The Four Approaches to Social Responsibility

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: The Role of Organizational Culture in Social Responsibility

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What is Social Responsibility?
  • 1:25 Obstructive
  • 1:58 Defensive
  • 2:32 Accommodating
  • 3:19 Proactive
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Some companies value the environment and the community in which they reside. While it would be great if all companies did so, unfortunately many are the complete opposite. This lesson will explore social responsibility in greater detail.

What Is Social Responsibility?

Meet Hope! Hope owns a business where they make baby blankets. When Hope first started her business, she was determined to be successful no matter what it cost. She worked long hours until she was able to take her startup company of only 5 employees and create a huge company that employed over 100 employees. While Hope's company has grown substantially, she feels that she is missing something. That is when she came across an article that discussed embracing relationships with the society where a business operates. What she was essentially reading about was social responsibility, which is the focus of this lesson.

Let's begin by defining a key concept. Social responsibility is the thought that a company should build relationships with both the society and the environment where it's located. It means valuing those relationships with society, customers, and employees, and not being totally consumed with only maximizing profits. For our friend Hope, up until she came across this article, she was more driven by profits than anything else. She had totally forgotten about the community that supports and helps provide business.

In this section we will look at the different approaches a company can take to become socially responsible. These four approaches are obstructive, defensive, accommodating, and proactive.

1. Obstructive

Perhaps the most deceitful approach to social responsibility is obstructive. Obstruct means to block or get in the way, so an obstructive stance blocks out its social responsibilities. It's more concerned with profits. Obstructive companies are known to pollute, deceive customers, and even exploit their own employees. Hope has decided that she does not want her business viewed in a negative manner and values the society that has helped her achieve success. Therefore, she will not be taking an obstructive approach.

2. Defensive

This type of approach isn't as appalling as obstructive, but a company taking a defensive approach could certainly do better at meeting its social responsibility. A company that uses a defensive approach is sure to follow the law so that legal action can't be taken against it, but the main focus is on profits. For example, if Hope's company threw away an abundance of fabric that could be used for other products, but made sure to dump it legally at the landfill instead of dumping it on the side of the road, it would be taking a defensive approach.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account