Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not a once-off project. Instead, it is an ethical approach that guides all the company’s decisions. It is a long-term commitment by the business, to manage its processes in a way that minimises its negative impact, while maximising its positive impact on society.

Therefore, CSR encourages companies to operate in ways that serve their own interests, as well as those of the communities that they affect.

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What are the Differences Between CSR and CSI?

You can learn more about the differences between CSR and Corporate Social Investment (CSI) on the article ‘Definition of CSR, Social Responsibility and Corporate Citizenship‘. If you would like to see examples of CSI and CSR in real business, you can read ‘Real World Examples of CSI and CSR: Google and GrandWest‘.

Below, are simplified points that will help you when preparing for you Business Studies NSC examinations.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

  1. All internal practices: CSR aims to manage all internal business practices in a way that considers the interests of all stakeholders and the environment.
  2. Strategies for responsibility: CSR refers to strategies that companies use to take more responsibility for their impact on society and the environment.
  3. Improves quality of life: CSR intends to improve the quality of life for business stakeholders. These include employees, customers, and communities.
  4. Not a once-off project: CSR is not a once-off project. It is a continuous practice that should be embedded in all areas of the business.
  5. Increase profits: Because CSR is embedded in daily business practices, it should improve the company’s image while also increasing profits.

Corporate Social Investment (CSI)

  1. Benefits community and environment: CSI involves companies actively giving their time, money, skills, and expertise to benefit the community and environment.
  2. Not for profits: CSI refers to projects which are done by companies to benefit society, without the intention of generating profits.
  3. Outside business practices: CSI programmes are outside of a company’s ordinary business practices and are largely developmental in their approach.
  4. Developmental in nature: CSI projects are developmental in nature. They are meant to develop or uplift communities.
  5. Relevant to community needs: CSI programmes are intended to uplift communities and should therefore be relevant to the needs of the communities.

Exam questions for the Differences Between CSR and CSI

Typical Exam Questions for the Differences Between CSR and CSI

  1. Distinguish between Corporate Social Investment and Corporate Social Responsibility.
  2. Describe differences between CSR and CSI.
  3. Differentiate between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Social Investment (CSI).
  4. Critically analyse the differences between CSI and CSR.

During your Business Studies exam, if you are asked to tabulate the answer, DO SO! Write your answers in a table and avoid losing marks unnecessarily.

Typically, each point listed, in a full, descriptive sentence, counts for TWO (2) marks. If you are preparing to write an essay on CSR, have THREE (3) differences prepared. In other words, prepare to write THREE points about CSR that contrast with THREE point about CSI.

Other Articles Related to This

To read the other articles related to CSR and CSI, you can click on the following links:

Test Yourself

You can download the flash cards below to help you with your NSC exam revision. You will find more on my Facebook page: Nonjabulo SA. Share them with your friends and test each other online.

1. Distinguish between Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Exam practice question, differentiate between csr and corporate social investment csi

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