Impact Of Corporate Social Responsibility On Community Development

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Impact Of Corporate Social Responsibility On Community Development


Abstract


This study is on the impact of corporate social responsibility on community development. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Access bank in Kaduna. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up accountants, human resource managers, customer care officers and marketers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Academics and practitioners have been striving to establish and agreed upon definitions of the concept of corporate social responsibility for over 30 years. Davis (1960) suggested that social responsibility refers to businesses’ “decisions and actions taken for reasons at least partially beyond the firm’s direct economic or technical interest.”

Eells and Walton (1961) also argued that corporate social responsibility refers to the “problems that arise when corporate enterprise casts its shadow on the social scene, and the ethical principles that ought to govern the relationship between the corporation and the society” (p.5).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a concept that has been around for well over 50 years, has become prominent again recently. Peter Utting (2005) notes that an increasing number of transactional corporations (TNCs) and large domestic companies, supported by business and community associations, are adopting a variety of so-called voluntary CSR initiatives that incorporate, for example, ‘codes of conduct; measures to improve environmental management systems and occupational health and safety; company ‘triple bottom line’ reporting on financial, social, and environmental aspects; participation in certification and labelling schemes; dialogue with stakeholders and partnerships with NGOs and UN agencies; and increased support for community development projects and programmes’.

Corporate social and environmental performance have recently been placed under scrutiny by firm stakeholders; thus, CSR has become a widely-applied concept and is an increasingly central concern in business decision-making. CSR can be defined as “situations where the firm goes beyond compliance and engages in actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law”. The academic construct of CSR was first developed in the 1950s, but came to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s in conjunction with increased public scrutiny and focus upon the image of the corporation. Increased scrutiny has also resulted in rapid growth of the number of instruments used to manage, measure, communicate, and reward corporate social responsibility.

The scope of activities included in CSR programmes is wide and subject to debate; however, most definitions include three key pillars of economic growth, ecological balance, and social progress. Elements within the framework of CSR include the adaptation of products and public sector processes to address social values (such as eliminating excess packaging), valuing human resources (such as personal development training and Occupational Health & Safety programmes), improving environmental performance through recycling and pollution abatement (such as emission reductions), and supporting community organisations (such as by sponsoring a local sporting club).

The impact and validity of CSR has been the subject of ongoing discourse and development. While most theories focus upon economics, politics, social integration, or ethics, the perspectives within these areas vary widely. These perspectives include:

  1. Solely focusing on profit-making, because “few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of social responsibility other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible”
  2. Going beyond profit making by examining the impact of business activities upon the social system
  3. Going beyond economic and legal requirements, resulting in an early conceptualisation of business ethics and corporate citizenship
  4. Voluntary activities, where the marginal return on business expenditure on CSR is less than the returns available from alternative expenditure
  5. Economic, legal, and voluntary activities
  6. Concern for the broader social system and
  7. Giving way to social responsiveness, the adaptation of corporate behaviour to social needs, and corporate behaviour in congruence with prevailing social norms, values, and expectations of performance.

Some critics according to Carpenter, et al. (2010) have argued that corporate social responsibility as implemented by some organisations is mere facade. It is widely believed by many that corporate social responsibility efforts are mere campaigns by organisations to promote corporate brands. Many Nigerians are ignorant of corporate social responsibility; hence, whenever an organisation does something ‘supposedly big’ for the society, such a company and its management are eulogized for being caring and philanthropic. Public sector in Nigeria are expected to manage the impacts of their operations by adopting corporate social responsibility (corporate social responsibility) programme. Onwuegbuchi (2009) in his studies on corporate social responsibility among public sector firms reported that most public sector in Nigeria embarked on corporate social responsibility programme for the purpose philanthropic gesture and for government and public appraisal. He further stated that some public sector applied environmental and labour standards that suit them to satisfy basic requirements of the laws of the country.

The Nigerian government should ensure that public sector’ corporate social responsibility policy entails self-regulation, adherence to rules and regulations, ethical standards, environmental responsibility and sustainability, consumers’ satisfaction, employee welfare, communities and stakeholders benefits.

The problems of the environment in which an organisation operates cannot be ignored. Therefore, there is a need to examine the problems and prospects of corporate social responsibility in Nigeria. In its stronger form, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (corporate social responsibility) asserts that corporations have an obligation to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, as well as the ecological ”footprint” in all aspects of their operations.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Despite the huge attention recently given to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Nigeria, an area of concern still remain organisations in the public sector. Most public sector organisations still do not see any reason for corporate social responsibility policy acceptability. Companies that reluctantly accepted and adopted the corporate social responsibility policy, do so for profit-making purpose.

Another lacking area on corporate social responsibility is that most of the studies on corporate social responsibility were conducted on nations with developed economies and their findings were found out not to be applicable to some developing nation’s economy like the Nigeria. Therefore, this study will examine the problems and prospects of corporate social responsibilities in Nigeria using the public sector as a case study. It is ironic that these organisations take resources from the external environment and it is only natural to give back what has been exploited. Unfortunately, this anomaly is a norm in this part of the globe and this cankerworm can only be ameliorated through research thesis such as this, publication, media publicity, campaigns and awareness emphasising the importance of corporate social responsibility in our society.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to examine the problems and prospects of corporate social responsibility in Local Government area.

Specifically, the study is designed to:

  1. Investigate how corporate social responsibility (corporate social responsibility) influences community reputation in the Nigerian public sector.
  2. Cross-examine the difference between level of perceived staffs patronage and brand loyalty among companies that practices corporate social responsibility and organisations that do not practice corporate social responsibility in the Nigerian public sector.
  3. Analyse how corporate social responsibility adoption influences community development and profitability.
  4. Assess the economic, social and environmental factors influencing corporate social responsibility (corporate social responsibility) adoption among public sector in Nigeria.

1.5 Research Questions

The public sector plays a significant role in the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, and corporate social responsibility ought to be a voluntary act by the public sector. It should not have to be forced on organisations by the law, government, and civil rights groups or by the communities. Social responsibility should be a deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making and the honouring of a triple bottom line of people and profit making.

In this dissertation there are four specific research questions coined after the statement of the problem and they are listed below.

  1. Are there differences between level of perceived staffs patronage and loyalty among companies that practices corporate social responsibility and those that do not practice corporate social responsibility in the Nigerian public sector?
  2. What extent would corporate social responsibility adoption influence community development?
  3. What are the economic, social and environmental factors responsible for the poor performance of corporate social responsibility (corporate social responsibility) adoption among public sector in Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

To provide empirical answers to the research questions above, the following research hypothesis were developed. They are as stated below;

Hypothesis I
  • H0: Corporate social responsibility (corporate social responsibility) does not influence community reputation in the Nigerian public sector.
  • H1: Corporate social responsibility (corporate social responsibility) influences community reputation in the Nigerian public sector.
Hypothesis II
  • H0: There is no significant difference between level of perceived staffs patronage and loyalty among companies that practices corporate social responsibility and those that doesn’t in the Nigerian public sector.
  • H1: There is a significant difference between level of perceived staffs patronage and loyalty among companies that practices corporate social responsibility and those that doesn’t in the Nigerian public sector.
Hypothesis III
  • H0: Corporate social responsibility adoption does not influence community development.
  • H1: Corporate social responsibility adoption influences community development.
Hypothesis IV
  • H0: Economical, social and environmental factors do not influence the performance of corporate social responsibility.
  • H1: Economical, social and environmental factors influence the performance of corporate social responsibility.

1.6 Research Methods

This study adopts descriptive survey method. Therefore, a cross-sectional research design is used to design the methodology. The premise for this research method is because data are collected from the population for intensive study and analysis.

More often than not, the research cannot possibly study all subjects or items in the population. Hence, a selective random sample from or a subset of, the population was taken.

The reasons for random sampling are;

Among the elements (public sector in Lagos state) that make up the population of study there are similarities and therefore a study of few of these elements will give the researcher sufficient knowledge of what is obtainable in the entire population study.

  1. It is cheaper to engage in the random study
  2. It allowed for quicker results and more thorough research conduct.
  3. It is practically impossible to consider all elements in this research considering the limited time frame.

The target population for this study are the public sector in Lagos State, but due to large number of public sector located in the State, some selected organisations will be considered for this study. Primary data will be gathered through questionnaire administered among randomly selected employees of the selected companies. The data will be analysed using frequency and percentage tables and a descriptive analysis will be carried out using a software package for statistical analysis tool.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Various literary terms that sharpen the write up will be examined and defined as follows:

Ethics

Ethics according to Grace and Cohen (2005) includes standards of moral behaviour that is, behaviours that are acceptable by the society.

Consumerism

Organized effect by individuals or groups aimed to project the users of various products and service from harmful or deceptive business practices Grace and Cohen (2005).

Corporate Social Responsibility

According to Ronald and Ricky (1999) it is an attempt by business organizations to balance their commitment towards groups and individuals in it business environment.

Social Responsibility

According to Welhrich and Koontz (1994), it is the ability of an organization to relates its operations and policies to the environment in such ways that are mutually beneficial to the company and the society.

Social Audit

According to Ronald and Ricky (1999) it is commitment to systematic assessment of reporting on some meaningful and definable domain of the company’s activities that have social impact.

Corporate Philanthropy

According to Michael E porter (1997), as a practical sympathy and benevolence shown by a business organization to various sectors of the society.

Shareholders

According to Kenning (1998), the include interest groups that are tangible, visible and approachable groups or institutions which can exercise direct influence in the functioning or affairs of an organization


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the impact of corporate social responsibility on community development

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of the corporate social responsibility on community development.


5.2 Summary

CSR has become very complicated and multifaceted. Links between CSR and cost, profit, longrange survival, etc. are not clear. Firms are driven into CSR practices to meet stakeholders, ethical, legitimacy, shareholders and information asymmetry/agency expectations, and in turn gain image/reputation, profit, recognition, risk management and loyalty benefits. To achieve organizational aims and objectives in the short and long run and also to achieve maximum organization performance and effectiveness requires giving full attention to CSR practices. From the foregoing, it is obvious that a lot of studies need to be conducted in African countries on CSR.


5.3 Conclusion

In this paper, the author examined corporate social responsibility (CSR) practicesand the various definitions and perspectives from which individuals and organizations look at corporate giving. The author also shed light on the arguments in favour and against corporate social responsibility activities. On the positive side, people are of the opinion that being socially responsible is good for both the society and the organization executing the social projects and programmes. On the negative side, the most prominent argument against CSR practice is that it is an act of theft from shareholders wealth. Nigerian companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of CSR and the advantages of being a corporate citizen. Companies, such as, Mobil Oil |Company, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Zain/Celtel Company have undertaken various corporate social responsibility projects and programmes in Nigeria.


5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendations are offered to improve the social responsibility performance of organizations operating in Nigeria:

  1. Corporate firms in Nigeria should make effort to increase their commitment to social responsibility activities such as community projects and environmental protection in order to enhance peaceful and cordial relationship with the inhabitants.
  2. Management of companies in Nigeria should try as much as possible to be proactive in their approach to social responsibility issues rather than being reactive in order to avoid business distraction from their host communities.
  3. The management should create a unit or department within their firms that will be responsible for their social responsibility programmes which should ensure that their social responsibility policies are adequately implemented.
  4. Nigerian firms should try as much as possible to comply with government laws regarding business regulation in the country.

Impact Of Corporate Social Responsibility On Community Development


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