Social responsibility is a term that refers to the load, commitment or obligation that members of a society, either as individuals or as members of a group are, both among themselves and to society as a whole. The concept introduces a positive or negative assessment, the impact a decision has on society. This recovery can be both ethical and legal, etc.. Generally considered social responsibility differs from political responsibility because the assessment is limited to the exercise of power by a state authority.

"Social responsibility is ethical or ideological theory that an entity whether it is a government, corporation, organization or individual has a responsibility to society. This responsibility can be "negative", meaning there is a responsibility to refrain from acting (actitudde "abstention") or it can be "positive", meaning there is a responsibility to act. (Proactive).

Origins and evolution of the term

Human beings must of necessity relate to others and it must meet a set of rules of behavior, depending on the place and time in which they are placed, these obligations that each individual must meet all other social responsibilities are called.

The idea that individuals have a responsibility towards their society goes back to the Greek philosophers and the Roman system of law.

"In ancient Greece the free people was his habit, in an atmosphere of frank discussion, participate and question the arguments of open dialogue in the Agora, or main square, but slavery was a fundamental part of its social and economic structure," the life of people was public, there was no privacy and was therefore normal to see naked people of all ages sharing everything, therefore the responsibility of every person who was part of the free society was the participation of all in any public issue.

In Western medieval beliefs were showing coexistence rules and daily life of each person, so if someone did not accept the religion was punished, persecuted and excluded from society, "everything was done for the sole purpose obtain the salvation that is credited in the creed of the one true Church, "it appeared to privacy, modesty, privacy and property, the responsibility was demanding respect private spaces and in turn ensure performance the laws established by the church.

The modern age is characterized by a great intellectual movement, the reason became the center of all human rights and these appeared slavery ceased to exist, therefore "one of the main obligations of stakeholders was to defend freedom and promote human rights "also was given responsibility to the State to individuals and enforce social rules of the time.

For example, Stoicism emphasizes civic duty, social responsibility, the importance of a good law and equal citizenship rights. One of its major representatives, Cicero, in the first book of "Duties," talks about the duties that man has to society and to himself and suggests that there is only one true law. This law is right reason, which according to the nature, rules over all men, is eternal and unchanging. It drives men to fulfill their duties, forbidding to do evil.

After this came the modern age, where technology and scientific advancement dominates, it is becoming easier to access information, build assets needed to have a better quality of life "values such as efficiency and effectiveness, positive attitudes compliance against compromise, a good education, and communication skills of negotiation empower people to make productive part of society. " These behaviors become a liability to society, the state is no longer the most important, companies now have a power, as the market is what prevails.

It is noteworthy that as time goes on social responsibility changes, what was good for some time later became a crime and vice versa, people have an obligation to be socially responsible morally and legally, regardless if they are in agreement, it should be noted that the rules of conduct are determined by the entity with more power at the time, as the church, the state, corporations, among others, they determine the rules accepted in accordance with the situation alive.

Social responsibility today

Today social responsibility is considered a normative concept not mandatory or "soft law" (ie, without the force of law), such as those embodied in some international agreements, such as the "Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights Human "etc. adopted by UNESCO.

This has led not only to different perceptions attempts or "sectoral" to establish mechanisms of 'social responsibility "-the most notable among which are those relating to corporate social responsibility or" corporate social responsibility "(CSR) but new proposals about institutional implications of the concept.

Notable among these new insights is that of Claus Offe, for whom social responsibility has, among its main functions in complex modern societies, act as a mechanism for the creation and promotion of a "moral autonomy and self civilized members [or, conversely to speak, to the extent that they can not adequately compensate for the deficit of such self with the input means (coercive) and right (stimulants) of money.

Social responsibility for health

Social responsibility for health is reflected in the actions of those responsible for decision making in both the public and private sectors to establish policies and practices that promote and protect health. The policies and practices pursued by the public and private sectors should avoid harming the health of individuals, protect the environment and ensure sustainable use of resources, restrict production and trade in inherently harmful substances and practices and discourage of mercática harmful to health, to protect the citizen in the marketplace and the individual in the workplace, and include health impact assessments focused on equity as an integral part of policy development. You should also analyze the legal responsibility.