A chi spetta la responsabilità sociale?

NEW YORK – Le grandi imprese sono messe sempre più sotto pressione, in particolar modo dagli attivisti delle organizzazioni non governative, affinché rispettino gli obblighi dettati dalla “responsabilità sociale d’impresa” (CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility). Ma nonostante la richiesta e l’adozione ormai diffuse di politiche legate alla responsabilità sociale, non c’è una trasparenza nella logica o nelle modalità in cui viene portata avanti.

La responsabilità sociale si può dividere in due categorie: quello che le imprese dovrebbero fare (come ad esempio elargire fondi alle ONG che si occupano dei diritti delle donne, o per la costruzione di scuole e villaggi), e quello che non dovrebbero fare (come scaricare il mercurio nei fiumi o sotterrare materiale pericoloso nelle discariche pubbliche). I divieti sono convenzionali e soggetti a regolamenti, anche se di recente si è aperta una questione legata alle modalità di comportamento delle imprese nei paesi in cui tali regolamenti non sono previsti.

Ma gli obblighi imposti dalla CSR sono davvero una buona pratica? Milton Friedman ed altri critici si sono spesso chiesti se la pratica dell’altruismo imprenditoriale non fosse altro che un nuovo business per le imprese. Prima della crescita delle imprese, esistevano principalmente aziende familiari, come la Rotschilds, il cui profitto andava interamente alla famiglia stessa. La famiglia si dedicava anche allora all’altruismo, ove era abitudine, e decideva come e su cosa spendere i propri profitti. Non importava che fosse l’azienda, i suoi azionisti o altri compartecipi degli utili d’impresa a spendere i soldi.

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