Shareholders expect a certain level of return on their investment, and until the late twentieth century, this has been the accepted corporate model. Only in the past several years, however, has corporate social responsibility (CSR) become a measurement of how a business affects stakeholders.
Leading organizations know that they must not only meet the bottom line and expectations of shareholders, but must also answer to the desires of consumers, employees, vendors and the local community. As well, the social shift has created additional pressure on organizations to ensure that efforts to achieve financial success in the eyes of stakeholders will not adversely impact the environment or society at large. Ethical standards, as well business standards, apply.
As business leaders plot a course for their organizations, operating in accordance with international business standards, the challenge becomes finding the balance that manages stakeholder expectations while still delivering ROI to shareholders. Building awareness of CSR in an organization is a means of achieving both goals.