Among the many topics covered by CSR and sustainability, the subjects currently run the risk of being trapped in their own agenda. This is neither a bad thing, nor is it contemptible; on the contrary. Much of their impact on business management has to do with developing practical tools to further develop and refine how these issues are dealt with. From accountability to philanthropy; from corporate volunteering to reconciliation; from environmental management to the requirements of the supply chain; from human rights policies to incentive policies and careers criteria; from... let's leave it there, shall we - Because, in the end, what is becoming increasingly clear is that changes can be made ¿ and significant changes at that - in many of these areas without altering the entrepreneurial spirit, the company vision or the frame of reference based on which their priorities are set. In other words, it is possible to have a company policy that talks about sustainability and CSR which, deep down, is in fact little more than a schedule adapted to new social demands, but one that is managed from a totally conventional corporate mentality. So the real debate, sometimes blocked by the CSR and sustainability rhetoric itself, is the debate as to the purpose of the company: who it is serving; what its contribution is; how it is governed; how it assumes the challenges facing society; how it responds to these same challenges. It is no longer merely a question of impacts and business practices. It is about the place and contribution of businesses in the emerging new society: A society that cannot emerge without companies; but one which may not be able to emerge depending on the dominant and winning business model.

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Lozano Soler, Josep M

What companies does the world need? What world do companies build?

2013
Among the many topics covered by CSR and sustainability, the subjects currently run the risk of being trapped in their own agenda. This is neither a bad thing, nor is it contemptible; on the contrary. Much of their impact on business management has to do with developing practical tools to further develop and refine how these issues are dealt with. From accountability to philanthropy; from corporate volunteering to reconciliation; from environmental management to the requirements of the supply chain; from human rights policies to incentive policies and careers criteria; from... let's leave it there, shall we - Because, in the end, what is becoming increasingly clear is that changes can be made ¿ and significant changes at that - in many of these areas without altering the entrepreneurial spirit, the company vision or the frame of reference based on which their priorities are set. In other words, it is possible to have a company policy that talks about sustainability and CSR which, deep down, is in fact little more than a schedule adapted to new social demands, but one that is managed from a totally conventional corporate mentality. So the real debate, sometimes blocked by the CSR and sustainability rhetoric itself, is the debate as to the purpose of the company: who it is serving; what its contribution is; how it is governed; how it assumes the challenges facing society; how it responds to these same challenges. It is no longer merely a question of impacts and business practices. It is about the place and contribution of businesses in the emerging new society: A society that cannot emerge without companies; but one which may not be able to emerge depending on the dominant and winning business model.
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What companies does the world need? What world do companies build?
Lozano Soler, Josep M
In The shared value debate: Academic visions on corporate sustainability
Milan (Italy): Edizioni Egea, 2013
p. 47 - 54

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