Companies In Controversial Industries Management Essay

Is it possible for companies in controversial industries to be socially responsible if their merchandises are damaging to human existences and the environment. Many claim it is impossible for them to be socially responsible because their CSR will ever be an built-in contradiction since their concern end is at odds with the purposes of public wellness policies. However as these companies already have a bad repute, they have no demand to be associated with making good in order to hike gross revenues. Hence when they engage in CSR, it could intend that they are echt CSR practicians. This paper examines CSR of houses in intoxicant, baccy and gaming industries and determines whether they can be socially responsible through their CSR execution by utilizing Porter and Kramer ‘s construct of “ shared value ” . However while measuring any motivations companies may hold to find whether they are truly interested in CSR, it may be assumptive or even unfair to these companies to presume their motivations based on the effects of their actions. Besides, the attack used to find whether the companies have been socially responsible may be excessively narrow. Nonetheless, companies need non hold the best purposes for the society to be socially responsible.


At the reference of controversial industries such as intoxicant and baccy industries, some may be speedy to reason that these industries can non be socially responsible since they are bring forthing goods that are damaging to human existences and the environment. Even when houses in these industries pattern Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR ) , some may still happen it hard to get down sing them as being socially responsible.

The motivation behind these companies for practising CSR is besides frequently disputed over. As these houses already have a bad repute, they need non be associated with making good for consumers to demand for their merchandises, unlike inherently good companies. When these houses pattern CSR, does it so mean that they truly have the society ‘s public assistance at bosom? Or could they be making CSR as a manner of befoging their questionable concern and deriving societal credence?

Keeping these statements in head, we will now look at specific houses in intoxicant, baccy and gaming industries and their CSR patterns in peculiar to measure the possible inducements behind their CSR initiatives every bit good as to find whether they can be socially responsible through their CSR execution. In consideration of the contentions of CSR, in peculiar, the position that CSR should be conducted in such as a manner that it benefits both the society and the proprietors of the house, instead than merely one side of the parties, we will be utilizing Porter and Kramer ‘s construct of “ shared value ” to make up one’s mind whether a company is socially responsible. This requires houses to follow CSR patterns that at the same time benefit the society and the proprietors of the house, by turn toing social failings or injuries while bettering the fiscal public presentation of the house, to be socially responsible.


Alcohol is an of import hazard factor for disease. It has deductions in birth defects, instances of assault and household force, alcoholism-related maltreatment, traffic accidents, reduced workplace productiveness and lower life anticipation ( Collins & A ; Lapsley, 2008 ; WHO, 2011 ) . Consumption of intoxicant is estimated to be the American society a astonishing $ 223.5 billion/year in wellness attention, road-related accidents, reduced workplace productiveness, force and offense in 2007 ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ) . In comparing, federal intoxicant revenue enhancement gross merely amounted to $ 9.3 billion/year in 2007 ( Congressional Budget Office ) .

Case Study

Take Diageo for case. It is the universe ‘s largest manufacturer of liquors and an influential manufacturer of beer and vino. It has 59 trade names including Johnnie Walker and Guinness, two of the best-known trade names of intoxicant, under its portfolio. It generates $ 25 billion in gross revenues gross annually.

Diageo uses public awareness runs as portion of its CSR enterprise. It creates advertizements that educate imbibing responsibly, including those aimed at detering inordinate imbibing, imbibe driving every bit good as minor imbibing. However, these may hold been the company ‘s elusive efforts at short-circuiting ordinances to publicize its alcoholic drinks to consumers.

In Diageo ‘s “ the pick is yours ” run in 2008, it has besides conveyed the message that overdrinking would necessarily take to societal disapproval, such as the abashing effects of being thrown out of nines. However, the University of Bath has found that such incidents are really perceived as ‘fun ‘ by young persons ( EUCAM, 2009 ) , seting the intended consequence of the run into inquiry. Furthermore, the web site of the run highlights the Son of Diageo drinks, projecting uncertainties on whether it may hold been aimed at publicizing the company ‘s alcoholic drinks to the consumers.

The company besides has runs that are aimed at making out to bush leagues in schools. By claiming that they are lending solutions to alcohol-related jobs, the company is able to make out to a mark audience that they would otherwise non be able to make due to alcohol selling ordinances. By utilizing CSR as selling catchs to do greater net incomes, the company has failed to attest itself as a echt CSR practician who does non hold the society ‘s best involvements at bosom when transporting out CSR patterns.

However, Diageo is doing betterments to its corporate administration and has created a multi-prong scheme to take attention of the involvements of all its stakeholders. This twelvemonth, it has reduced 9.4 % of C emanation in malice of its increased production and has increased H2O efficiency by 20 % in Uganda through its execution of better H2O recovery systems. In add-on, it has organized internal DRINKiQ workshops to educate employees on responsible imbibing. It besides conducts independent audits on its providers with issues associating to wellness, safety and hygiene, working hours and rewards. It besides provides a confidential whistleblowing service, SpeakUp, to let anyone who has come across a breach of its Code to describe it. This ensures that Diageo ‘s Code of Conduct is purely adhered to.

Looking at the assorted Diageo ‘s CSR enterprises and traveling back to Porter and Kramer ‘s construct of “ shared value ” , Diageo would be considered a socially responsible company. Through its public consciousness runs that at the same time discourage inordinate imbibing and publicize its trade name of alcoholic drinks, the company is able to cut down the social injury of its merchandises and better the profitableness of the house at the same clip, although the effectivity and the intended consequence of the runs may be questionable. The execution of better H2O recovery systems could besides assist the company salvage cost. These show that Diageo is a socially responsible company.


The wellness effects of baccy have long been known. Smoking in peculiar is a major hazard factor for bosom onslaughts, shots, chronic clogging pneumonic bosom disease, high blood pressure, peripheral vascular disease and malignant neoplastic disease. Each twelvemonth, 6 million deceases are caused by the inspiration of baccy fume. The sarcasm becomes outstanding when baccy becomes the individual greatest cause of preventable decease globally. With merchandises deemed universally harmful allowed for sale, can tobacco companies be socially responsible?

Case Study

Altria Group Inc. is one of the largest baccy companies in the universe. It is a innovator of the baccy corporate duty motion in the late ninetiess. Recently, it has come out tops in societal duty rankings, puting 15th on CR Magazine ‘s 100 best corporate citizens list and 4th in Fortune magazine.

Altria has implemented a comprehensive “ corporate duty ” plan aiming nine specific issues: baccy merchandise direction, selling patterns, battling illegal trade, environmental direction, sustainable agribusiness, supply concatenation duty, employees, puting in companies and administration and conformity. Despite the multi-faceted attack, its CSR patterns have been a topic of changeless unfavorable judgment, with critics oppugning their motives behind the Acts of the Apostless of duty. Most argument centres on baccy merchandise direction and selling patterns.

Over the old ages, Altria has sought to pull off its baccy merchandise issues and selling patterns every bit ethically as possible. They voluntarily communicate wellness effects with transparence, including wellness warnings on all its bundles and web sites. They undertake research and development in developing merchandises with lower hazards and besides actively spouse and collaborate with authoritiess in support of surcease. In selling patterns, they voluntarily limit their range of selling to unintended audiences. Based on their actions, we can see the moral responsibility that Altria has undertaken as a company.

Critics nevertheless argue against the motive of their CSR, comparing it to the lavation of “ blood money ” . Some even argue that it is used as a blade and shield against merchandise issues ( Friedman, 2009 ) . Yet it can besides be seen as an “ expiation of wickedness ” . The term “ blood money ” seems to convey a signifier of coercion or illegal agencies to derive, yet from how Altria patterns its CSR, we can clearly see their entree to liability, transparence and the absence of coercion. Ironically, Altria has been shiping on enterprises to deter people from smoke, which is counterintuitive of a profit-oriented concern theoretical account. This seems to foreground the attempt Altria has undertaken as a “ moral responsibility ” to making right what it has done incorrectly, clearly carry throughing Kantian and even virtue moralss, and is a show of an ethical pattern of societal duty.

Critics besides argue that CSR allows baccy companies to better their image, leveraging CSR to add value to the otherwise “ evil ” company, thereby reasoning that such a motive may be of a selfish cause. However, unlike other corporations with the freedom of broad selling patterns, baccy companies including Altria undergo some of the strictest ordinances on advertisement and selling. In fact, the company is making advertizements that devalue its merchandises, basically diminishing the company ‘s value farther. There seems to be no touchable benefit for their bottom line with the execution of CSR ; alternatively, a greater sum of losingss are being incurred. This therefore farther support the ethical motive behind their CSR patterns, as non much value can be leveraged off CSR for the benefit of the company ‘s overall bottom-line.

It is apparent that a baccy company ‘s CSR does carry through Porter and Kramer ‘s construct of “ shared value ” for both the company and society. However, it is more of a transactional value instead than a transformational one ( Palazzo & A ; Richter, 2005 ) , after all if baccy companies truly want to alter society, the greatest impact will come from its voluntary death. Therefore, it is justified for baccy companies to make CSR, but it will ne’er be able to transform or “ make good ” itself.


Casinos, like baccy and intoxicant, have contributed to a scope of societal and economic injuries to the society ( Hancock, Schellinck & A ; Schrans, 2008 ) , with the most evident societal impact being the addition in job gaming. It has been estimated that 1.2 % of U.S. grownups are pathological gamblers and another 1.5 % are job gamblers at some point of their lives, with the likeliness duplicating for people populating within 50 stat mis of a casino ( Community Research Partners, 2010 ) . Problem chancing impacts people ‘s lives in many negative and eventful ways ; this includes unemployment, hapless physical and mental wellness, risked societal relationships every bit good as increased offenses ( Community Research Partners, 2010 ) . Large amounts of societal costs, including those spent on bankruptcies, imprisonments and divorces ; hold to be spent every twelvemonth as a consequence of these impacts.

Case Study

Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the largest gambling company in the universe with $ 8.83 billion in gross in 2011. The company has carried out CSR extensively. It launched its comprehensive sustainability plan, the “ CodeGreen ” , in 2004 and has displayed a strong committedness to accomplishing a wide set of sustainability ends for C emanations decrease, energy preservation, H2O ingestion every bit good as waste recycling. Harrah ‘s Lake Tahoe Casino and Harveys Lake Tahoe Casino, two of the company ‘s casinos, have received the esteemed Gold Certification from Travelife, a enfranchisement organic structure that recognizes companies within the touristry industry that adopt sustainable patterns. Merely four U.S.-based hotels out of 400 worldwide are Gold Certified in 2013 and three of them are Caesars belongingss ( Stevens, 2013 ) .

Besides their committedness to responsible stewardship of the environment, the company besides has codifications of committedness to handle all their employees with regard and to supply them with good calling chances, to advance responsible gambling every bit good as to assist do all their communities healthy and vivacious topographic points to populate and work. To foster responsible gambling, the company merely allows grownups to see their casinos, trains their employees on how to offer aid to clients who may necessitate it and provides toll-free helpline Numberss for job gaming. They have besides adopted a policy to donate portion of the company net incomes to community and charitable causes ( Caesars Entertainment ) .

As casinos basically offer merchandises that have adverse societal and economic effects, it may be unneeded or even irrelevant for the company to carry on CSR to look selfless to the populace. This may therefore imply that any CSR attempts from such companies could merely be echt. However, companies presents are progressively expected to encompass wider duties and functions and adhere to greater ethical, legal and responsible criterions. Companies that fail to make so are found to have weakened public support and less positive positions from the media ( Yani-de-Soriano, Javed & A ; Yousafzai, 2012 ) . Therefore, it remains ill-defined as to whether Caesars Entertainment Corporation is a echt CSR practician, or that they have conducted CSR to derive societal credence.

Caesars Entertainment ‘s “ CodeGreen ” sustainability plan is a great illustration of making a “ shared value ” through CSR. Through perpetrating to responsible stewardship of the environment, the company strives to conserve energy, save H2O and recycle waste. These are environmental-friendly patterns that besides bring about cost-savings for the company. While non all the company ‘s CSR enterprises, such as those targeted at advancing responsible gambling, straight conveying about economic benefits to the shareholders of the company, they can assist to derive societal credence of the populace, increasing gross revenues and thereby giving rise to indirect economic benefits. Since Caesars Entertainment ‘s CSR patterns create “ shared value ” for both the society and the proprietors of the house harmonizing to the Porter and Kramer ‘s theoretical account, it is a socially responsible company.


In measuring the several companies on whether they are echt practicians of CSR given that there do non look to be a demand for them to look socially responsible, we have looked at how conducting CSR could profit them to measure the motivations that they might hold in put to deathing their CSR enterprises. However, it may be assumptive or even unfair to these companies to presume their motivations based on the effects of their actions. The companies may so hold been echt practicians of CSR, even if their CSR initiatives turn out to profit the company every bit good.

The attack that has been used to set up whether the particular companies have been socially responsible may besides hold been excessively narrow. In using Porter and Kramer ‘s construct of “ shared value ” , our standards for finding whether the companies are socially responsible merely lies on whether the company ‘s CSR initiatives profit both the shareholders and the other stakeholders of the house ; nevertheless, we did non use the theoretical account to take into history the built-in nature of the company – that their merchandises are damaging to the society – in finding whether they are socially responsible. As a consequence, all the three houses examined can easy be classified as being socially responsible. On the other manus, to take into consideration the built-in nature of the company, which could merely make value for the proprietors of the houses at best, would intend that these companies could ne’er be socially responsible so long as they continue to run, harmonizing to Porter and Kramer ‘s theoretical account of “ shared value ” .


Corporate societal duty is a complex and combative topic that many concerns have to turn to and perpetrate their resources to implement. When companies whose merchandises are damaging to the society pattern CSR, their motivations are frequently questioned and their ability to be socially responsible may still be contested. However, as have been discussed and elaborated on above, companies do non necessitate to hold the best purposes for the society to be socially responsible. In fact, companies who are non echt practicians of CSR, but have both the house and the society at bosom when practising CSR are the 1s who are the most socially responsible. Finally, we conclude that companies whose merchandises are damaging to the society can be socially responsible companies.