21st Century Corporate Social Responsibility

21st Century Corporate Social Responsibility

Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to the conscious and voluntary efforts of companies to harmonize social, economic, and ecological goals with their business activities. Typical CSR activities include enhancing labor policies, charitable giving, reducing carbon prints, advocating for corporate policies that benefit the environment, and many more.  As Gonzalez-Padron, (2015) states, the premise of CSR is the ethical obligation of companies to accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions beyond financial performance.

Cisco’s CSR Statement

CSR is core to Cisco’s purpose, culture, and investment. The company focuses on Planet, Society, and People – issues that align with its business strategies and where it can have the utmost potential for impact. The success of Cisco is founded on a conscious culture, where integrity and ethical behavior are expected and supported amongst its business partners, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders.  

CSR at Cisco is committed to powering an inclusive future and creating equitable access to opportunity (Cisco, 2021). This means that Cisco is focusing on improving access to technology-supported solutions that can solve most of the problems faced by the less fortunate. It intends to bridge the wide gap between the haves and the have-nots and provide an equitable and inclusive future. In other words, Cisco wants to create a world where all people have equal access to opportunities. Through technology, this firm wants to create brand-new industries, break down barriers, and invent new ways of learning. Since employees are an essential asset in Cisco’s CSR, the company aims at creating and cultivating a supportive, healthy, and safe work environment where every worker can thrive.

How the new plans will affect Cisco, both internally and externally.      

According to Faucett (2021), Cisco is creating a pathway to opportunity through economic empowerment.  To achieve its CSR objective, the company is providing people with equal access to resources, skills, and knowledge that they need to support themselves and their families. For more than a decade, Cisco has been investing in economic empowerment for needy populations through designing and delivering technology-based solutions, donating Cisco technology, and providing cash grants. Besides, the company supports high-tech programs that provide underserved and underrepresented people with the resources they need to prosper in the digital economy. For example, the programs connect them to financial products and services, entrepreneurial opportunities, meaningful employment, and pertinent skills.

Cisco’s plan of economic empowerment will have both internal and external effects. The firm will achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by implementing the plan. It will enhance its competitiveness within the industry through attention to regulatory stakeholders, suppliers, and employees. As Gonzalez-Padron, (2015) states, a company with an integrated CSR program is more likely to attract, inspire, and develop a skilled labor pool. In addition, the empowerment plan will lead to new product and services innovation and also, enable Cisco to gain access to new markets and customers. Mahmood & Bashir (2020) argue that paying back to society in the form of philanthropic activities such as donations and the community’s well-being creates a corporation’s positive image. Thus, the CSR plans will bolster Cisco’s image and build its brand. Through participation in economic empowerment, the organization will build its brand equity by creating a positive image and reputation in the mind of customers.

An idea for a new CSR endeavor for Cisco based on its mission and vision

Cisco’s mission statement is to shape the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners. It envisions changing the way we work, live, play, and learning (Cisco, 2021). Cisco’s mission and vision statements demonstrate its determination to make the world a better place for everybody. As part of its mission and vision, this company can bridge the digital divide by providing free or highly discounted internet access to low-income families, institutions, students, and households. For example, Cisco can make internet connectivity affordable, available, and usable to refugees. According to UNHCR (2021), ‘refugees have demonstrated that connectivity is of critical importance to them.’ Despite their harsh conditions, refugees want to stay connected with their families and friends.

Conclusion

The social, ecological, and economic commitment of companies – also known as “CSR” (Corporate Social Responsibility) – has become increasingly important in recent years. CSR is about assuming social responsibility over and above legal obligations. Cisco Inc., for example, has been in the frontline partaking in various CSR activities such as economic empowerment, creating a pathway to new skills, and empowering all people with career opportunities.

References

Cisco, (2021). About Cisco. Retrieved from  https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/csr.html

Faucett, S., (2021). Corporate Social Responsibility- Creating a pathway to opportunity through economic empowerment. Retrieved from https://blogs.cisco.com/csr/creating-a-pathway-to-opportunity-through-economic-empowerment?CAMPAIGN=Corporate+Communications&Country_Site=US&POSITION=Social%2BMedia&REFERRING_SITE=Facebook&CREATIVE=Cisco%2B%2BBlog%2BGC+-+Corporate+Story

Gonzalez-Padron, T. (2015). Business ethics and social responsibility for managers [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

Mahmood, A., & Bashir, J. (2020). How does corporate social responsibility transform brand reputation into brand equity? Economic and noneconomic perspectives of CSR. International Journal of Engineering Business Management12, 1847979020927547.

UNHCR (2021). Connectivity for everyone. Retrieved from https://www.unhcr.org/innovation/connectivity-for-everyone/

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