CSR and Socialwashing… or not!

CSR, philanthropy, it's all about having a good image, but let's be honest, it's just for show!

Well.. I'm not so sure!

I've been interested in these topics since my days at NEOMA Business School. I too thought that way, a bit disillusioned, for a while.

So, to get a clear understanding, I conducted research on the theme 'Managing Cultural and Ethnic Diversity in the Company: From Commitment To Proactivity,' during my research master's in sociology and anthropology at the University of Côte d'Azur.

And what I discovered has been confirmed by my now 15 years of professional experience.


Yes... and no!

Yes, (far too) many companies venture into this field because it is trendy, but without giving it enough importance, strategic thought, or budget.

But no, that's not the case for all, quite the opposite, and I would even say it's becoming less and less so (and that's exciting!). Many companies view their social and societal commitment as a factor for cohesion and motivation among their employees. It all depends on the 'top-level' vision and the teams managing the projects.

With my NGO, Konstelacio, I witness this constantly. When I speak in companies that are our partners, it is a joy to present to employees the actions that have been accomplished thanks to their support. The feedback is clear: 'I am proud to see that my company supports such meaningful and beautiful projects' (actual verbatim, the reaction of an employee from one of our sponsors).

Despite the existence of greenwashing and socialwashing in far too many companies, let's stop painting the picture entirely black, let's stop generalizing, and let's take the time to highlight the fantastic work that many individuals within companies are doing to have a positive impact on society.


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