Our blog post on Good Corporate Citizenship was concerned with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), an important aspect of contemporary business given its role in determining reputations. We also discussed some of the top performing corporations in a Reputation Institute study focused on CSR practices. Emerging from a discussion about these top businesses is an understanding of the different forms CSR can take. Specifically, larger businesses have made CSR both an internal and external practice.
For example, Microsoft engages in many commendable forms of external corporate altruism. Their Technology for Good program has provided 62,000 nonprofits with affordable access to technology; and their Microsoft YouthSpark program has sought to provide hundreds of millions of youth with opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship. But, they also apply CSR values in their internal operations. Their goal of becoming a carbon neutral company by applying an internal carbon fee is one such example. The actions of other large companies like IBM's "Smarter Planet" and "Smarter Cities" campaigns reflect this embracing of CSR principles in regular business operations.
In general, these examples are a reflection of the varied and customized applications of CSR and the exciting new ideas coming from this emerging field.