Social responsibility and business ethics in the modern view assumes that the problem of the enterprise is to meet the needs, requirements and interests of consumers more effectively and efficiently than competitors, so that to maintain and strengthen the welfare of consumers and society as a whole.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the content of social responsibility of organizations, to define the main reasons why organizations become socially responsible, and what benefits it brings to them. As an example, it is necessary to consider LG Electronics, which is one of the most socially responsible companies, which realizes many social programs in various countries around the world.
1. Corporate social responsibility as one of the key aspects of modern business
Social responsibility can be understood as “the obligation of commercial or industrial organization to pursue long-term socially useful purposes, or it is a certain level of voluntary recall on social problems of the organization.(Visser et al., 2008)
Social responsibility is a voluntary obligation of business to pursue policies, make decisions and follow such activities that are desirable in terms of goals and values of the society. In other words, a kind of social contract between business, consumers and government, which purpose is to promote the good of all society. Such responsibility activities may include environmental protection, strict control of the quality of goods and services, relationships with employees, participation in various charitable programs. Managers regularly have to make decisions related to the problem of social responsibility in various areas: charity, pricing, relationships between workers, natural resource conservation, product quality and safety. (Kotler 2008)
There is a view that commercial and industrial enterprises and organizations can and should have a so-called social conscience, and should bear responsibility before the society for the simple reason that responsibly serves their own interests. (Mann et al., 2006) However, it gives business and a significant advantage. Numerous studies confirm the positive impact of corporate social performance on the economic performance of the organization. (Fombrun, 2000; Grayson et al., 2004)
So it is possible to point some benefits of social responsibility for business:
1. Favorable long-term business prospects.
2. Moral and ethical obligations.
3. Creating a favorable reputation in the community.
4. Improvement of the environment.
5. Reduce government regulation.
6. Increased income for owners (shareholders) of the enterprise, as social responsibility of companies sooner or later increases the price of their shares.
For these and some other reasons many large companies are committed to social responsibility.
2. Corporate social responsibility of LG Electronics – guidelines and principles
In this paper it is necessary to consider the CSR of LG company, which has a wide range of social programs in various fields. According to the official information (www.lg.com), LG is a responsible member of the international community: the company develops environmentally friendly products, launch numerous charitable programs and provide financial support. The company has social projects in many countries around the world. These are programs of assistance in health and medicine (for example, blood donation), sponsorship program to support talented young people, to support the development of sports, arts and culture and much more.
The company follows a strategy of sustainable development, combining technical innovation and environmental concerns that are helping improve the quality of life. There are several programs it supports:
1) The program to combat climate change and reducing energy consumption.
LG Electronics pays much attention to active measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the harmful effects on the environment. That is why the company regularly develops and implements a variety of strategies and technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its plants, as well as improving energy efficiency of their products. ( www.lg.com)
2) LG Electronics enhances the learning environment for children and youth from low-income families around the world, and also supports projects aimed at improving health and helping the victims of natural disasters. LG has number of programs for children in Vietnam, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan. Also in collaboration with the UN World Food Programme (WFP), LG conducts annual events and activities aimed at combating poverty and hunger in Africa (Somalia peninsula), in particular to fight with hunger in Kenya and Ethiopia. In addition, it provides help to people affected by natural disasters in Latin American countries such as Peru, Panama, Mexico and Brazil.( www.lg.com)
The company is considering such activities as integral components of an overall strategy and current business activities. Thus, LG understands that corporate social responsibility is company’s voluntary contribution to the development of social, economic and environmental spheres of society that brings positive results.