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Responsabilité sociale des entreprises et éthique des affaires (document en anglais)

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For several years, many companies considered the business ethics only in administrative terms of respect for legal standards and for adhesion to rules and internal procedures. Today situation is different. More and more attention is worldwide given to the question of the business ethics and many companies realized that if they want to succeed they have to win the respect and confidence of their customer. So we ask companies to improve their business practices, in the goal of leading a good ethic manner. Companies have to be responsible and answer of their actions with the request increased by their consumers.

So it is good to wonder how a company included its social responsibility and its ethic through its strategy.

In a first point we will define and discuss business ethics and corporate social responsibility, then we will analyze the shareholder and stakeholder perspectives on corporate social responsibility, finally in a last part we will evaluate if the purpose of an organization should be complex and multifaceted or simplified and focused on one area.

First of all, for companies, an approach of sustainable development means looking for a performance not only financial, but also social and environmental: it is what we call the social responsibility. It is an essential domain concerning the strategy of a company. The strategic book Define corporate social responsibility as “the commitment by organizations to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as the local community and society at large.”

According to managers, it’s not only for ethics reasons that they consider Corporate Social Responsibility but also for strategic reason. It also increases the profit. For example a study in Germany shows that 64% of consumers are ready to pay a little more for a product associated with a social cause. And 61% of them would change suppliers if the other one was associated with a good ethic. (Thomson and Pringles, 2000)

To have a corporate social responsibility add some value for the company’s image. It creates a difference to differ with the eyes of the investor and consumer. Then it reduces the risk that can meet a company, by becoming known the ethics position and transparent of the company in this stakeholder.

Business ethic and CSR are joined into the organization of the company, of this fact result the company’s balance sheet social. It became one management tool, combining qualitative and quantitative data on the politics administrative, on the relations company/environment, which can be compared, analyzed to the needs of the internal users. It’s a tool of help and control for the decision-making and the adoption of strategy.

This reality make the leaders think that it’s possible to get a good part of the customers conscious and sensitive to the ethical and social concepts, by consciousness citizen or by objectives appropriate for the company.

Leader of company have ethical obligations to their stakeholder and shareholder. Let us remind that shareholders are “someone who owns share of stock in a corporation or mutual fund. For corporation, along with the ownership come a right to declared dividends and the right to vote on certain company matters, including the board of direction; also called stockholder.” (Encyclopedia), and stakeholder “a person, group or organization that has direct or indirect stake in an organization because it can affect or be affected by the organization’s actions, objectives and policies” (Encyclopedia).

The social responsibility of company is to reconcile the contradictory interest of the group which is in relation with her. Company has to adjust its objectives to give them an equitable part of satisfaction. She has to pay attention in his shareholder and stakeholder perspectives. In fact we can see two perspectives.

First, stakeholder consisted of the internal actors (employed, syndicates…), partners (subcontractors, distributing, suppliers) and financial actor (shareholder).

Economically the employed want a more just payment and a social equity. The expectations are variable according to the age, to the level of study, the equipment, the sex. It’s necessary to take into account all the profiles, in connection with the human resources to give to each the elements for which he waits. It’s necessary to make live the internal actors for the implementation of a CSR politics, by leading consultations, also by developing formations.

Syndicates wait for a justice and a social equity, which will have to be concretely handled by calculated data in CSR reports.

The subcontractors wait and it’s logical, a fair payment and


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