Evaluate notion that Zimbabwean Organizations do not participate in corporate social responsibilities for its sake
The notion that Zimbabwean Organizations do not participate in corporate social responsibilities for its sake is not true to a greater extend. “Corporate social responsibility generates direct and indirect business benefits and advantages to the corporation that adopt it” (Bueble, 2009). Organizations may carry out social responsibility in order to enhance public image, to attract and retain investors, to boost employee engagement and to a have wider media coverage.
Corporate Social responsibility refers to the activities undertaken by an organization in order to benefit the society in which that organization operates. It can also be defined as the integration of socially beneficial programs and practices into a corporation’s business model and culture for example funding environmental and health awareness programs, funding scholarships.
An organization is a social unit of people that is structured and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals and do have a management structure that determines relationships between the different activities and the members, and subdivides and assigns roles, responsibilities, and authority to carry out different taskswww.businessdictionary.com
Attracts ; Retains Investors
When companies carry out corporate social responsibility they donate money to voluntary organizations such as Joshua Nkomo Scholarship Fund , they are giving a clear message to investors that they don’t just care about profits but they also have the society at heart. Investors who invest into the organisation are interested in how their funds are being that is if they are used properly hence they show that they have an interest in the local community in which they operate from and in turn retain their investors and attract also new investors.This is so because investors tend to view corporate social responsibility not as waste of money but as an indicator that the organisation is less likely to produce expensive missteps like financial fraud.
Increases Media Coverage
Embarking on coroporate social responsibility benefits the organisation because there is a greater chance of the organisation receiving greater media coverage and this means that with a greater media coverage the organisation as a citizen of a country will in better position to form relationships with the media outlets and they are more likely to cover stories you give them. This means the better the benefit of the corporate social responsibility to society the more the coverage. Media coverage is useful because it helps shed a positive light on the organisation. However if the organisation participate in activities that bring upon negative community impacts, the media will also pick this up. Unfortunately, bad news spreads quicker than good news thus ruining the public image of the organisations
License to operate
Moreover, organisations participating in corporate social activities do not have to worry about social license to operate (Balcerowicz, 2015).An organisation may actually acquire a license to operate in such an area because of their corporate social responsibility history. Through the good records companies can build value and achieve gains. The desire of the end consumers for guilt-free products might lead to a fall in sales of a company accused of unethical practice. A bad image of an entity can result even in boycotting its products. In addition, it is difficult to ‘greenwash’ it. After consumers decide to boycott one company’s products, most of them never go back to buying from it. Therefore, the best policy is to stay off the media radar by obeying the ethical rules from the start (Perry and Towers, 2013).
Attract new customers
In addition when organisations participate in corporate social responsibility their activities are taken into consideration by potential consumers. Most customers today are more careful during shopping. Having a choice, most of the buyers tend to choose brands known for their social responsibility that is those brands whose organisations are ploughing back into communities, even if they have to pay higher price for ecologically and socially friendly products
Porter and Kramer (2006) also demonstrate belief that becoming a socially responsible company does not only involve costs and charities, which confine managers, but it also brings benefits to them and to society. Among those perks, Porter and Kramer (2006) recite technological innovations, numerous opportunities emerging and, probably the most important in this case, competitive advantage. By participating in corporate social responsibility the organisation is in better position to know the needs of the customer since customer is the key they will produce a customized product to meet demands of the consumer giving the organisation a competitive advantage over its rivals.
Boosts Employee Engagement and retain workers
To add on participating in corporate responsibility the organisation is able to retain skilled workers and are more likely to attract more skilled workers. Employees like working for a company that has a good public image and is constantly in the media for positive reasons. Perry and Towers (2013) claim that better motivation of employees as an effect of CSR. Workers are also a part of social responsibility, and as such, they are provoked to further activity, above all at their job. Hence corporate social responsibility helps attract and retain engaged and productive employees.
Multiple innovations an organisation needs to implement to be in check with corporate social responsiblity may lead to better quality of products and services.(Mullerat, 2010). Through eliminating any errors at the stage of sourcing, production, transport and selling of a product and thanks to closer cooperation within the supply chain, a business’s chance to deliver the best product for customers’ expectations is much higher. This is so because the organisation will be in a better position to inquire from the society if it does notice any deformities in the product or service they produce and the feedback given will be of use to the organisation as it will used to produce a good quality product to meet the expectation of the customer.
However, The notion that Zimbabwean organisations do not participate in corporate social responsibility for its sake is true to a lesser extend as corporate social responsibility benefits the society in which the organization operates in form of improved standards of living, capacity building just but to mention a few.
Improved standards of living
Zimbabwean Organisations do not undertake social corporate responsibility for its sake but for the society. These may be in the form of funding of health awareness campaign programs to ensure that the society has good quality health facilities ,good sanitary resources, access to good clean water thus leading to a healthy society. For example Dettol Zimbabwe runs a wash your hands with Dettol campaign in a bid to prevent the spread of diseases like Cholera as they will be handing out free sanitary health kits to the general public and at times they may donate free health kits to local hospitals hence this results in a healthy society with a greater life expectancy with good standards of living and changed health habits
Better Employment opportunities
Moreover Zimbabwean organisations participate in corporate social responsibility inorder to benefit the society that is an organization may decide to undertake capacity building programs where some members of the community like widows ,orphans are imparted with skill so that they may find a way of survive or provide scholarships to the underprivileged but academically gifted in the society. For example Econet Wireless Zimbabwe partners with Carpenum Trust Fund in providing scholarships to students around Zimbabwe and empower beneficiaries of the scholarships with life skills and other activities in a way creating wealth and employment and there will also be more skilled labour to meet labour demands on the labour market leading to improved standards of living as there will be a source of income beacause those employed will be earning salaries.
Technology And infrastructure
To add on Zimbabwean organisations do not participate in corporate social responsibility for its sake as the society will derive greater benefits in the form of infrastructural development as an organization may decide to build houses for low income earners .For examples Old Mutual engaged in a housing scheme where the organisation is building low income housing units in Budiriro high density suburb and this will help housing shortage. In addition Old Mutual is also setting up the Housing Fund which aims to address the shortage of accommodation in the country through a partnership with Ministry of Finance and IPEC and as a result this will benefit the society as more infrastructure is build meeting the needs of that society. Old Mutual is also embarking on setting technology centres in the country and it established its first Rural technology in Chisumbanje in 2015 thus benefit that community as access to technology will not be limited to them and technology literacy will increase hence a great benefit to society as they are now abreast with what will be happening in the morden world because of technology as it is a source of information.
Natural environment protection
Not only that but also Zimbabwean organisations participate in corporate social responsibility for the benefit of the society because organisations may fund environmental awareness programs so as to keep the environment clean. For example Old Mutual has partnered with Friends of the Environment and the community to promote sound environmental management practices.It has established a nursery tree project in Zimunya located in Mutare and it has been a success in combating deforestation. OK Zimbabwe has been running keep your city clean campaigns where they put bins in schools in towns so as to reduce litter in towns and they also encouraged the use of the 3R’s that is reduce reuse recycle and this results in a clean and green environment where there is proper waste management presenting a benefit to the society in the form of a balanced ecosystem.
The notion that Zimbabwean organisations do not participate in corporate social responsibility for its sake is not true to a greater extend as most of the benefits are to the side of the organisation in the of good publicity, good media coverage, good quality products being produced which will result in more sale hence more profits and a competitive advantage over rivals thus boosting sales revenue for the organisation. However their participation in corporate social responsibility activities may also present some benefits to the society such as improved standards of living, infrastructural development and protected natural environment leading to a balanced ecosystem.
Bueble E(2009), Corporate Social Responsibility: CSR Communication as an Instrument to Consumer-Relationship Marketing, GRIN Verlag, New York
. Mullerat, R. (2010), International Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Corporations in the Economic Order of the 21st Century, Kluwer Law I nternational, Alphen aan den Rijn.
Perry, P., Towers, N. (2013), “Conceptual Framework D evelopment for CSR I mplementation in Fashion Supply Chains”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 43, No. 5/6, pp. 478 – 500.Porter, M.E., Kramer, M.R. (2006), “Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility”, Harvard Business Review, December, pp. 78 – 93.
Balcerowicz, L. (2015), “Corporate Social Responsibility: Some Clarifications and Questions”, in: Fryzel, B. (Ed.). The True Value of CSR: Corporate Identity and Stakeholder Perceptions, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp. 15 – 28