Ethics, Corporate and Social Responsibility Assignment Sample

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Ethics and Corporate and Social Responsibility Assignment

Task 1- Essay 

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A business’s only responsibility is to produce profits while complying to the laws, not being ethical towards the stakeholders of the society

The essay adheres to the main focus on the given topic “A business’s only responsibility is to produce profits while complying to the laws, not being ethical towards the stakeholders of the society”. The essay will focus on disagreeing and agreeing to the extent of the statement and how the businesses are responsible for generating profits for the company and they should also be responsible for the ethical responsibilities of the company.

Business is considered to be an entity, this includes following rules and laws. Ethical responsibility is mainly concerned with ensuring that the organization should focus on operating fairly (Stahl et al., 2020). There is proper disagreement to the following statement as the business should not only focus on making profits but also be responsible for the ethical duties towards the employees and stakeholders. According to Friedman, the social responsibility of the business is to focus on increasing the profits, in which companies include having no social responsibility to society and the public which is only responsible to the shareholders (Brin & Nehme, 2019). The responsibility is mainly in business with accordance to the desires, which includes making money and possibly in conforming to the basic rules of society, which includes embodied with the laws in the ethical custom. Businesses are also responsible to the employees, which includes providing a safe environment of working and cleanliness. Organizations should focus on building self-worth through the programs of empowerment. Businesses are also responsible to the customers in providing safe services and products and goods.

According to Elrick & Thies (2018), focusing on the argument by Friedman states that the social responsibility of the business is to increase profits. The doctrine of social responsibility gains control on the justification of the wage restraint by the trade unions. The major conflict arises when the union members are to be focused on asking the subordinates about the interest of the members with the social purpose cause. Friedman argued that it is no social responsibility of the company to the society and public, but the major responsibility is to increase the profits and the responsibility only lies to the shareholders of the company. In the system which is privately owned, the corporate employee is considered to be the business owner who is directly responsible to their employees. The responsibility lies in the conduction of the business following the desires (Phillips et al., 2019). He argued that the company spending the money on social causes means spending the money of someone else for its purposes. He also argued that appropriate agents of the social cause are mainly the individuals who include the stockholders and the employees who can utilize their money whenever they wish to do. He mainly aims at the statement that the only social responsibility of the business is to engage in different activities and use the resources which are designed towards increasing the profits which stays the major game of the rules. He states that this will help in increasing the overall rights of the shareholders and this can help in maximining the profits of the company (Jahn & Brühl, 2018). 

While Milton Friedman has been arguing that the social responsibility of the business is to maximize profits. Profit is mainly considered to be an essential business part for the sustainability of continuously helping the people and environment (Al Mubarak et al., 2019). The business should focus on working towards making profits and not making only the businesses. The social responsibility business should focus on investing and putting in place encouraging the investors in society. The major social responsibility of the business is to focus on using the resources and engagement of the activities for increasing the profits which stay in the rules of the game, which focus on engaging with the free and open competition without any fraud and deception. Social responsibility is considered to be including that the business should focus on maximizing the shareholder values and also act ineffective benefits to the society. Socially responsible companies should focus on adopting policies that promote the well-being of society and reduce the negative impacts on the business (Tamvada., 2020). 

While Freeman states the idea of the ‘shared value’, social value and economic values should go hand in hand. It is considered as the mistake for assuming the maximization of profit as the major and only responsibility of the businesses. Therefore, the leaders of the business should focus on incorporating the sense of ethics and values in the businesses. The main focus of Freeman was to shift the view from the hierarchical and outdated viewpoint that businesses are only responsible for increasing profits and moves to new points that state- the business is not only about the shareholders but should involve suppliers, customers, employees, and many more. For operating the business successfully, the business leaders should focus on considering the impact on all stakeholders (Hörisch et al., 2020). The next include that stakeholder theory is considered as the key insight in which the groups are more important than the shareholders while Freeman states that the stakeholders are considered to be interdependent. Freeman suggests that people are considered as rational actors who are driven by self-interest. This includes that the reality of the people is narrowing the economic creatures which not only focuses on the economic profit but also the social problems like education inequality, diseases prevalence, and poverty. The people should work collaboratively in tackling the problems which the company cannot address alone and this will help the business leaders in understanding the problem and working for the solution (Freeman et al., 2021). 

In a nutshell, the essay concludes that businesses should not only focus on being responsible for the profits but also for the ethical responsibilities for the same and following the views of Freeman. This includes that there should be proper focus on increasing the social awareness of the business which will help in increasing the profits and ethical responsibility of the business. The essay concludes that there should be upholding attention on following the best methods which will help in increasing the profits and ethics for the businesses. 

Task 2- Independent Research 


Corporate Social Responsibility is considered as the form of business concept which aims at contributing to the societal rights and goals of activists, charitable nature, and philanthropic by mainly engaging and supporting voluntarily in the ethical practices. The research enlightens the main focus on the chosen organization “HSBC Holdings” with effective attention on following corporate social responsibility and their practices. The research focuses on the CSR program run by the money and how the company is effectively working in the market. The research highlights the main information of the CSR projects and implementations with the personal evaluation of the CSR efforts by HSBC. 

Overview of the company and its CSR programme 

HSBC Holdings is mainly a British multinational bank of investment and holdings of a financial services company. The bank is mainly considered as the second largest in Europe, behind the BNP Paribus, with the headquarters of the company in the United Kingdom, London. The company is focused on two core themes which include promoting education and environmental sustainability and effectively working with the policies of CSR (HSBC. 2022). 

HSBC Holdings record of CSR evaluated by the market

The company is adhering to the major purpose of being responsible for funding and development of the activities and programs. They focus on supporting the communities in which they are operating and also following the provisions of the CSR rules and Companies Act (Khan et al., 2018). The company is focused on committing towards reducing the carbon emissions from the supply chain and operations to net zero by the year 2030 and maybe sooner. CSR practices by HSBC Holdings are committed to the voluntary integration of environmental and social concerns into the process of decision-making. This has a major positive impact on the working of the company and attracting new customers (Latif et al., 2020). HSBC is committed to sustainable growth which includes building the confidence of the stakeholders and creating value for all the customers. The company lays a major impact on people globally which includes employees, suppliers, investors, regulators, wider communities, and customers. Being effectively sustainable focuses on building strong relationships with the shareholders and taking issues matter into account. The company is focused on empowering the new solutions to the crisis of climate and the transition to the future of low carbon. The company is also building towards an inclusive organization that focuses on prioritizing well-being, investing in career and learning, and preparing colleagues for effective work in the future. Through the CSR activities of the company the people affected by the same in a positive manner include the investors, customers, employees, and stakeholders. The company is also getting a regular appraisal for the CSR activities and how they are helping ineffective environmental sustainability which is the major mission of the government as well (Khan et al., 2018).

Information about the company with CSR projects and implementation 

HSBC Holdings is committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR), demonstrating the contribution towards social and economic development of communities and a safe environment. The company is focusing on the two core themes which include promoting education and environmental sustainability. The promotion of education is focused on educating the disadvantaged and the young people at secondary and primary levels of education, empowering women, cultural and language understanding, enhancement of the livelihood projects, and many more. While environmental sustainability includes access to safe and fresh water, climate change, freshwater sustainability, and conservation of the terrestrial habitats and biodiversity (Ahmed et al., 2020). The shareholders are responding to the CSR practices by the company in a positive manner as they are joining the initiative of the companies and also working towards achieving the best future and success for the company and sustainable environment. The shareholders are actively involved in the programs followed by the company and they are assessing the reporting resources with finding out the best way with various decision-making criteria. 

Personal evaluation of HSBC CSR efforts 

Personally, evaluating the efforts of CSR by HSBC holdings includes that the company has been focusing on every policy of CSR which will benefit the employees, customers, and the company itself. This includes that the company is following the major effectiveness and community investment which will help in increasing the profits of the company and will also help in monitoring the process of the same (Singh & Misra, 2021). CSR is considered to be important and should be implemented in businesses because it focuses on portraying the company's image. By effective contribution to society, the company will focus on having the best relations with the community they are serving. The company should not only focus on providing the services but also rely the attention on fulfilling the corporate duty which will help in becoming the best contribution towards the social platform to the company employees. CSR is being used by the company as the real interest in which they are actually working for the betterment of the environment and focused on improving the overall concerns which will help in building sustainability. This will help the company in building a corporate image and also helpful for managing the overall strategy which will be approached towards building effective corporate social responsibility (Kim & Thapa 2018). 


The report concludes that HSBC Holdings should effectively focus on following the practices of CSR which will help the company in being ethically responsible for their actions and also increase the overall welfare of the employees and the customers. The company should focus on following the best practices of CSR which will help in increasing profits and also towards increasing the market value and upgrading the market reputation and performance. Effective implementation of the CSR policies helps in positively impacting the stakeholders and customers of the company. 


Ahmed, M., Zehou, S., Raza, S. A., Qureshi, M. A., & Yousufi, S. Q. (2020). Impact of CSR and environmental triggers on employee green behavior: The mediating effect of employee well?being. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(5), 2225-2239.

Al Mubarak, Z., Hamed, A. B., & Al Mubarak, M. (2019). Impact of corporate social responsibility on bank’s corporate image. Social Responsibility Journal

Brin, P. V., & Nehme, M. N. (2019). Corporate social responsibility: analysis of theories and models. 

Elrick, J., & Thies, C. F. (2018). The social responsibility of business: Milton Friedman reconsidered. Journal of Markets & Morality, 21(2).

Freeman, R. E., Dmytriyev, S. D., & Phillips, R. A. (2021). Stakeholder theory and the resource-based view of the firm. Journal of Management, 47(7), 1757-1770.

Hörisch, J., Schaltegger, S., & Freeman, R. E. (2020). Integrating stakeholder theory and sustainability accounting: A conceptual synthesis. Journal of Cleaner Production, 275, 124097.

Jahn, J., & Brühl, R. (2018). How Friedman’s view on individual freedom relates to stakeholder theory and social contract theory. Journal of Business Ethics, 153(1), 41-52.

Khan, H. U. R., Ali, M., Olya, H. G., Zulqarnain, M., & Khan, Z. R. (2018). Transformational leadership, corporate social responsibility, organizational innovation, and organizational performance: Symmetrical and asymmetrical analytical approaches. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 25(6), 1270-1283.

Khan, H. U. R., Ali, M., Olya, H. G., Zulqarnain, M., & Khan, Z. R. (2018). Transformational leadership, corporate social responsibility, organizational innovation, and organizational performance: Symmetrical and asymmetrical analytical approaches. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 25(6), 1270-1283.

Kim, M. S., & Thapa, B. (2018). Relationship of ethical leadership, corporate social responsibility and organizational performance. Sustainability, 10(2), 447.

Latif, K. F., Sajjad, A., Bashir, R., Shaukat, M. B., Khan, M. B., & Sahibzada, U. F. (2020). Revisiting the relationship between corporate social responsibility and organizational performance: The mediating role of team outcomes. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(4), 1630-1641.

Phillips, R. A., Barney, J. B., Freeman, R. E., & Harrison, J. S. (2019). Stakeholder theory.

Singh, K., & Misra, M. (2021). Linking corporate social responsibility (CSR) and organizational performance: The moderating effect of corporate reputation. European Research on Management and Business Economics, 27(1), 100139.

Stahl, G. K., Brewster, C. J., Collings, D. G., & Hajro, A. (2020). Enhancing the role of human resource management in corporate sustainability and social responsibility: A multi-stakeholder, multidimensional approach to HRM. Human Resource Management Review, 30(3), 100708. 

Tamvada, M. (2020). Corporate social responsibility and accountability: a new theoretical foundation for regulating CSR. International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility, 5(1), 1-14.

Who we are Skip to Insight Who we are Founded in 1865, V., Investors Skip to News and media Investors Find information about our performance, a., & News and media Skip to Careers News and media Find the latest media releases, s. (2022). HSBC Group corporate website | HSBC Holdings plc. HSBC. Retrieved 3 March 2022, from

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