Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gained popularity in the recent past in the different parts of the world that experience varied policy issues, cultural difference, and development level. The above paper will thus try to understand the how the concept of CSR is applied in the different business settings and identify the gaps that exist in such setting. CSR is thus regarded as the necessary voluntary action that is taken by commercial enterprises other than the legal requirements to show their concern for an efficient management of the economy, environment and a positive impact on society (Simionescu 181). The above concept reflects the responsibility as an approach used by businesses to generate value to communities and the extent to which CSR is applied varies depending on the size of the respective companies, sector and where the company is situated. In the current dynamic setting that is featured with globalization, most of the organizations in the UK have employed the use of CSR to help them remain competitive in the market.
It worth noting that business has sought to embrace the aspect of CSR because it does not only contribute well to societies but derives a broad range of benefits such as enhancement of staffs retention, the building of the organization reputation, improved production and innovation. However, diversity in its use has led to continuous evolution to meet the changes in the society.
The aspect of CSR evolved in the 1920s as a result of the great depression but became famous in the 50's when it was integrated into most of the business operations. The concept has gained different definition over the decades and varies with places as scholars have varied opinions concerning it. However, despite the variation in the definition of the concept, there is a harmonized view that the concept is meant to make businesses realize desirable objectives and values that contribute to the well-being of societies. Its use, definition, and application have continued to expand over the decades, an aspect that has made it be recognized for contributing to economic and social balance in different economies. The strategy of CSR in business has introduced issues of transparency in business, innovation, sustainability of the surroundings among other aspects that contribute to efficient operations of the enterprise activities (González-Rodríguez et al. 840).
The UK definition is different and unique in that it incorporates four essential aspects which are valued for the effective functioning of an organization. The first element that is appreciated in the above definition is the fact that for sustainability of a business, it must make profits failure to which it will end up collapsing. The second aspect that is appreciated in the definition is that the enterprise must abide by the state laws where they are operated and have a positive impact on the surrounding community and environment as well. However, the final aspect that is incorporated in the definition is that an emphasis on societal impact with a clear indication that the business has a responsibility of taking contributing positively to the community (Tang et al. 210).
The dilemma in the most definition is provided by the term "social responsibility" which is understood differently by varied populaces. While other take it as the legal liability of an enterprise, others consider it as operating in an ethical manner while others utilize it to engage the organization in charity contribution to cater to the community needs. As a result of the intensified dilemma in the definition of the concept, it is important to appreciate that there is increased effort to find a dimension that can be universally accepted (González-Rodríguez et al. 842). The above concern has resulted in the development of an ISO definition that is used globally by different corporate and includes seven core aspects which include the following;
And consumer issues
Culture and CSR
Although globalization has characterized the current world, it is worth noting the significance of culture in the different organizations across the globe. The perception that globalization will harmonize business practices across the world cannot be considered to be entirely true more so with the recent trend in increased public pressure, need to gain efficiency in business operations and remaining competitive in the market. However, the desire to incorporate different aspects of globalization such as ISO and Global Impact among others is helping the business organization to experience shared norms. One of the factors that make the culture of the business to remain distinct is the fact that each country has its traditions and beliefs which are practiced to regain reputation in the surrounding environment (Lund-Thomsen et al. 6).
Hence, a business culture is thus considered to be a product that helps in the determination of developing corporate that is used in directing the company within the state that the enterprise is operated. Therefore, the multinational organizations are forced to abide by the cultures of the different regions where they operate so as to remain relevant in the market as it has a significant influence on business performance. An example of an enterprise that was negatively affected by the culture in the international market is Wal-Mart, which was eliminated from South Korea and Germany due to variation in the way they operate a business.
It is worth noting that the differences in the culture or tradition have a significant influence on how CSR is practiced in an area hence influence how business is performed. The traditions, therefore, influence the behavior that is cultivated in a corporate, its values as stated by owners and stakeholders and in the formalization of the different policies that regulate the business. Therefore, it has significant effects on the way people view the business hence affecting their expectation, the managerial roles, and the type of trade relations that are maintained by the different companies. Therefore in various places, culture influences the way business take the concept of societal responsibility as will be indicated as follows. In India for example, the state is renowned for trusteeship while in South Africa, the society expects that there should be a mutual relationship between business organization and communities. In other countries like Brazil aspects of social responsibility is believed to contributing to projects like education, health or other issues that concerns the well-being of societies (González-Rodríguez et al. 842).
Apparently, while globalization helps in harmonizing the different practices that are embraced in organizations there are concerns that culture has an essential role in influencing how the management identifies their roles and the organizational mandate to society. Hence, the manner in which CSR is practiced varies depending on the place, company and other different issues. Globalization concepts have helped in the ensuring that best practices are employed in the various organizations across the world to make corporate remain on the competitive edge.
The level of economic development of a country has a significant influence on how business practice CSR as will be explained shortly. The above state can be measured by using the Responsible Competitiveness Index (RCI) which is an important tool used by firms to measure the level of development in the different countries. The concept offers business situated countries with high RCI to utilize the new economic opportunities to benefit themselves and to remain competitive in the global market. Furthermore, the concept enhances performance level of companies situated in areas with high level of growth by the mere fact that they benefit from the economic development of the region, social well-being and finally sustainability aspects. It is, therefore, important to appreciate the fact that growth of such sectors is possible, experience regional progress and public growth in general (Lund-Thomsen et al. 7).
However, three main factors are considered in accounting for the RCI concept which includes the different business actions that the enterprise is involved that are in agreement with CSR requirements. Some of these actions include the use of good governance, impacting well on societies and realizing environmental sustainability among other issues. Social enabler as a concept of enhancing competitiveness influences the different aspects of the environment and politics to engage the various governments and societies in impacting positively by reshaping the souk. Policy drivers include the different regulation that is set in place, to regulate the various practices that are performed by businesses to indicate virtue of responsibility among them.
According to research findings, it is evident that RCI as an indicator of economic development has a significant influence on embracing of responsible business practices across the world. The 2007 statistics indicates that most of the countries with high level of competition embraced CSR came from the developed countries with UK being among them while the less developed countries experienced a weak market as they failed to practice CSR to a great extent (Dartey-Baah et al. 74). There are different barriers in the less developed countries that hinder the practice of CSR, and effective strategies should thus be developed that will help in improving on the environmental sustainability, work relations, and other critical issues. Hence, structuring of the CSR concept in most organizations will be one way through which organizations will realize competitive advantage in the current global setting.
Globalization has intensified competition in the trans-national corporate with most organizations turning to the social and environmental impacts of their primary strategy for remaining competitive in the market. The notion of CSR is understood to have evolved from the European countries, and the manner in which the idea is practiced is directly linked to the cultural and social context of the people. The concept use varies from place to place and has experienced various definitions due to the difference in the culture and level of development in the different societies where CSR is employed. From the study, it is evident that countries with the mature economy like Sweden and UK are among the countries that practice CSR while the less developed countries embrace the concept but to a less extent. It is important to appreciate that ethical and social commitments are the key aspects towards the implementation of CSR. We can conclude by stating that the purpose of the above study was achieved as it was found that CSR is a concept that has gained varied definitions over decades. Cultural issues, traditions and economic growth of a state have significant impacts on the extent to which responsible practices are embraced in various parts of the world.
Dartey-Baah, Kwasi, Kwesi Amponsah-Tawiah, and Victoria Agbeibor. "Corporate Social Responsibility In Ghana's National Development." Africa Today 62.2 (2015): 71-93.
González-Rodríguez, M. Rosario, M. Carmen Díaz-Fernández, and Biagio Simonetti. "The Social, Economic and Environmental Dimensions of Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role Played By Consumers and Potential Entrepreneurs." International Business Review 24. (2015): 836-848.
Lund-Thomsen, Peter, Adam Lindgreen, and Joelle Vanhamme. "Special Issue on Industrial Clusters and Corporate Social Responsibility In Developing Countries." Journal of Business Ethics 133.1 (2016): 5-8.
Simionescu, Liliana Nicoleta. "The Relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (Csr) And Sustainable Development (Sd)." Internal Auditing & Risk Management 10.2 (2015): 179-190.
Tang, Lu, Christine C. Gallagher, and Bijie Bie. "Corporate Social Responsibility Communication through Corporate Websites: A Comparison of Leading Corporations in the United States and China." Journal of Business Communication 52.2 (2015): 205-227.