The Six Reasons Why Companies Actually Wind Up Embracing CSR

The Six Reasons Why Companies Actually Wind Up Embracing CSR

Awhile back I wrote an article titled “The Six Reasons Why Companies Should Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).”  In fact, it was one of my most popular posts, thank you very much all you readers out there.

However, in fancy political science- and economics- speak, that was what they call a “normative analysis” – a perspective based on fact that describes how something should be and not how something actually is. So, for example, we may suppose that politicians during presidential debates should use the national stage they’ve been given to advance the dialogue on important socio-political issues. But do they?

So today I write what is called a “positive analysis” regarding why companies ultimately wind up embracing CSR. So for example, rather than try to have an intellectual discussion about policy, it seems our politicians us their platforms to try to shut the other guy down, hoping for a Lloyd Bensten-esque zinger that will stand the test of time (“…I knew Jack Kennedy… Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.”)

After all, not every company embraces CSR because it now understands the opportunities it derives from enlightened self-interest. Here are six possible explanations  of why a company could choose to be socially responsible:

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James Epstein-Reeves is a Chicago-based expert on corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, and cause-marketing. Having recently served as the Director of Community affairs for the multi-billion dollar office supply company OfficeMax, James led the company’s philanthropy and volunteer program. His efforts led to the creation of the award winning volunteer event A Day Made Better – an initiative that united the company during a simultaneous volunteer event in 1,000+ locations across the country. In addition, he co-led the effort for the company to publish its first and second corporate social responsibility report which used the Global Reporting Initiative framework.

*This post originally appeared on Forbes.com