The need for organizations to undertake socially responsible activities has been discussed in literature and has been a topic of academic study for a number of years. The main objective of business is to produce the goods and services that society needs. But at the same time there is a mutual dependence between business and society so as to have a stable environment with an educated workforce. A business or enterprise only contributes fully to a society if it is efficient, profitable and socially responsible. That is the basic idea of CSR is that business and society are interwoven rather than distinct entities (Galbreath, 2006).
There are various definitions of CSR. The ethical behaviour of a company towards society, management acting in a responsible manner its relationships with other stakeholders who have a genuine interest in the business and CSR is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while enhancing the quality of life of its employees and their families as well as of the local community and generally towards the society at large' are some of these definitions.
The areas touched upon by advocates of CSR includes issues such as employee relations, corporate ethics, plant closures, human rights, community relations and the environment. According to CSR Europe, a membership organisation of large companies across Europe, in their guidelines emphasize on the following areas: community, workplace (employees), environment, marketplace (customers, suppliers), ethics and human rights.
Whether or not business should undertake CSR depends upon the financial strength of the company that is adopted. Those who adopt the neo-classical view of the company would believe that the only social responsibilities to be adopted by business are the provision of employment and payment of taxes. A different view of the company following the behavioural theorists might look at corporate social activity from a viewpoint that looks at the political aspects and non-economic influences on managerial behaviour.
Some of the key CSR principle areas that have been cited in recent times are:
To carry out organizational functions ethically and with honesty.
To treat all employees fairly and equally so that they become efficient.
To help protect the environment for future generations.
To be concerned about the surrounding community.
To respect basic human rights.
2.1. Stakeholder Theories
The Stakeholder Theory of a company is used identify those groups to whom the firm should be responsible. The responsibility includes a responsibility for the natural environment. Decisions should be taken in the wider interest and not just the narrow shareholder interest. The company can be defined as a series of connections of stakeholders that the managers of the firm try to manage. That is any group or individual who can have an impact or is affected by the achievement of the company's goals (Clarkson, 1995). Stakeholders are normally categorised into primary and secondary stakeholders. Primary stakeholders are the ones whose participation is vital for an organization to sustain as a growing concern. They include the likes of employees, suppliers, investors, customers and shareholders together with what is