company is able to find out with positive outcome and relationship between the two, then it may be an eye opener to various entrepreneurs to the various financial benefits CSR can bring about to business. This is so especially in the medium and small scale industries, which are yet to fully utilise the CSR in their business routines.

From a common person point of view, when large corporations and business concerns take part in community relief and environment friendly activities, it makes a whole lot of difference to the society and the environment. So it is greatly beneficial for humankind to explore and bring out to light the relationship between corporate social responsibility and the firm’s financial performance.

1.2 Background of CSR:

Many of the ideals and customs of the corporate social responsibility have references dating back to the 19th century. But it was during the 1960s and 1970s in the United States that there was resurgence in the mindset of people towards this phenomenon. It was during this period that various modern policies of civil regulation were invented.

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