In the video, Alex Edmans concludes that a business aims to serve a purpose for society (employee, customers, and environment) and also generate profit (TEDx Talks, 2015). According to Edmans, when a business takes care of its employees, in the long-run productivity increases. According to Edmans, a company that focuses on employees’ wellbeing performs better because of good performance by the employee. He gives an example of Costco, saying that the notion that taking giving a pound to the employees is taking a pound from shareholders is not true citing the benefits of the ability to hire better employees and retain top talents. In other words, it is not right to focus on either and ignore the other.
Organizations should take a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility. This kind of approach involves business practices adopted voluntarily by firms beyond the regulatory requirements to support environmental, economic, social, and environmental development (Torugsa et al., 2012). By doing so, the organization contributes positively to society. Such an organization may institute new recycling programs, give employees wages and benefits and donate a portion of its revenue to charity.
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Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) is known for its focus on improving the lives of communities in South Africa. Each year, the company invests millions of Rands into empowering needy groups. It engages in projects such as HIV/AIDS, Community Development, Education, and Sports Development. The company contributes to sustainable development by “working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve the quality of life resulting in meaningful and sustainable upliftment of communities” (BMW Group, n.d., para. 6).
BMW Group. (n.d.). Responsibility. https://www.bmwgroup-werke.com/rosslyn/en.html. https://www.bmwgroup-werke.com/rosslyn/en/responsibility.html
TEDx Talks. (2015). The social responsibility of business | Alex Edmans | TEDxLondonBusinessSchool [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5KZhm19EO0
Torugsa, N. A., O’Donohue, W., & Hecker, R. (2012). Proactive CSR: An empirical analysis of the role of its economic, social, and environmental dimensions on the association between capabilities and performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 115(2), 383-402. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-012-1405-4