Corporate Social Responsibility has the word “social” at its heart. What does that mean? Social relates to society. That is obvious. So why is CSR an issue? Increasingly information is presented to us by business and politicians in a way that pretends we have the facts to choose but in reality we are being psychologically manipulated without us realising how badly our judgement is being affected. If we think too hard, we can become more confused. Using critical thinking from the field of sociology, we can see through such confusion. Sociology is the study of society and “social” relates to society. By seeing CSR as the social context of management, managers can help make the behaviour of their organisation less anti-social. This would make their life at work more fulfilling as well as helping wider society.
Peter Challis is the director of his own company, Time 4 Social Change. After a career in accountancy, he moved into strategic systems management first as a senior civil servant and then into local government. His masters’ degree in strategic management included a research paper on shared services in the public sector and he worked as an adviser to the Cabinet Office on the subject. After taking voluntary redundancy, he worked as a volunteer on one of the government’s Big Society vanguard projects. He then helped several charities respond to austerity and Big Society and was a director of some of them. By becoming a reader in Northampton University library and then in Bodleian library at Oxford University, Peter taught himself the sociology of business. From his experience as a strategic manager, his knowledge of sociology and its application to management, Peter began writing for Bookboon. In his spare time, Peter writes science fiction novels and helps look after his disabled daughter.