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Chapter one



1.1 Background of the Study

As recently as a decade ago, many businesses saw business ethics solely as administrative compliance with legal standards and adherence to internal rules and regulations.

Today’s scenario is different. Attention to business ethics and social initiative is growing around the world, and many businesses recognise that in order to prosper, they must earn the respect and trust of their consumers and other stakeholders.

Corporations are being urged, encouraged, and nudged more than ever before to improve their business procedures in order to emphasise legal and ethical behaviour through their personnel.

Companies, professional firms, government parastatals, and individuals are all being held more accountable for their acts as there is a growing need for better standards of social responsibility.

Social responsibility is an ethical or ideological framework that holds an entity, such as a government corporation, organisation, or individual, accountable to society. This responsibility might be ‘negative’ in the sense that it is a responsibility not to act (resistance position) or ‘positive’ in the sense that it is a responsibility to act (proactive stance).

While social responsibility is most commonly connected with business and government policies, activist groups and local communities can also be associated with it, in addition to business companies.

Nonetheless, the practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will be the emphasis of this research, and the impact on organisational effectiveness will be thoroughly investigated.

Corporate social responsibility simply means eradicating corrupt, irresponsible, or unethical activity that may cause harm to the business or corporation, its employees, and, most importantly, the environment before the behaviour is exhibited.

Here are several simple definitions of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

It is the responsibility to profitably service employees and consumers in an ethical and legal manner.

Organisations have a commitment to maximise positive influence while minimising negative impact on society.

Ø It is the concern about the implications of an institution’s or a person’s act, which may influence the interests of others, including the environment and involuntary customers.

Additionally, corporations should prioritise societal well-being.

Ø It is a company’s ethical code towards the environment, customers, employees, and investors.

Responsible agents choose to engage in a society and reap its benefits.

According to the International Standards Organisation (ISO), “CSR is the action of an organisation to take responsibility for the impacts of its activities on the society and the environment

where this action; is consistent with the interests of the society and its sustainable development; is based on ethical behaviour, compliance with applicable law and inter-governmental instruments and; is integrated into the ongoing activities of the organisation” (Drafted ).

In general, the word CSR refers to a company’s responsibility to society; more specifically, it refers to its stakeholders and those affected by business policies and activities.

Although there is a CSR dichotomy between the “right thing to do” (normative case) and “enlightened self-interest” (the business case), executives’ and organisations’ motivation for engaging in CSR will most likely be a combination of these (Smith 2003: 52–76).

Also, the CSR principle is concerned with business’s societal responsibility, on which many organisations agree, although the nature and scope of these commitments are debatable.

In today’s world, a business must uphold ethical ideals in order to succeed. According to Kaliski (2001), firms can employ ethical decision making to improve their operations in two (2) ways.

The first method is to use ethical decision-making to raise productivity by implementing programmes that employees believe directly improve their benefits, such as improved health care, a better pension programme, and effective career management, among others.

So, one thing that all businesses must remember is that employees are business stakeholders, which means they have a vested interest in what the company does and how it is run, because most employees will be proud to be associated with a socially responsible organisation with a positive reputation.

The second method that businesses can employ ethical decision making to boost their operations is to make decisions that affect their health as seen by stakeholders outside the business environment, such as customers, suppliers, and citizens.

If we look at a company like Academy Press Pic, we can see that their strong sense of public responsibility serves as a teaching ground. The company attracts students on industrial attachments as well as a large number of locals in their neighbourhood through its apprenticeship training system.

The company not only trains the aforementioned employees, but also provides allowances and other benefits. The corporation conducts this as part of its own C5R strategy, covering the cost of training and positioning itself as a training ground.

As a result, it benefits from the extra work put in by these trainees to increase overall productivity and performance.

However, these are the two methods in which any company’s management can use ethical behaviour or decision making to grow their organisation, and they serve as the area of coverage while implementing the C5R programme.

Importance of CSR in Human Resource Management

CRS must be integrated in an organization’s culture to affect a change in action, attitude, and obtain the backing of top-level communication and policy execution in order to increase behavioural changes towards the ethics and culture of both the organisation and society as a whole.

It is the responsibility of the HR Manager to influence attitudes and connect line managers with top-level management, thus it is well-positioned to perform the same function in CSR.

HR is also in charge of the critical systems and processes that enable effective delivery. HR can offer CSR credibility and align it with how businesses are managed.

CSR could be integrated into the HR process via employer branding, recruitment, appraisal, retention, motivation, reward, internal communications, diversity, coaching, and training.

HR plays an important part in making CSR work. CSR without HR risks being viewed as public relations or just “window dressing”. As a result, an effective CSR project provides HR practitioners with a better opportunity to maintain a strategic focus and operate as business partners.

The way a company treats its employees has a direct impact on whether it is perceived as willing to accept greater responsibilities, create credibility, and confidence in them.

Employees increasingly value this, particularly when deciding who they want to work for. People, particularly the younger generation, do not want to work in environments that conflict with their personal ideals.

Employees, both current and future, place a growing priority on the legitimacy of an organization’s brand. Employers are leveraging the positive qualities of their brand to attract, motivate, and retain highly competent employees.

Finally, firms must coordinate their CSR efforts and demonstrate their commitment to them. Effective CSR depends on being perceived as important throughout service delivery, rather than rhetoric, which stakeholders demand in order to establish trust in the organisation.

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