Social responsibility is a moral principle of an entity, be it an organisation or individual, to act towards betterment of society at large. It is a duty that every firm and individual should perform so as to maintain the balance between the environment and economy. Their actions should lead towards sustainable development so as to safeguard the interests of the coming generations and at the same time fulfilling the needs of present population. The responsibility can be active, by performing activities that directly advance social goals, or passive, by avoiding any engagement in socially harmful act.
Individual social responsibility is the responsibility of every individual for his/her actions. It is moral responsibility that everyone should act in such a way that they do not affect people around them. Every individual should be committed towards upliftment of various social causes. Individual, instead of fiving importance to material means should focus on welfare of others, Individual social responsibility can only function if individual rise above the self-interest and opt for options which will benefit a large number of people. Every individual can make a small contribution to society be it any form- from saving natural resources to doing charity.
Corporate social responsibility is the commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of workforce and their family as well as the local community. It helps in forming the positive image of the company. Corporate social responsibility considers the impact of the company’s action on society. Many critics of CSR are of viewpoint that it dilutes the primary aim of business and restricts the free market goal of profit maximization. Limits the ability to compete in a global marketplace. Though critics may be right in their place but CSR gives company a chance to address social issues caused by business and allow business to be the part of the solution. Company can address the issue by using business resources and expertise.
A trade off always exists between the economic development in material sense and the welfare of the society and environment. Social responsibility means sustaining the equilibrium between the two. It pertains not only to business organisations but also everyone whose any action impacts the environment.