Corporate Social Responsibility – In Australia’s Tobacco Industries
Antonio Márquez; Fombrun, Charles J (2005) state that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a way by which business tries to give back to the society in some form. It is an instrument by which a business observes and makes sure its ongoing compliance with ethical aspects, government laws and international standards. It also monitors company’s actions if in any way might cause damage or harm to the society and helps in avoiding such actions. The CSR emphasizes on keeping in mind all the stake holders before any action and should thoroughly analyze its consequences and effects on all of them. When tobacco companies are taken into consideration they are generally viewed as companies inherently harming the society as well as corrupting the youth. So CSR is a very tricky task for such companies. There are various factors which come into play when we look at different motivation factors which drive these companies to go for any CSR activities and in what way they can be made effective.
Motivation Of Tobacco Companies behind CSR
Fooks et al (2001) claims that not only does the tobacco companies go for CSR to improve their public image but also to gain access to different politicians in order to influence the government policies in their own interest. They claim that CSR programs run by tobacco giants like BAT are very creative ways of corporate political activity. WHO tobacco free initiative team (2003) also developed a report in which they claim that CSR by tobacco companies is an inherent contradiction. They go on further to state that programs run by every major Tobacco Company to prevent youth smoking are generally ineffective and sometimes instead of preventing youths from smoking these programs attract the young kids towards smoking. These companies try to portray that they are solving the problem which in the first place is caused by them to divert the attention from the major deterring factors like increase in taxes or prices of cigarettes which is proven to be a more effective method as the youths are very sensitive to price change of these products (Mandel, Bialous, Aguinaga; Glantz and Stanton, 2005). The other way in which tobacco companies go for CSR activities is starting scholarships and grants for students of different universities who excel in different fields, but at the same time there are various posts in the same universities which were given to the employee of these tobacco companies.