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How Companies Engage in Corporate Social Responsibility

RESEARCH PROPOSAL HRM030 Student Name: Bosky Goel Student Id: 11414545 Supervisor: Mr. Kevin Lamb Dated: 3rd October 2011 1. What is the general area that you are interested in? Corporate Responsibility (CR) has emerged as a significant theme in the global business community and is gradually becoming a mainstream activity, according to a new survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, in cooperation with Oracle Corporation. The growing emphasis on corporate responsibility is affecting the relationship between companies and their various stakeholders, such as investors, customers, vendors, suppliers, employees, communities and government.

HR has a key role in making CSR work. CSR without HR runs the risk of being dismissed as PR or shallow ‘window-dressing’. And CSR is an opportunity for HR to demonstrate a strategic focus and act as a business partner. HR is also responsible for the key systems and processes underpinning effective delivery. Through HR, CSR can be given credibility and aligned with how business run. CSR could be integrated into processes such as the employer brand, recruitment, appraisal, retention, motivation, reward, internal communications, diversity, coaching and training.

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I would like to analyse how CSR practices and strategies plays vital role for business survival or it is simply a marketing wheeze designed to put a positive gloss on their operations. 2. What is your ‘working’ project title? (This is likely to change as the dissertation evolves but you should be able to define a working title for the present). How CSR practices and strategies improves financial performance of the organisation in India. 3. What are the aims and objectives of the Dissertation? 3. To determine the growth of business in terms of financial aspect by incorporating CSR practices and strategies in the organisation. “How CSR applies and their correlation with financial performance” 3. 2 To find CSR practices are really concerned about society and environment or are they just followed to out beat the competition and enhance their brand. “ Why companies engage in CSR” 3. 3 To what extent CSR practices helps organisation in recruitment, retention and motivation of employees. 4. What specific research questions or hypotheses do you intend to examine? . 1 To determine the growth of business in terms of financial aspect by incorporating CSR practices and strategies in the organisation. 4. 2 To find CSR practices are really concerned about society and environment or are they just followed to out beat the competition and enhance their brand. 4. 3 To what extent CSR practices helps organisation in recruitment, retention and motivation of employees. 5. List the names of any organisations from which you will seek collaboration and/or co-operation.

I will seek collaboration of four companies in India to determine their approach towards CSR and improvement in their financial growth by incorporating CSR . The companies are ‘Abhishek industries Ltd, Ludhiana, ITC Ltd, Gurgaon, HCL Ltd, Noida, RBS, Gurgaon and Raymond India Ltd, Bombay. 6. Specify the sources of primary and secondary data and the sampling frame for gathering the data and information that you intend to use. (These may be documentary sources such as economic & financial data and/or a particular group of people that you intend to sample). . 1 Primary Data Sources: It involves gathering unpublished or firsthand information. I intend to collect this information from the customers. I would prepare questionnaires and try to gather information from different group of people to get a clear understanding on the topic. Apart from this I will interview few Managers in India and UK and try to understand their point on CSR. 6. 2 Secondary Data Sources: It includes already available and published materials for further research and study. I will be accessing journals, research papers available on this topic.

I would be accessing internet and various websites to get more relevant information about the same. Also, I will be reading the various text books available on this topic to gain through knowledge about this area of research. I would also be micro analysing the websites of all the two companies to gain more information. By doing this, I will not be able to understand this topic better but also can frame proper questionnaire to get customer view and to prepare for the interview. 7. Summarise the research methods that you will use to gather data and information from the sources in 6. . 1 Questionnaire: The questionnaire will be for the consumers from UK as well as from India in order to get clear response from customers of both countries. The questionnaire will be a mix of both open ended and close ended questions to understand what customers think about CSR development and does it really help organisation to maintain sustainability. 7. 2 Interview: I will be conducting interview with Managers of both companies and try to get their view on the topic. 8.

Summarise the methods that you will use to analyse data and information. I will make use of Bars, charts and graphs to analyse the data collected. Once I get the findings from my analysis. I will make use of correlation analysis to come to a conclusion about varies strategies involved in CSR. 9. Review and summarise the main bodies of theory that underpin your dissertation. (This review must include citations to research literature – passing reference to ‘motivation’ or ‘business planning’ will not do). 9. 1 What is corporate social responsibility? Social responsibility is the responsibility of an organisation for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment through transparent and ethical behaviour that is consistent with sustainable development and the welfare of society; takes into account the expectations of stakeholders; is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour; and is integrated throughout the organisation”(Hohnen, 2007). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is also known by a number of other names.

These include corporate responsibility, corporate accountability, corporate ethics, corporate citizenship or stewardship, responsible entrepreneurship, and “triple bottom line,” to name just a few. As CSR issues become increasingly integrated into modern business practices, there is a trend towards referring to it as “responsible competitiveness” or “corporate sustainability” (Moir, 2001) Hohnen, (2007) emphasized that the World Business Council for Sustainable Development has described CSR as the business contribution to sustainable economic development.

Building on a base of compliance with legislation and regulations, CSR typically includes “beyond law” commitments and activities pertaining to: ?Corporate governance and ethics; ?Health and safety; ?Environmental stewardship; ?Human rights (including core labour rights); ?Sustainable development; ?Conditions of work (including safety and health, hours of work, wages); ? Industrial relations; ?Community involvement, development and investment; ?Involvement of and respect for diverse cultures and disadvantaged peoples; ? Corporate philanthropy and employee volunteering; Customer satisfaction and adherence to principles of fair competition; ? Anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures; ?Accountability, transparency and performance reporting; and ? Supplier relations, for both domestic and international supply chains. Generally, CSR is understood to be the way firms integrate social, environmental and economic concerns into their values, culture, decision making, strategy and operations in a transparent and accountable manner, and thereby establish better practices within the firm, create wealth and improve society. 9. 3 Following are the Benefits of CSR which build company progress: 9. . 1 Better anticipation and management of an ever-expanding spectrum of risk. Effectively managing governance, legal, social, environmental, economic and other risks in an increasingly complex market environment, with greater oversight and stakeholder scrutiny of corporate activities, can improve the security of supply and overall market stability. Considering the interests of parties concerned about a firm’s impact is one way of better anticipating and managing risk. 9. 3. 2 Improved reputation management. Organizations that perform well with regard to CSR can build their reputation, while those that perform poorly an damage brand and company value when exposed. Reputation, or brand equity, is founded on values such as trust, credibility, reliability, quality and consistency. Even for firms that do not have direct retail exposure through brands, their reputation for addressing CSR issues as a supply chain partner— both good and bad—can be crucial commercially. 9. 3. 3 Enhanced ability to recruit, develop and retain staff. This can be the direct result of pride in the company’s products and practices, or of introducing improved human resources practices, such as “family-friendly” policies.

It can also be the indirect result of programs and activities that improve employee morale and loyalty. Employees are not only front-line sources of ideas for improved performance, but are champions of a company for which they are proud to work. 9. 3. 4 Improved innovation, competitiveness and market positioning. CSR is as much about seizing opportunity as avoiding risk. Drawing feedback from diverse stakeholders can be a rich source of ideas for new products, processes and markets, resulting in competitive advantages.

For example, a firm may become certified to environmental and social standards so it can become a supplier to particular retailers. The history of good business has always been one of being alert to trends, innovation, and responding to markets. Increasingly, mainstream advertising features the environmental or social benefits of products (e. g. , hybrid cars, unleaded petrol,14 ethicallyproduced coffee, wind turbines, etc. ). 9. 3. 5 Enhanced operational efficiencies and cost savings. These flow in particular from improved efficiencies identified through a systematic approach to management that includes continuous improvement.

For example, assessing the environmental and energy aspects of an operation can reveal opportunities for turning waste streams into revenue streams (wood chips into particle board, for example) and for system-wide reductions in energy use, and costs. 9. 3. 6 Improved ability to attract and build effective and efficient supply chain relationships. A firm is vulnerable to the weakest link in its supply chain. Like-minded companies can form profitable long-term business relationships by improving standards, and thereby reducing risks. Larger firms can stimulate smaller firms with whom they do business to implement a CSR approach.

For example, some large apparel retailers require their suppliers to comply with worker codes and standards. 9. 3. 7 Enhanced ability to address change. A company with its “ear to the ground” through regular stakeholder dialogue is in a better position to anticipate and respond to regulatory, economic, social and environmental changes that may occur. Increasingly, firms use CSR as a “radar” to detect evolving trends in the market. 9. 3. 8 More robust “social licence” to operate in the community. Improved citizen and stakeholder understanding of the firm and its objectives and activities translates into improved stakeholder relations.

This, in turn, may evolve into more robust and enduring public, private and civil society alliances (all of which relate closely to CSR reputation, discussed above). CSR can help build “social capital. ” 9. 3. 9 Access to capital. Financial institutions are increasingly incorporating social and environmental criteria into their assessment of projects. When making decisions about where to place their money, investors are looking for indicators of effective CSR management. A business plan incorporating a good CSR approach is often seen as a proxy for good management. 9. 3. 0 Improved relations with regulators. In a number of jurisdictions, governments have expedited approval processes for firms that have undertaken social and environmental activities beyond those required by regulation. In some countries, governments use (or are considering using) CSR indicators in deciding on procurement or export assistance contracts. This is being done because governments recognize that without an increase in business sector engagement, government sustainability goals cannot be reached. 9. 3. 11 A catalyst for responsible consumption. Changing unsustainable atterns of consumption is widely seen as an important driver to achieving sustainable development. Companies have a key role to play in facilitating sustainable consumption patterns and lifestyles through the goods and services they provide and the way they provide them. “Responsible consumerism” is not exclusively about changing consumer preferences. It is also about what goods are supplied in the marketplace, their relationship to consumer rights and sustainability issues, and how regulatory authorities mediate the relationship between producers and consumers. 0. Identify any limitations, pre-requisites, ethical issues or risks involved in undertaking this dissertation. (Is there anything you are depending on that could go wrong and jeopardise the whole thing? ) 10. 1 Questionnaire: It is very important to get a fair and honest opinion from the customers. Hence the sample will be taken from the large group of customers. An ample amount of time will be spent on the analysis of the questionnaire so thast if any errors are found, it can be corrected by preparing different sets of questionnaire. 10. Interview: As I am trying to research on how strategies and programmes of CSR build company progress, it will be essential for me to get a fair and unbiased view from the managers of both companies. A thorough review of the literature should also help me to gauge and judge if the viewpoint is biased or not. 11. What alternative methods of primary data collection have you considered and discounted? To get a better understanding about what Indian organisation believed about CSR techniques, it would have been better to conduct a face to face interview.

However, this could turn ot to be rather time consuming and expensive, hence idea was exempted. I would be collecting data from India through email, internet and may be conduct interviews through webcam.? References Hohnen, P (2007) Corporate Social Responsibility: An implementation Guide for business (Online). Available from: http://www. iisd. org/pdf/2007/csr_guide. pdf [Accessed 24th March 2011] Moir, L (2001) What do we mean by Corporate Social responsibility? Corporate Governance. 1(2) 16-22. Literature review


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