Jul 29, 2017

Understanding Socially Responsible Management

*Disclaimer: Please, make sure to appropriately cite this publication when using it as a reference in your assignments/projects. Otherwise, it will be considered plagiarism! 

     Social Responsibility became a popular initiative in the corporate environment, especially as a marketing tool. However, only a few know the real meaning of socially responsible management practices. This article will clarify this concept aligning it to other important elements that, together, build the ideal social management structure that all managers should understand.

     First, it is important to introduce the two key concepts of socially responsible management: social responsiveness and social responsibility. To have a better understanding of these two concepts I consider important take a look at the bigger picture. Therefore, I created the diagram below to better illustrate how the approaches of social responsibility management relate to each other.

Social Management Layers. 2017.

     Taking a step back, we have the Traditional View of social obligation. This is the core layer of all social management approaches because it focuses on maximizing profits to shareholders, or owners without any proactive action that goes beyond internal financial benefit. In social obligation, the firm engages in social initiatives only in order to meet certain economic and legal responsibilities, doing just enough (Robbins & Coutler, 2012).

     Going one layer outside, we have the concept of social responsiveness. This approach represents the Socio-Economic View, which argues that the manager's job is more than just making profits, it should positively impact the environment around the company. Thus, social responsiveness occurs when the firm is engaged in responding to some customer/market need or social norms instead of just fulfilling obligations. This approach is one step towards a more socially responsible management and represents the second layer of the diagram.

     Then, the third layer of the diagram reflects the socially responsible approach. Socially responsible firms engage in more than just market-oriented decisions, they make effort to do whatever can help improve society. Basically, these businesses obey the law, listen to customer needs and ultimately do what is right for the whole environment. They want to give back society with more than just pay-cheque by investing in corporate social responsibility (CSR).

   Finally, the last layer of the diagram represents philanthropy. This concept seems to go against the core goal of all business, which is making money. Philanthropic organizations make the profit and return all of it in form of social contribution.


Robbins, S. P., Coutler, M., Leach, E., & Kilfoil, M. (2012). Management: Eleventh Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson.


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