Book Review - Corporate Social Responsibility and Globalisation: An Action Plan for Business

Remember the days of the ruthless, tycoon business leaders out for world domination and unimaginable wealth? Okay, so we guess some of those do still exist, but today's CEO has way more to contend with than just profits, mergers and stock reports. Workers, board members and customers are all becoming more vocal about their interest in seeing a company balance an affordable product with not depleting the world of its natural resources or forcing workers to live on $1 a day. What's a global tycoon to do?
How can a company that expects to turn over record profits every quarter willingly choose to pay more for resources and offer health benefits and a livable wage to employees? Well for the company today, any leader not willing to consider those factors will risk taking a hit at the checkout counter. In Corporate Social Responsibility and Globalisation, by Jacqueline Cramer, the author reports on the findings of 20 diverse companies that participated in a 3-year Dutch program to incorporate 'Corporate Social Responsibility' into business practices and offers strategies for companies interested in starting down this path. Think: Richard Branson's offer to save the world from global warming, but this is an extreme example and we digress.

Topics to consider include how to consider cultural differences and customs when doing business in another country, and how to encourage social responsibility along your supply chain. In addition, some of the obvious topics include environmental responsibility, but less obvious areas which were considered include openness within the company, and corruption policies. To begin, a company is instructed to conduct a survey among employees throughout the company to determine where the company stands and where it is perceived to stand on social responsibility. This then offers a starting point for what a company is excelling in, and where more work is needed. Don't worry, companies involved in the Dutch study offer tips on how to focus your questionnaire to ensure you get the information you are interested in.

This book is a resource for any company owner, large or small, interested in doing right by their employees and customers, but unsure where to start or what 'corporate social responsibility' even means. Companies can identify where they may need improvement, without opening themselves up to criticism. Granted, no book can cover everything you will encounter along your path to improving your business practices, but this book does offer direct interviews with the 20 participants, templates for designing action plans, and the future of corporate social responsibility.

For more on this book, check out Amazon.com or go to GreenLeaf Publishing. GreenLeaf Publishing offers a range of books, magazines and articles that focus on "corporate responsibility, business ethics, environmental policy and management, future business strategy and practice and sustainable development."

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