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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business strategy via which a company aligns social and environmental concerns with both its business operations and its interactions with stakeholders. This paper examines how CSR creates value for companies that adopt CSR actions. It focuses on the CSR actions of six companies, five public and one private: Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Unilever (Ben & Jerry's), and Penzeys Spices. In the 2000s, many companies began to see value in CSR and to implement CSR infrastructure and actions. With CSR increasing in popularity, more robust analyses of these initiatives started to be done by publications and organizations, such as Business Ethics magazine and Global Reporting Initiative. The methods used for this analysis included (1) completing literature reviews on CSR and intersecting topics, (2) analyzing census data trends, and (3) examining the specific CSR actions of these companies, along with the impact of those actions. The value proposition for companies centers around two primary benefits. First, image and brand can be significantly enhanced, thereby boosting sales and customer loyalty. Second, CSR has positive effects on employee morale and loyalty, thereby enhancing productivity. In addition, demographic trends, including the relative growth in minority and younger populations imply that CSR actions will be even more important to company brand and image in coming years. Research shows that both groups place great importance on social values and issues, including issues around race, the environment, social justice, and climate change, as examples. And they are more likely to use their purchasing power to support brands that reflect their values. While it is difficult to isolate specific cause and effect of CSR strategies, this analysis makes it clear that not only does society benefit from such actions, CSR strategies are also good for business.


Utah State University

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Analyzing the Adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility Strategies

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