Too Much Or Too Little: The Corporate Social Investment Question

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Deciding on implementing corporate social investment (CSI) into business operations is something that has become more of an obligation these days. For any ethical business, CSI forms part of the overall business strategy. In this way, it becomes part of the business’ plans. 

This raises the question of when is it too much or too little? How does an organisation know when it has invested too much or if it hasn’t devoted enough money towards CSI? 

CSI offers a number of benefits, such as positive media attention, increased investment opportunities as well as increased client retention. Striking a healthy balance in terms of the amount of investment is important. 

When is it too much corporate social investment? 

When it affects the triple bottom line negatively

-If the impact on finances, society or environment is negative, then a business may need to reassess its CSI initiatives. 

When it gets in the way of profits for shareholders 

-If profits are adversely affected, then the business may have lost sight of its priorities and responsibility towards its shareholders. To avoid this, an effective strategy must be out in place. 

When it costs too much to implement 

-Without proper planning, an adequate budget cannot be applied to the CSI projects. If too much money is being spent on the programme at the expense of business operations, then it may be too much. 

When the process hasn’t been managed well 

-Managing the process well means that the strategy is monitored closely every step of the way. If this isn’t the case, then too many resources may be dedicated towards CSI. 

When is too little? 

When a business is not seeing the benefits of CSI 

-If a business has a plan, but isn’t seeing any positive impacts upon measurement, then it might be devoting too little towards CSI. 

When the business is missing out on one more way of managing relationships with stakeholders 

-CSI has a number of benefits, so when a business isn’t finding additional ways of retaining clients and maintaining relationships with stakeholders, it may have underestimated its CSI projects.

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