Why Should Managers Be Socially Responsible?

Why should managers put Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into practice? The so-called legal, ethical, social and business cases provide several reasons. In this paper we discuss these arguments, and we add new reasons that make up the ‘management case.’ By exploring why CSR is good management, this paper explains why CSR make the firm more human and the task of the manager more humanizing.


In the last years a growing number of academics and practitioners have promoted Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a means of shifting the paradigm of the firm away from a purely economic model oriented to maximizing shareholder value, toward another model that takes ethical, social and humanistic variables into account and is oriented to a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

This is certainly a step forward in the theory of the firm, but an unsteady step – at least with regards to the reasons for why companies are supposed to be socially responsible. In this article we propose that companies must be socially responsible not only because it is demanded by society, or because it increases profits, but above all because CSR is part of good management. That is to say, a socially responsible company is a good company, and a manager who manages in accordance with social responsibility criteria is an excellent manager, or at least is in a good position to become one.

In what follows we look first at the traditional arguments in favor of social responsibility in companies, namely the legal, social, moral and business case. After that, we examine what we mean when we say that a company is socially responsible. Finally, we present the management case and the conclusions.

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