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Chapter one


1.1 Background of the Study

For more than 30 years, academics and practitioners have worked to define and agree on the idea of corporate social responsibility. Davis (1960) proposed that social responsibility refers to firms’ “decisions and actions taken for reasons at least partially beyond the firm’s direct economic or technical interest.”

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

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a concept that has existed for almost 50 years, has recently regained popularity. According to Peter Utting (2005), 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 include

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

Corporate social and environmental performance has recently been scrutinised by corporate stakeholders; as a result, CSR has become a generally accepted concept and an increasingly important factor in business decision-making.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is 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 conceived in the 1950s, but it rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as a result of greater public scrutiny and focus on the corporate image.

Increased scrutiny has also led to a rapid expansion of the tools used to manage, measure, communicate, and reward corporate social responsibility.

The breadth of activities covered by CSR projects is broad and debatable; however, most definitions incorporate three key pillars: economic growth, ecological balance, and social improvement.

CSR elements include adapting 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 sponsoring a local sporting club).

The impact and legitimacy of CSR have been the focus of continuing discussion and development. While most theories focus on economics, politics, social integration, or ethics, the opinions on these topics differ greatly. These perspectives include the following:

concentrating just on generating a profit, as “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”

Ø Going beyond profit making by analysing the influence of corporate actions on the social system.

Going beyond economic and legal needs, leading in an early conception of company ethics and corporate citizenship.

Øvoluntary activities, where the marginal return on company expenditure on CSR is smaller than that of alternative expenditure.

• Economic, legal, and voluntary activity.

Concern about the larger social system.

societal responsiveness involves adapting business activity to meet societal demands and aligning with established conventions, values, and performance expectations.

According to Carpenter et al. (2010), some opponents contend that certain firms’ implementation of corporate social responsibility is merely a veneer. Many people assume that corporate social responsibility efforts are nothing more than marketing campaigns for company brands.

Many Nigerians are unaware of corporate social responsibility; hence, anytime an organisation does something’supposedly substantial’ for society, the company and its management are praised for being compassionate and generous.

Nigeria’s public sector is expected to manage the implications of their activities by implementing a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. In his research on corporate social responsibility among public sector corporations

Onwuegbuchi (2009) found that the majority of Nigeria’s public sector companies implemented corporate social responsibility programmes as a philanthropic gesture as well as for government and public evaluation.

He went on to say that certain public sector employees followed environmental and labour norms that were appropriate for them in order to comply with basic national legislation.

The Nigerian government should ensure that the public sector’s corporate social responsibility policy includes self-regulation, compliance with rules and regulations, ethical standards, environmental responsibility and sustainability, consumer satisfaction, employee welfare, community and stakeholder benefits.

The issues in the environment in which an organisation functions cannot be overlooked. As a result, there is a need to investigate the challenges and opportunities of corporate social responsibility in Nigeria.

In its most robust version, the notion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) states that firms have an obligation to consider the interests of consumers, employees, shareholders, communities, and the ecological “footprint” in all aspects of their operations.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Despite the recent focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Nigeria, public sector organisations continue to be a source of worry. Most public-sector organisations continue to see no reason to accept corporate social responsibility policies. Companies who reluctantly accepted and implemented corporate social responsibility policies do so for profit reasons.

Another gap in corporate social responsibility research is that the majority of studies on the subject were undertaken in industrialised countries, and their findings were found to be inapplicable to some emerging countries’ economies, such as Nigeria.

As a result, this study will look at the challenges and opportunities for corporate social responsibility in Nigeria, utilising the public sector as a case study. It is paradoxical that these groups draw resources from the outside world, and it is only natural to return what has been taken.

Unfortunately, this aberration is the norm in this region of the world, and cankerworm can only be alleviated via research dissertations like this, publication, media coverage, campaigns, and raising awareness about the importance of corporate social responsibility in our society.


The overarching goal of this research is to investigate the issues and potential of corporate social responsibility in the Local Government sector. Specifically, the study aims to:

1. Investigate how corporate social responsibility (CSR) influences community reputation in Nigeria’s public sector.

2. Compare the difference in perceived staff patronage and brand loyalty between companies that practise corporate social responsibility and those who do not in the Nigerian public sector.

3. Determine how corporate social responsibility adoption affects community development and profitability.

4. Assess the economic, social, and environmental elements that influence corporate social responsibility (CSR) adoption in Nigeria’s public sector.

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