Economic Themes (2011) 49 (1) 4, 45-58


Maja Ivanović-Đukić

Abstract: The concept of corporate social responsibility is relatively new, so it is associated with a grate number of dilemmas, related to the concept, definition, elements which it includes etc. Despite all these dilemmas, it is a concept that draws much attention in management theory and practice. One of the reasons that compels companies to increasingly reconsider the impact of its operations on society, is increased pressure of various interest groups (Organization for the Protection of Consumer Rights, an organization for the protection of the environment, trade unions, etc.). Social groups are becoming more numerous and stronger, creating an extremely complex environment, putting growing pressure on companies to behave responsibly and create a social climate in which expectations of individual companies are becoming huge. Also, many state Governments force companies to meet certain obligations towards society and the environment, by laws and other formal regulations. The presence of a large number of legally binding measures, in the field of corporate social responsibility, is particularly characteristic of the European Union countries, where much attention is paid to corporate social responsibility (CSR). The EU Commission believes, that CSR can provide a sustainable competitive advantage to enterprises, as well as contribute to the European Union to become the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world. This commission proposes specific elements of CSR, which every enterprise should consider, also it proposes a way to bring these elements into the business enterprises of all member countries. Since Serbia is a candidate for EU accession, it is necessary to give more attention to developing and promoting the concept of corporate social responsibility. Therefore, in this paper the concept of corporate social responsibility will be briefly explained, with special reference to the elements cited by the Commission of the European Union. Current situation in Serbia, for this field of interest will be explained in the paper, moreover, measures to improve this situation will be proposed. The aim of the paper is to highlight the importance of corporate social responsibility to Serbian managers, to prevent the spread of environmental and social problems and facilitate Serbia’s joining the European Union.

Keywords:  corporate social responsibility; management; competitive advantage of enterprises; stakeholders

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