Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) — a Historical and Sociological Perspective and Discussion

“I thought I knew all about CSR, but today’s session broke new ground for me.

As part of the Meet a Diplomat speaker series, Embassy Financial Management Officer Rich Shields took the audience on a thought-provoking journey. Mr. Shields challenged the audience to think of CSR as a gradual and natural evolution in a free market economy. This type of economy fosters an open business mentality, striking a balance between profitability for shareholders and respect for the different stakeholders involved in the process.  The discussion following Mr. Shields’ presentation touched on how CSR grew into a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model and how this growth finds its roots in the age of reason.  The audience examined CSR from historical, sociological, legal, and environmental perspectives, raising the issues of group and individual responsibilities when choosing to embark (or not) on a business venture.