Balancing ethics and profit in Argentina

The role of Corporate Social Responsibility in the global economy is increasing both as a business strategy and tool for sustainable development. This autumn´s CSR students in Buenos Aires have experienced the opposing tendencies both in the global discourse and the companies´ strategy implementations. 

Kulturstudier offers two CSR courses in Buenos Aires; CSR & Sustainability and CSR Management.While Corporate Social Responsibility aims to give the students a broader theoretical framework, CSR Management provides the tools to administer and integrate CSR into a company´s core business strategies.Global Development student Hallsten chose to include the Corporate Social Responsibility semester in his bachelor.

- I finished a project on CSR this spring and discovered the discrepancy between business case and ethics within the CSR discourse. This autumn I have developed a deeper understanding for both sides. Personally, I set off this semester with a fairly cynical attitude towards the idea of CSR as the flagship for sustainable development. That probably hasn’t changed, although we have gained knowledge of companies that actually carry out good, transparent CSR work to raise the standard for sustainable development, says Hallsten.

Even so, he keeps an eye on the new tendencies inside the European Union. 
-The EU has presented a proposal to make CSR reporting mandatory business practice, including a definition of the CSR concept. It may seem like we are heading towards a more mandatory CSR policy implementation for businesses, you could also see it as supranational interference. This is already part of the legislation in Denmark. It will be interesting to see whether this will lead to businesses taking more social responsibility, says Hallsten. 

When he has finished the semester in Buenos Aires Hallsten will continue his bachelor studies at the University of Stockholm, not discounting a future return to the CSR field, either for studies or work opportunities.  
- The hands- on lectures have shown me the potential of working with CSR inside a small company. I am more reluctant to work for a larger company as I really would like to contribute to more ethical and sustainable core business activities, concludes Hallsten

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