To what extent is corporate social responsibility a source of competitive advantage
Suffering from air pollution and water contamination, citizens gradually demand businesses to take action on social responsibility. As a result, corporate social responsibility (CSR), which came into general use in the late 1960s and early 1970s (Harvard Kennedy School,2008), has become a vital portion in business model. There are a large number of definitions on corporate social responsibility. According to Harvard Kennedy School (2008), CSR is a procedure targeting at embrace responsibility for the company's actions and inspire a positive impact through its activities on the employees, environment, communities, consumers, as well as stakeholders. It seems that CSR is balance between positive social effect and business processes. With the development of CSR, more recent definitions focus mainly on the impact of how the companies manage their core business. In other words, the idea whether CSR serves as a resource of competitive advantage has emerged. In this essay, the author believes that the CSR indeed brings financial profits to the business and is overall beneficial to fashion business development.
In the recent years, most high-street brands, such as Primark and Top Shop, including some luxury fashion brands, have worked on sustainability reports and corporate responsibility (CSR) for the sake of their long-term growth. This study will focus on the influence of CSR in the fashion business and discuss the issues mentioned above. Additionally, based on the aspects of CSR definition, this essay is divided into three dimensions, including environment, staff welfare and community in order to discuss the relationship between CSR and competitive advantages in fashion industry.
The first dimension is an environmental issue, the most essential part in CSR. As we all...