chapter  12
Corporate social responsibility in action: corporate community involvement and cause-related marketing
Pages 22

C orporate community involvement (CCI) is one of the faces of corporate socialresponsibility in practice. Cutlip et al. (1985) in the quote above seem to beclear that any such involvement is down to basic self-interest, to enable the company to have an easy life. ‘A corporation can gain competitive advantage by having the goodwill of local communities’, agree Werbel and Wortman (2000: 124). However, Peter Smith (1988) used the findings of the Tomorrow’s Company Inquiry, set up by the RSA in 1993, to point out that ‘only through deepened relationships with and between employees, customers, suppliers, investors and the community will companies anticipate, innovate and adapt fast enough, while maintaining public confidence; this is termed “the inclusive approach”’. He concluded, ‘the pursuit of business self-interest through wealth creation can lead to community well being . . . but what is meant by wealth creation and business self-interest have to be very enlightened interpretations’. He suggested that unless companies gave value to customers in the form of quality of standards and service, they would suffer in the current competitive marketplace. CCI could

therefore be seen as a necessity rather than a luxury. The RSA Inquiry concluded similarly that companies have to earn their ‘licence to operate’.