Part of it can be external, with us investing in causes that we think are appropriate. Another way to do it is through values and codes of ethics.
A question that has troubled many people since the dawn of time is how should a person lead a good, ethical life? Furthermore, how should a business behave in an ethical manner? There are as many theories as there are grains of sand on the beach, but a few ideas over the years have been more popular than others. Some people are born into religions where these questions are answered for them. They are able to know from an young age what their god tells them is the right thing to do and what is the wrong thing. Others question their faith and try to revise their morality, bringing in parts of other religions or philosophies. Still others have no real faith and try to build a moral foundation out of their personal experience adding rules and content to it as the years go by. In the world of today we see a new strain of thinking: the professional code of conduct. This is the form of CSR that may be most cost effective to a company. It is easy to impose, sounds good to the public, and costs a company little. Plus, in the end it will pay dividends. This code would set out what members can and cannot do. But not all codes are created equal. Some are exhaustive, others merely illustrative. Some make suggestions, other state explicitly.
However, it is important to be aware of the counterargument that exists to all CSR strategies. There are many unintended consequences for those who push the Corporate Social Responsibility agenda. It does not always lead to the results that a company might expect. Let businesses be businesses and let charities be charities. It is simply too confusing and leads to too many unintended consequences for things to be set up in any other manner. The bottom of a company sometimes falls out there: there are no sure