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Walt Disney (CSR):Corporate Social Responsibility

Updated on August 22, 2015

Select a Fortune 500 company for review. Choose from the following examples: General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Kellogg, Starbucks, Walmart, Walt Disney, Whole Foods, or another well-known corporation of choice. Discuss the corporation’s CSR (corporate social responsibility) and its participation in “giving back” to society. Examine the corporation’s contributions to an issue, problem, or nonprofit through participation and contributions. Discuss the value of its role as an agent of change in the community.

Consider the following questions as you construct your initial post:

  • What role does the CEO play in the organization’s CSR efforts, if any?
  • What role do the employees play in the organization’s CSR efforts, if any?
  • Are volunteerism and matching gifts a high priority within the organization? If not, what are the corporate CSR approaches utilized by the organization?
  • Does the organization share its CSR efforts with the public? If so, how?

Elaborate on and fully support your positions.

For this forum I decided to focus on the corporate social responsibility of Walt Disney. Corporate social responsibility is an American concept of giving back to one’s community and the larger society through voluntarism and financial support (Seitel, 2013, p.275). Robert Iger has been Walt Disney’s CEO since October 2, 2005. Since Robert Iger has been CEO, Walt Disney has been recognized as one of the “Most Reputable Companies” by Forbes magazine, one of “America's Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine, one of the “World's Most Respected Companies" by Barron’s, and as “Company of the Year” by Yahoo Finance (Robert A. Iger, n.d.). In the 2013 citizen performance summary, Robert Iger wrote:

Our relentless commitment to act ethically and responsibly in our endeavors has been integral to our success in this regard. For us, being a good corporate citizen includes operating in an ethical manner, promoting the happiness and well-being of kids and families, and inspiring others to get involved and become a force of positive change. As part of this effort, Disney contributed nearly $370 million in cash, products, and in-kind support to organizations around the world.

— Robert Iger

Walt Disney’s CSR efforts tend to be focused on the environment, community, labor standards, and volunteerism. Walt Disney has always given heavily to communities hit by natural disasters; Walt Disney provided aid to Haiti communities after the 2010 earthquakes struck. Walt Disney has donated one million dollars to both the United Negro College Fund and to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Robert Iger has played a major role in Walt Disney’s CSR efforts and he has influenced Walt Disney’s employees to step up and take part in the company’s CSR efforts.

In 2013, Walt Disney’s contribution of 370 million dollars’ worth of cash, products, and support inspired their employees to donate a contributed total of 667,000 volunteer hours in their own communities. Walt Disney even went as far as to get non-employees involved with their volunteer efforts; Walt Disney gave away one million tickets away to people in exchange for a day of volunteer service from an organization of their choice (Leadership, 2013). Walt Disney created a website titled “The Walt Disney Company Citizenship”; the purpose of this website is to share Walt Disney’s CSR actions with the general public. Walt Disney also has an official blog where they share their CSR actions and achievements; for example in 2009 Walt Disney shared that they had been named the most socially responsible company by Reputation Institute (Momdjian, 2013).


Leadership. (2013, June 10). The Walt Disney Company - A Leader In Corporate Social Responsibility. Retrieved August 12, 2015, from

Momdjian, C. (2013, October 9). The Walt Disney Company Blog. Retrieved August 12, 2015, from

Robert A. Iger. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2015, from

Seitel, F. (2013). The Practice of Public Relations (12th ed.). Harlow: Prentice Hall.


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