Corporate social responsibility with special reference to a life assurance society

Master Thesis

1984

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University of Cape Town

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This thesis deals with the topic of corporate social responsibility and represents an effort to treat it as a management issue in the context of a large insurance society. Today we live in a world of increasing complexity, growth and change. Attempts to gain a greater understanding and insight into the functioning of our world have led to the development of an analytical method called the 'systems approach', whereby instead of explaining the whole in terms of its parts, the parts are explained in terms of the whole. The systems approach is a holistic method of analysing systems. The outputs of one system form the inputs to another. The analysis of any system must deal with the twin phenomena of complexity and interrelatedness. Each system is in itself quite complex but nevertheless has many interrelated elements organised to achieve the set objectives of the system. The systems approach is potentially useful when considering the complexities of a modern business organisation. Indeed, the conscious recognition of the business organisation as a dynamic whole brings with it the awareness of the difficulty of the managerial process. Systems thinking compels management to realise that their organisation is only a subsystem of a larger system - the society whose mandate legitimises their organisation's purpose and existence. The organisation's outputs are its inputs to the society, and vice versa. This interrelationship imposes certain obligations and restrictions on the manner in which the organisation conducts its business to ensure the increased well- being of the society as a whole.
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Bibliography: pages 373-389.

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