During my Masters, one of my major areas of interest was Corporate Social and Environmental Accountability, which opened my eyes to the true untapped potential of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). When implemented shrewdly and strategically, CSR must take into account the competitive context of each individual business to specifically tackle those issues for which it is particularly well suited and aim to maximize synergy between the business and the greater society within which they are embedded.
CSR in Bangladesh is usually implemented in a rather superficial manner wherein the activities undertaken are not strategically linked to the business organization’s activities and operations but are limited to isolated cases of corporate philanthropy with little planning with regard to the maximization of positive impacts.
Businesses must actively work to identify how their activities may be aligned to maximize positive social and environmental outcomes through interventions that are cost-effective and in their long term best interest. I highly recommend the work of Michael Porter and Mark Kramer to anyone who is interested in making the most of their company’s CSR programs.