Social responsibility can be viewed as a part of the wikipedia:social contract in that is the responsibility of each wikipedia:entity whether it is wikipedia:state, wikipedia:government, wikipedia:corporation, wikipedia:organisation or wikipedia:individual that they are contributing to society at large, or on a smaller scale. In a way it can be traced back to ideas such as the [golden rule] of treating everyone else as good as you would want to be treated by everyone else. But there is large [wikipedia:inequality] in the means and roles of different enitities to fulfil their responsibility. This would imply the different entities have different responsibilities. E.g. that states should ensure the wikipedia:democratic rights of its citizens, that corporations should respect and encourage the [human rights] of its employees and that citizens abide with the written wikipedia:laws. But it also can be more than just that. Many wikipedia:NGOs mean that their role and the responsibility of their members as citizens is to help improve society by taking an proactive stance in their societal role. It can also imply that corporations have an implicit obligation to give back to society. See more under wikipedia:corporate social responsibility.
Elements of Social Responsibility according to Polk
- recognition and acceptance of the consequences of each action and decision one undertakes
- caring attitude towards self and others
- sense of control and competence
- recognition and acceptance of individual and cultural diversity
- recognition of basic human rights of self and others
- the ability to be open to new ideas, experiences, and people
- understanding of the importance of volunteering in social and community activities
- ability to engage in experimentation with various adult roles
- development of leadership, communication, and social skills
- The responsibility to profitably serve employees and customers in an ethical and lawful manner.
- An organisation's obligation to maximise its positive impact and minimise its negative impact on society.
- The concern for the consequences of a person's or institution's acts as they might affect the interests of others, including the environment and involuntary customers.
- The concept that businesses should be actively concerned with the welfare of society at large.
- A business’s collective code of ethical behaviour towards the environment, its customers, its employees, and its investors.
- Ethical obligations to customers, employees, and the general community
- The responsibility of a responsible agent who chooses to participate in a society and aquire the benefits thereof.
- Roselyn K. Polk Social Responsibility
- Berman, S. (1997). Social Consciousness and the Development of Social Responsibility. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
- Berman, S., & La Farge, P. (1993). Promising Practices in Teaching Social Responsibility. New York: State University of New York Press.
- Greenberger, E. (1984). Defining psychosocial maturity in adolescence. Advances in Child Behavioral Analysis and Therapy, 3, 1-37.
- Hanks, M. (1981). Youth, voluntary associations and political socialization. Social Forces, 60(1), 211-223.
- Youniss, J. & Yates, M. (1997). Community Service and Social Responsibility. University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
- Youniss, J., McLellan, J. A., & Yates, M. (1997). What we know about engendering civic identity. American Behavioral Scientist, 40(5), 620-631.
Some groups of professionals have defined their own intrinsic social responsibilities. Here are some examples: