Corporate Social Responsibility, A Necessity Of Business Organization
The concept corporate social responsibility has generated a lot of controversy over the years. While some executives and economists argue that the business of business is business alone, some strongly believe that business should become more involved with public interest. This study is thus an attempt to have insight into the extent do which Guinness Nigeria Plc has been socially responsible to the needs of the different interest groups in the community in which it operates.
1.1 Background of the Study
The concept of business social responsibility has continued to evolve and expand. Currently, the adequate and efficient use of resources to make profit is still seen as the primary social responsibility of business organization.
The idea of corporate social responsibility started in the early stage of the twentieth century. Interestingly and good enough, it began from business executives who believed that corporations have an obligation to use their resources in ways that would benefit the entire society.
Nevertheless, the role of business firms is that of providing goods and services at a profit social expectations of business have increased so much that there is a need for social attention in order to narrow the gap between expectations and response and keep business in tune with society. An organization concerned with establishing it’s goals, objectives and executing strategies for advising its stated purposes should also recognize the fact that it operate in such a manner that would not harm the particular environment.
Furthermore, this issue is so important to business organizations in that if adequately maintained, it brings about good relationship between the organization and the society.
In view of the foregoing, a study which is narrowed down to the case of Guinness Nigeria, Plc can approximately be described as a good case since it is one of the prominent and well known companies in the country.
The company celebrated its 50th year (Golden Jubilee) in the year 2002. Now, it is obvious that it has been in existence since the past 56 years. Nigeria and the demand for it’s products, no doubt has continued to grow and it has indeed remained consistently high all through the years.
This company specializes in the production of small and big Guinness stout beer, Harp, Malta Guinness, extra smooth and gordonspark. The company has branches in various part of the country. Since early seventies, precisely 1974, its first production plant was established at Ikpoba scope in Benin city and till today, the company has continued to grow and has remained the most dominant and prominent company in the brewery industry.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Majority of Nigeria business organizations have not shown sufficient interest in social responsibilities. At present, many Nigerian business men show a rather non-challant attitude towards social responsibility. Nowadays, This belief has resulted on conflicts especially in this era where greater number of people now believe that cooperation should exist between the people and the organization. This will enhance the smooth running of business by the organizations and maximum support by the society.
In order to receive optimum support from the society, the organizations have to employ the following strategies: education of the people, building of institutions for public health care and employment of the people of the area. They should also engage themselves in environmental protection programmes, and also see to the welfare of the people at large. This issue of corporate social responsibility is treated within the context of this research work, with emphasis on the Guinness Nigeria plc Aba. The company is constantly maximizing profits but not much attempt has been made in balancing welfare with profit maximization.
A balance has to be struck between the activities of Guinness Nigeria which are profit maximization and the welfare of the community. In the light of the above, this study attempts to determine the extent to which Guinness Nigeria plc Aba has been socially responsible to need of the community.
1.3 Objective of the Study
Social responsibilities of an organization do not in any way interfere with the economic roles and objectives of the organization, rather they enhance very cordial relationship with the community where the organization operates.
Therefore, the primary aim of this project is to determine how far business organizations, particularly the Guinness Nigeria plc Aba have been able to carry out these responsibilities and at the same time meet up with goals and objectives.
In this regards, therefore, the objectives of the study are as follows
- To evaluate the extent to which the Guinness Nigeria plc Aba is involved in social responsibility projects.
- To identify the role it is expected to play in the area.
- To determine the impact of social responsibilities of the company to the society.
- To ascertain public impression, opinion and perception of the company.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions have been raised to elicit relevant and useful information that will enable me draw my conclusion and make appropriate recommendations.
- To what extent has Guinness Nigeria Plc Aba been socially responsible?
- What are the roles of Guinness Nigeria Plc Aba in terms of social responsibility?
- What are the impacts of social responsibilities of the company on the society?
- What is the perception of the public on the company’s involvement in social responsibilities?
Answers to these questions will be of immense benefit in making meaningful recommendations which will guide business organizations in their policy formulations
1.5 Scope of the Study
In order to be able to effectively evaluate the activities of business corporation in the communities in which they operate in terms of their social responsibilities, this study will narrow down to the activities of Guinness Nigeria Plc Aba to know whether or not it has been involved in social responsibility projects in the community where it operates.
1.6 Significance of the Study
“A healthy business organization and a sick society are hardly compatible , noted Drucker (1980:27) it is pertinent to point out that in order to minimize or avoid constant criticism and also to maintain a very cordial relationship with host communities, business organization should of necessity engage in social responsibility projects.
Furthermore, this study will serve to broaden the frontiers of knowledge and draw the attention of business corporations to the role they are expected to play in the community in which they operate. The emphasis of this study is on business community relationship.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
The limitations of the study can be viewed from the different nature, attitude and perceptions which managers of the company, most of whom did not consider it worthwhile offering their assistance in providing answers to the questionnaires. Majority were skeptical about providing required information.
There was also the problem of eliciting information from respondents as most of them are illiterates. There was also the problem of finance. I was not able to travel far and as frequently as I would have loved to due to financial constraints.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Corporate social responsibility:
This is what business should do to tackle and solve the problem of the society.
Corporate social responsiveness:
This means knowing how to manage a company’s relationship with external social political and government forces
This means the principle of conduct used to govern decision making.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
5.1 Summary of Findings:
Social responsibility has been a hot topic in every business area, from corporate boardroom to the door of the classroom as to whether or not organizations should be socially responsible to its immediate environment.
Taking a critical look into the context of this research work, it is easy to say that an enlightened business is one that recognizes that it is in its own interest to be socially responsible, since an enhanced public image is more likely to be attractive to investors, employees, customers, suppliers, consumers and its host community and government.
It was discovered from the research conducted that Guinness Nigeria Plc Nigeria Limited has been involved in corporate social responsibility activities to its host community, since its establishment in Enugu state and the country at large. The company has seen the need to involve itself in its community affairs by providing sport activities and equipment and also providing entertainment services to its immediate environment.
But as beautiful as it may sound, a lot of factors are standing against a business performing what it owe its immediate environment.
Political instability and various communal and inter-tribal clashes have been served as a factor that militates against a firm’s involvement in corporate social responsibility activities. In place where the political environment is not stable, organizations do not like to invest or sink their funds in performing social activities.
Value system of the nation or community:
The value system of this country is so eroded that finance budgeted for such quotas can be easily shared among the top ranking officers/executives of the company and the traditional rulers of such locality thereby, “closing” the mouth of those who may have the “voice” to speak for the community.
The society is becoming ungrateful and unappreciative of the efforts of the company’s social responsibility roles. This always make the community to ask for more.
Another militating factor is the State of the Economy: Instability in the economy such as, inflation, economic meltdown, recession, etc, will make the firm not to sink their funds into social responsibility activities.
Despite all these militating factors, it was discovered that many people in the community have benefited in one way or the other from Guinness Nigeria Plc apart from the facts that most of its employees are selected from its immediate environment. This shows that Guinness Nigeria Plc Nigeria Limited is not reluctant in rendering some social responsibility programmes to its immediate environment where she operates and to the entire nation as a whole.
From the fore-going, it can be deduced that in-spite of profit motives, Guinness Nigeria Plc Nigeria has demonstrated corporate social consciousness as she ought to do.
It was also discovered that and revealed that social responsibility is a legitimate action of the firm and that the firms involvement in social responsibility has a great positive impact on the firm and that the assessment of the community to the company’s social activities has been satisfactory.
The research also revealed that the quality of the company’s services is perfect which gives value to the sum of money spent for it and that the company’s social responsibility activities has enhanced organization – community relationship.
No business organization exists in a vacuum, but has among itself an interacting variable – The business environment – for which it is a part. Social responsibility is an aspect that organizations should not neglect as it has a great impact on the organization.
The case study focuses on the approach Guinness Nigeria Plc Nigeria Limited takes to social responsibilities. The company is proud that in addition to being among the world best telecommunication service providing company, it still takes an active responsibility interest in individuals and communities at a local level where ever it operates.
This research work reveals that, Guinness Nigeria Plc social responsibility focuses on two aspects – Sport and Entertainment.
Their sport sponsorship has helped this nation in so many ways, youth who ought to have been involved in armed robbery are now using the same strength in playing football and some cheering and encouraging the team playing (Supporter Club).
The entertainment sector has helped to easy to stress from people by making them feel relaxed, laugh, have much to eat and drink, listen to music and joke which due to their busy or tight work schedule will not permit them to listen to. Also it helped people meet lost friends or relations.
Furthermore, the entertainment aspect helps most especially young ones display their talent to the world, so that people can see that the youths are loaded and not just roaming about wasting their lives.
Nevertheless, Guinness Nigeria Plc has provided employment for people especially members of its host communities, which has help reduce the level of unemployment in the country.
Many times, the company involves active strategy to social responsibility activities in the community, but sometimes encounters pressure from the public.
Since all parties’ benefits from Guinness Nigeria Plc social responsibility activities, it can now be said with air of certainty that the force that moved Guinness Nigeria Plc to the top of the telecommunication industry is their leadership role in social responsibility. As far as they maintain this policy, they are bound to remain at the peak of the telecommunication industries.
However, in recent times and in particular with the indigenization decree, Nigerian businessmen and organizations are beginning to come into the practice of corporate social responsibility. It will be a tragedy if exploitation increase under our indigenous entrepreneurs, Social responsibility achieves greater meaning where corporate leaders have a stake in society and do not wait for the government to do everything.
The government has played some part in recent times. We can only hope that business will reciprocate just as Guinness Nigeria Plc Nigeria Limited has done by getting involved in corporate social responsibility activities to its host community and the country at large. Based, however as it is on voluntarism, the “social responsibility of business” is likely to satisfy all the needs of the society.
Since a greater percentage of Nigerians have benefited from the corporate social responsibility role of Guinness Nigeria Plc Nigeria, it can now be discussed with air of certainty, that one of major force that catapulted Guinness Nigeria Plc to the top of firms in the telecommunication industry is their role in corporate social responsibility programme.
As far as they maintain this policy/strategy, they are bound to remain on top as the leading mobile telecommunication industry in Nigeria.
The survival of any organization is dependent upon series of exchange between the organization and its environment. The involvement of Guinness Nigeria Plc Nigeria Limited, Enugu, and participation in social responsibility practices shows that the company is socially responsible to its immediate environment.
For any organization to survive, it has to properly take part in social responsibility activity. Most organizations and government agencies agrees that social responsibility is well and truly on the agenda in the business world because businesses operate in an environment where her resources are sourced and for this citizens will be looking up to them with high expectations and if this expectations are dashed, it will not go well with both the organization and the citizens.
Where shareholders refuse the approval of social responsibility they may receive wrath from the government and its host community. Having said this, organizations should take up the issue of social responsibility seriously. If a company fails to meet stakeholders’ expectations, it can put its own future at risk.
In conclusion, corporate social responsibility can therefore be best described as a total approach to business. Corporate social responsibility creeps into all aspect of operations. Like quality it is something that you know when you see it. It is something that business today should genuinely and wholeheartedly be committed to. The dangers of ignoring social responsibility are too dangerous
When it is remembered how important brands are to the overall company’s value. Corporate social responsibility is therefore something that a company should try and get right in implementing.
The idea that the only function of business organization is profit maximization for the shareholders should be erased and become obsolete and thus they should shift emphasis to a newer term “social responsibility”. To this effect Nigeria businessmen and women would protect their long-term interest by redefining their objectives to include those of the communities in which they carry out their business operations,
In view of the above, the following recommendations are made which will be based on the findings presented in the study.
The company should expand their activities by going into other areas like health, education, charity giving, instead of focusing on only sport and entertainment.
The organization should provide adequate amenities to it immediate environment.
The company should improve on their service; most times the network reception is very poor.
Despite the fact that Guinness Nigeria Plc does not cover many rural areas in Nigeria, their social responsibility programme should not only center in the urban areas. Their social responsibility project should also be shifted to rural areas where there is no network coverage.
A committee should be established to oversee their social responsibility activities.
The company should partner with the government to ensure effectiveness in running their social responsibility programmes.
Without endangering corporate survival, businessmen should realize the advantages of giving grants to universities and other institutions and to its community, to mention a few. Businessmen or organizations should realize that an increase in the entrepreneur spirit of the populace can only be beneficial to the business sector and that the government cannot do this all alone.
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