Dina Jamali and Ramez Mirshak (2007) initially discuss CSR by using the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) definition. CSR is defined as “the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development, working with employees, their families and the local communities. ” (WBCSD, 2001).

A more succinct interpretation of this at its core is “that business corporations have an obligation towards meeting the needs of a wider array of stakeholders. ” (Clarkson 1995; Waddock et al. , 2002) The issue of CSR is a very important theme in the context of this topic.Jamali and Mirshak (2007) examine the effects that CSR has from transforming the theory into practice in the context of a developing country (Lebanon).

Their findings convey an altruistic concern for that developing country as the CSR undertaken has been deemed as voluntary or philanthropic in nature. Further to this a “consistent theme emerged, emphasizing the organic link between an organization and its local environment and the perceived need for social interventions that would benefit the society generally and local stakeholders more specifically.” Thus it can be seen that in developing countries the emphasis on CSR is greater in relation specifically improving the welfare of the society. At the very least in the example of Lebanon it was the intention of the organizations as illustrated by a Manager from Audi stating, “We hold strong to our civic responsibility and we strive to make a visible difference to our community. ” However, as this was an interview this statement could be interpreted to have more with promoting a favorable image (through public relations rather than marketing) than of any substantial truth.

CSR even though it may be employed well can be influenced by the market. Breena E. Coates (2007) examines the effect that the market has on CSR through banking and investment policies. Further to this she examines the various roles that business has undertaken and which are of most importance.

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The initial role that is presented is that of the traditional ‘business is business’ which foremost links to Adam Smith’s “invisible hand of capitalism” to allow the general well-being of society to follow as a “positive externality of the firm’s wealth creation activities.” This is also linked to Friedman’s “principal objective of a business entity” to “conduct the business in accordance with [owners’] desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible, while conforming to the basic rules of society, both those embodied in the law and those embodied in ethical custom. ” The next role that is presented is that of “Self-serve Then Serve Other”.

This is where the previous role is too extreme and as such “companies need to be proactive, and go beyond economic efficiency considerations to solving the problems of societies in which they operate, as long as they continue to serve the interests of the owners of the enterprise. ” The last role of Business that Coates identifies is that ‘Business is the Social Responsibility’. This is where the business’ intention to exist is to serve the social good and the “products and services, and the economic gain obtained from so doing, are for the enhancing of the societies in which they operate.” Regardless of the ideology under which a business operates there have been developed in the recent past banking and investment strategies to promote a “green” corporate culture. First of the corporate strategies considered is Equator Principles and “Green Banking.

” This is where in 2003 leading banks from countries around the world adopted principles that were “a set of values to manage the social and environmental externalities related to financing development projects around the world.” The 2nd of the strategies examined is the Participatory Grassroots Lending: Microcredit Systems. Microcredit is where small loans are provided to poor people without collateral. From this system of microcredits the poor were able to build up home-based or industry projects that would generate income so that they would able to move away from poverty into prosperity. Another strategy was socially responsible investing policies i. e.

“Based on a client’s need companies have been creating shield mechanisms to blot out negative schemes, such as investment in gambling, etc.” Or on the other hand employing “positive shields” to encourage “investments in ventures that display socially or ecologically relevant standards. ” The last of the strategies that Coates’ examines is socially responsible index providers i. e. where index providers “become involved with providing investor’s knowledge about socially responsible investing.

” From these investment and banking strategies it is clear that at some level there has been a commitment toward others rather than a trend toward the ‘business is business’ role.