Case ID: R0612D     Solution ID: 30258

Strategy and Society The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility Case Solution


The article attempts to provide a meaningful illustration by providing a concise overview of the article’s main concepts along with their relevant practical applications and also suggests user friendly reading materials for further enhancement. In recent times companies are now bound to act socially responsible and due to increasing pressure exerted by the government, activists and the media they have to become accountable for the social consequences lead by their respective operations. Consequently, companies have created a separate division by the name of Corporate Social Responsibility, made entirely to serve the purpose of fulfilling the social welfare of the communities. However many experts believe that CSR has only lead to counterproductive activities. The first reason being is that businesses are forced to amalgamate with the society, which does not leads to the best results since both are of a very independent nature and objective. Secondly in order to earn the reputation of being socially responsible companies are persistently bringing ideas that are only promoting their brand, yet have are having less or no commercial viability when it comes to the poor society. This eventually leads to a waste of opportunities, when the intense pressure on the company’s lead to waste of resources instead of meaningful contributions to the community. Only when companies start streamlining the CSR activities in the same framework as they do for their own brands and manufacturing, this will open some unique platforms for the organization through which they will realize that this is much more than an incurred cost, waste of resources or a charitable act. CSR can be shaped to create a win-win situation for both the parties is what that the article suggests. Examples can be extracted from Toyota, Volvo and Whole Foods Market have done, who have invested into CSR as an opportunity to innovate and earn a competitive edge in the market. Michael Porter and Mark Kramer shared the fundamental ways through which the society and corporate institutes can develop gains for both the parties. Companies can expand through promotions while the community can take advantage of the entrepreneurial opportunities created by the companies. They have further thrown light on the topic emphasizing, how important it is for organizations to become accountable for their actions on the community and in what effective ways can they build upon a relation providing useful in take for both the parties. Competitive success can only be brought into existence, only when companies start perceiving CSR as not damage control or PR handling technique but as a needed operation. When companies have developed the financial muscle, it naturally becomes their responsibility. The HBR Spotlight on making a real Difference gives a detail illustration answering the following questions: in what ways should managers manage CSR? Why the investment of billions of dollars into CSR does not create the intended outcomes? The article provides useful guidelines along these parameters.

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