Exploring Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategies For Businesses

Main argument of the article

The authors of the article Rangan, Chase & Karim (2015) argued that companies performed various types of activities related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with a broader goal of enhancing their profitability by contributing to the social and communal well-being which they belong and on which they depend for their business operations. There is too much burden to dress up CSR activities as part of business discipline. It is assumptions that every CSR gives business results in terms of profit and creating a brand image. The author’s purpose behind this article is to understand the strategies of various companies behind the CSR activities and suggest three theatres which are Philanthropy, business-model transformation and operational improvements (Rangan, Chase, and Karim, 2015). They want to understand how Companies strategies and implement CSR programs over the past few years. The authors provide some interesting evidence to support their statements that they conduct research on 142 managers who participated in a CSR executive education program of Harvard Business School, during the duration of 4 years and talk with them about their CSR activities. But the fact is 60 per cent of respondents believed that they were not satisfied with their current company’s CSR activities and the way they conduct it. They all want to improve their CSR activities because it is not create any profit for their organisation.

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The reader of this article should aware about the type of people considered in this research. Actually, most of the people belong to the big leaders of companies. Almost all the people belong to those companies who practised CSR activities in their firm and sample of this survey slightly biased in favour of those companies having relatively advanced and innovative CSR practices. It means the research is applied to those companies who practice advanced CSR activities in their firms and the research is limited to the big organisation. Still, 60% of the people said that they are not satisfied with the result of their CSR activities (Park & Ghauri, 2015). The limitations of the survey is that the CEOs of the various companies considered, but in reality it there are numbers of companies where CSR programs are not directed or control by the senior leaders, rather the CSR activities generally begin and run in an uncoordinated way by a number of departmental or internal managers of the company (Hemingway & Starkey, 2017). Thus here the involvement of CEOs in CSR Programs is almost zero. In this case, the result of such a sample survey is not applied to those companies where the CSR activities are normally run by departmental or internal managers without the active involvement of CEO.

Assumptions and limitations that readers need to be aware of

Rangan, Chase & Karim (2015) found in this article that it is neither applied nor logical that all the organisations operate and engage common types CSR programs since the CSR activities are determined by various factors including both societal and industrial environment in which business operates. For example, a manufacturing company may have a wide range of chances to reduce its adverse environmental impacts, but for a financial organisation, it may be difficult to do so. But a financial organisation can support financial literacy and inclusion (Christensen, Morsing, & Thyssen, 2013). Another main finding of this article is that the best companies operate and coordinated different CSR programs, under their CSR activities for the society, communities, stakeholders and people. The motives behind operating CSR are created shared value by intending to do so and create additional value for communities and society than firm (Lim & Yang, 2016). But one thing common that they align their CSR programs with the companies’ business purpose and needs of society in which they operate their business.

The main idea behind this article is to focus on CSR programs according to the need of society. The main idea behind is that all the business organisation need to conduct different types of CSR activities according to their business operation which increases their shared value by considering the stakeholders and people who are connected to the organisation. In this article Rangan, Chase & Karim (2015) highlighted the idea of three theatres that apply in different nature of the business organisation and its operations. Theatre first is a philanthropy in which programs are designed for social well-being, engagement with the community and doing something for society rather earning the profit or improving business performance. Theatre two focuses on supporting company’s business operation through creating value chain and improving efficiency and effectiveness of operation through doing CSR activities for the society and environment.

The concept of shard value and company’s culture and values in CSR activities also considered by Green (2015) who focused on to establish a connection between the shared value of the company with its culture and values (Frynas, 2015). He provides a quick guide to align the CSR activities of the company with the societal and communities well-being and enforce to adopt proper strategies to conduct CSR activities. The authors of both the article focus on different strategies and ways to conduct and promote the CSR programs to create better-shared values for the companies.

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Research methodology and methods used to examine the issue

Starbucks coffee company which is known for its best coffee service in the world. The Starbucks is committed to operating the business in an ethical and responsible manner. The Starbucks deepen their approach towards operating the CSR activities to assimilate environmental and social responsibility into every aspect of their business. Starbucks is known for best coffee service to its customer, purchase 65% of its coffee through Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) and aiming to increase this percentage to 80% (Kang & Namkung, 2017). Starbucks is supporting those farmers and communities who are preserving and protecting forests in coffee regions and in this way they also supporting CI for fighting against climate change. Apart from this, Starbucks outlined a robust strategy to protect the global environment that will help in the reduction of environmental issues which arises due to Company’s operations. The Starbucks is determined to use more than 60% of store energy from renewable sources such as through solar energy, windmills etc. (Kay, 2019). The Starbucks focusing on constructions its new business centre by considering green building concept in the mind that helps in reduction of waste and reinstating ceramic serve ware as the universal standard for consumers who adored their beverages in Starbucks stores. Although to have a positive impact on society and communities they belong and work with, Starbucks opened various community stores in partnership with local non-profits. The non-profits these stores work with offer services with the main focus to meet the need of community people by donating some amount of transaction to them. Starbucks has pledged to hire around 10,000 people from military and veterans by 2018 to focus on diversity and inclusion in the Starbucks (Thompson, 2017). Starbucks refers to the Earth has an important in its business and they treated the planet as a business partner and take a comprehensive approach to reduce their negative environmental impact.

The Starbucks mainly focuses on its CSR activities, because they think that if they put their people and community first and making positive changes for them, the other people and consumers notice these activities. Consequently, that helps in increasing the brand value of the Starbucks. In fact, if a company support social or environmental issues, the consumers have the more positive image of the company (Kolk, 2016). The Starbucks also invest in their people and employees that results in less employee turnover and employees become more loyal to the companies and become advocates of the company well. Starbuck sets examples for those organisations whose CSR programs are just PR stunts or fake display of CSR activities for the investors and other stakeholders (Devin, 2016). Starbucks is a live example that how a strong and effective CSR practice can help the organisation to succeed and popular among its people.

Main findings and conclusions of the article


Geoffrey P. Lantos(2001). The boundaries of strategic corporate social responsibility. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7), 595-632. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1108/07363760110410281 

This article is relevant to this topic because it talks about the CSR concept and its components such as ethical, legal, economic and shared values of the organisation. In this article Geoffery (2001) talks about the different perspectives considering the responsible role of business in society apart from earning profits and are making it to community service provider which considers the first two theatres of the article of Rangan, Chase & Karim (2015). Through this article, the author also focuses on ethical CSR and gives suggestions for marketers about the perfect planning for strategic CSR and its proper execution to improve the shared value of the company (Geoffrey, 2001).  


Jeong, K. H., Jeong, S. W., Lee, W. J., & Bae, S. H. (2016). Permanency of CSR activities and firm value. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-17. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3273-9

This article also focuses on increasing the firm value through CSR activities. The authors of this article Jeong, Jeong, Lee, & Bae (2016) discussed the impact of CSR activities and how it increases the brand value of an organisation. The article examines the CSR effectiveness by various technical aspects which shows that firm value depending on the CSR activity pattern which is same as discussed in the article “The truth about CSR” (Jeong, Jeong, Lee, & Bae, 2016).

Indirect Quote from Article One: Business ethics was not popular before the 1960s neither was it a big issue for any businessman. Rather it was left to consider for those experts who are working on it to discuss the issues related to fair wages, illegal labour issues, and capitalist ethics. Then the Protestant work ethics educate the business world about doing hard work and being successful with your dedication towards society and communities by remaining ethical – this was the core of social responsibility of business organisations.

Direct Quote from Article Two: In their research title ‘Permanency of CSR activities and firm value’ authors Jeong, Jeong, Lee, & Bae (2016, pp. 1-17) stated that “If firms do permanently CSR activities for strategic purposes, firms’ value is more likely to increase.”


Christensen, L. T., Morsing, M., & Thyssen, O. (2013). CSR as aspirational talk. Organization, 20(3), 372-393.

Devin, B. (2016). Half-truths and dirty secrets: Omissions in CSR communication. Public Relations Review, 42(1), 226-228.

Frynas, J. G. (2015). Strategic CSR, value creation and competitive advantage. The Routledge Companion to Non-market Strategy, 245-262.

Geoffrey, P.L. (2001). The boundaries of strategic corporate social responsibility. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7), 595-632. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1108/07363760110410281 

Hemingway, C. A., & Starkey, K. (2017). A falling of the veils: Turning points and momentous turning points in leadership and the creation of CSR. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-16.

Jeong, K. H., Jeong, S. W., Lee, W. J., & Bae, S. H. (2016). Permanency of CSR activities and firm value. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-17. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3273-9

Kang, J. W., & Namkung, Y. (2017). The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility on Brand Equity and the Moderating Role of Ethical Consumerism: The Case of Starbucks. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 1096348017727057.

Kay, M. J. (2019). Corporate Sustainability Programs and Reporting: Responsibility Commitment and Thought Leadership at Starbucks. In Corporate Social Responsibility: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, 8, 10-126.

Kolk, A. (2016). The social responsibility of international business: From ethics and the environment to CSR and sustainable development. Journal of World Business, 51(1), 23-34.

Lim, M., & Yang, Y. (2016). The effect of authenticity and social distance on CSR activity. Social Responsibility Journal, 12(3), 397-414.

Park, B. I., & Ghauri, P. N. (2015). Determinants influencing CSR practices in small and medium-sized MNE subsidiaries: A stakeholder perspective. Journal of World Business, 50(1), 192-204.

Rangan, K., Chase, L. and Karim, S. (2015) The truth about CSR. Harvard Business Review, 93(1/2), 40-49. Retrieved from: https://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=100020761&site=ehost-live

Thompson, A. (2017). Starbucks Coffee’s Stakeholders: A CSR Analysis. Retrieved from: https://panmore.com/starbucks-coffee-stakeholders-cr-analysis