What is the relevance of CSR disclosures for outside investors?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), as practiced by business, means many different things. Consider the following: “At one end of the broad span of CSR lie corporate policies that any wellrun company ought to have in place anyway, policies that are called for on any sensible view of business ethics or good management practice.

These include not lying to your employees, for instance, not paying bribes, and looking farther ahead than the next few weeks. At the other end of the range are the more ambitious and distinctive policies that differentiate between leaders and laggards in the CSR race—large expenditures of time and resources on charitable activities, for instance, or binding commitments to ‘ethical investment,’ or spending on environmental protection beyond what regulators demand.”33

Required:

a. Discuss the meaning of corporate social responsibility.

b. Do companies have an obligation to do more than the law requires? Why or why not?

c. Should companies report on their social responsibility activities? Why or why not?

d. What is the relevance of CSR disclosures for outside investors?

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