In Associate Professor Anil Karnani’s world, Corporate Social Responsibility professionals at the world’s largest companies only do two things: propose projects that the business should already be doing because they make total financial sense, and propose projects which are financial disasters and companies should never seriously consider. And if you lived in his world, you’d reach the same conclusions that Dr. Karnani does in his article in today’s WSJ, “The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility”: CSR is at best irrelevant, and can even be dangerous.
(note: this is reposted from my Sun blog ) Two different news items recently led me into the same train of thought: we are all increasingly in the business of judging Goodness, and of being so judged. I purposefully capitalized Goodness here, because I mean it in the highest sense of the word. This probably sounds vague, so let me use the examples to explain. The first item is from the NYTimes, and discusses the conundrum caused by a proposed solar plant in Nevada.