Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has got remarkable momentum in recent years. The push is on to recognize projects that indicate the corporation's sense of social responsibility and to customize projects to reflect that social responsibility sense. This is maybe a step towards the right direction when it comes to the company’s position in the host community platform, however, is also complex and difficult in its implementation.
There are two key reasons that contribute to its difficulty:
1. The companies' main goal is still net profit and they owe this to their shareholders. However, social responsibility and profits are not certainly mutually exclusive, in fact, there is usually a price tag associated with all CSR projects and a conflict is created due to this: choose the CSR project, or focus on increased ROI or customize the project to meet various CSR objectives?
2. How does the enterprise define what is socially responsible and what isn't? This is infrequently straight forward and in various cases, different social groups have aims and objectives that are conflicting with one another. The company can't meet the objectives of both groups and will be careless or irresponsible when it chooses one or the other.
These problems are combined when a corporate citizen of a country contract in work in another company or corporation with different social values. The possibilities of a conflict between two stakeholders in the enterprise increase due to the cultural differences between these stakeholders in the home community and those who are in the foreign country.
Most of the customers agree that when achieving business targets, corporations should do CSR at the same time. Most of the customer trust enterprises doing charity will get a positive response. Corporations also believe that the retailers who are selling local products will gain customer loyalty.
Nature Of CSR
The nature of corporate social responsibility can be understood as following factors:
1. Focus on business firms
Though both business and non-business organizations should be responsible in the social network, their focus is should be more about business organizations to look after social interests.
2. Deals with moral issues
Corporations must have some specific policies and programs to look after the interests of the stakeholders and employees. These programs are developed from the need to do what is right and just for the social network.
3. Pervasive activity
Corporate social responsibility is not just the commitment of top-level managers. Managers of all grades are involved in these social responsibilities.
4. Commensurate with the objective of profit maximization
Social goals are denied by economically sound corporations. A financially irresponsible corporation can’t look after the interests of the employees and stakeholders. It may pass the costs of corporate social responsibility to consumers by extending the prices of things and services.
5. Continuing activity
Social responsibility is not serving the interests of employees and stakeholders twice or only once. This is really a major factor for corporations to continuously stay connected with social issues if they want to survive in the long-run. The social and economic issues go hand in hand.
Levels of Social Responsibility
Starting from the lowest level, there are four levels of CSR:
1. To Obey the law
Managers feel the discharging social responsibility is simply obeying the law.
2. Cater to public expectations
Social responsibility goes beyond purely obeying the law. Also, to abiding by the legal framework of the country, it also caters to social expectations from the business organizations (e.g. Quality goods, providing job opportunities, controlling pollution).
3. To anticipate public expectations
At a still higher level, organizations not only fulfill the factors what society expects, but they also anticipate the needs of the employees and stakeholders and devise some programs to fulfill the needs of society.
4. To Create public expectations
At the highest level of CSR, managers not only serve to society’s demands, but also set some standards of corporate social responsibilities and want the public to get the benefits of those standards. Business organizations are moving from lower to higher levels of this CSR.
· Project managers must have knowledge about their corporation's CSR policies so that the objectives and goals of their projects conform to the policies, but they must have to go further than that.
· Project Managers must also investigate all the possible employees and their stakeholders in the country to find if there are any conflicts with the organization’s CSR policies or with each other.