Friday July 31, 2009 | Corporate Social Responsibility

July 30, 2009 at 8:23 am | Posted in Coming Up | 6 Comments

Companies large and small in Charlotte and nationwide, are making moves toward social responsibility in their businesses. Proponents of corporate social responsibility say there is a strong business case for operating in a way that focuses on ethical standards, self-regulation and sustainability, but does it detract from the fundamental, bottom line role of the business? We’ll talk about what some companies are doing to promote the ideal of sustainability and self-regulation and whether these practices are proving to be successful.
Stephen Jordan – VP, Business Civic Leadership Center, US Chamber of Commerce
Ruth Kinzey – Corporate Reputation Strategist, Founder of The Kinzey Company

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  1. Mike,

    Could you please have your guests comment how the enactment of Sarbanes Oxley has affected small to mid-sized companies and what requirements are necessary to be in compliance with that regulation?


  2. Mike-
    My daughter works for Union Square Hospitality Group in NYC. It is a fairly small corporation, but the president of the company, Danny Meyer, models and encourages community involvement from all his employees. I am so proud of my daughter for the work she has had the opportunity to do through her workplace.

  3. My husband and I have been in dispute with Bank of America since March of this year reagrding a $14,000 charge based on a contract that was fraudulently misrepresented by another company. Bank of America refuses to work with us saying it is not their problem. This company not only grossly misrepresented a Bank of America credit card, they intentionally withheld the correct APR amd other terms from us at time of sale. If we knew the correct terms at the time of sale we never would have signed anything. Now Bank of America says a “contract is a contract.” Our consumer rights are being violated again and again.

  4. Good piece, Mike. Your callers made it clear that CSR has been around for decades, and many companies are making positive contributions in communities. It would be interesting to see you do a follow-up story discussing what’s next for business and CSR in a post-recession economy. I liked where the discussion was going as far as new innovative business models that do well and do good – like Method cleaners… thank you!

  5. I think the general perception of corporate giants has been greatly altered by what’s transpired in the last 3 years or so. Films, television, and other media generally portray all giant companies as a great evil.

    This doesn’t go without mentioning that most people I know that work for corporate giants (whose name I won’t mention) are assimilated into a culture that requires one who works for them to be available 24 hours a day, and ready to leave town on a moments notice. The culture on the inside of the corporation is one that requires a military-style committment if anyone is going to be successful. I think what is at issue here is not what corporations do for the community but what they don’t do for their workers. Sub-par health insurance, long hours, and pay that hasn’t kept up with the COLA or inflation. This leads to less time with one’s family, which already strains a family unit that barely gets by as it is. Throwing a company picnic once a year won’t solve the aforementioned problems.

    Of course, we’re apathetic as workers so we pretty much have an attitude of “well, at least they’re giving me this x benefit” that we don’t bother to demand better of the way corporations and companies treat their workers.

  6. I wonder if JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs “relativize” the CSR field (by their continued bonuses and risk-taking after the bailout).

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