Why social responsibility doesn’t mean ethically inclined.

Social responsibility is the ability to honor ethical values while at the same time respecting the people, community and environment while still obtaining successful measures (Tsoutsoura, 2004).

Those organizations that deign to be socially responsible must go above and beyond what is considered the minimum legal stipulation and provide for the stakeholders welfare (Jennings, 2012).

According to Jennings (2012), Entine and Jennings focus on the character of a company as much as the ethical obligations of what social responsibility entails. A product might be on the market and profitable and in a general consensus, considered ethical from a traditional social responsibility standpoint. Utilizing Ernine and Jennings approach, a more in-depth and logical conclusion would need to be answered.  Do the product claims match with reality and how would the company react when faced with negative disclosures?

The philosophy of do unto others as you would have them do to you is further exaggerated by the stance that companies need to be more responsible to meet public demands (Enevoldson, 2012).  If an organization wants to thrive in a climate of social responsibility, they must adhere to social norms that are more elaborate than profitability or credibility (Enevoldson, 2012). This will help them on a larger scale meet the speculating eyes of the public.

Jennings states (2012), that Ernine and Jennings subscribe to a well-rounded approach that questions not only the ethical implications and legalities of the company but how the organization treats its employees and what type of information the company is willing to disclose. Social responsibility is a simpler approach and though treat others as you would like to be treated is a start, that view is broad and vague. Ernine and Jennings created eight questions to provide a pathway that is not only legal and ethical but provides insight and perspective from a charitable, employee-minded, morally adept and public persona.

When determining if a company is social responsibility, it is fair to consider the eight questions as a starting approach. However, it would be detrimental to the public’s well-being to assume that socially responsible is synonymous with a high degree of ethics. It is merely a beginning.


Enevoldson, N. (2012, February). What Is Social Responsibility? Retrieved November 20, 2014, from How To Become A Social Entrepreneur: http://www.imasocialentrepreneur.com/social-responsibility/

Jennings, M. M. (2012). Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Reading. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Tsoutsoura, M. (2004). Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance. Berkeley: Haas School of Business.


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