Strategic Partnership with NGO'S to Corporate Social responsibility: HR Managers Role


By

Prof. Dileep Kumar M.
Ex-Professor
Symbiosis (SCMHRD, SCDL), IIIT, SCMLD, SBS
Pune
 


Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility is the voluntary role and contribution on the part of the business community towards a better social and environmental development, which is beyond their investment to organisational development. The business organisations can be lead by large multinationals and for small, locally based businesses. While, the actions on the part of business organisations here to be ethically bound to its stakeholders, who include customers, owners/investors, government, suppliers and competitors. Corporate Social Responsibility consists of a wide-range activities and programs that involves businesses looking at how to improve their social, environmental and local economic impact, their influence on society, social cohesion and human rights, and fair trade. Key areas of concern are environmental protection and the well being of employees, the community and civil society in general, both now and in the future. It refers to the comprehensive approach that a corporation takes to meet or exceed stakeholder expectations beyond measures of revenue, profit and legal obligation.

Non-Governmental Organisations and Corporate Social Responsibility

How far the Non Governmental Organisations in the nation can join hands with the corporate in their effort to social and environmental development is the prime concern of this article. The corporate social responsibility blends the objective of social development and environmental protection thorough ethical effort. Many non-governmental organisations in India are engaged in social development and environmental development activities. These organisations are good enough to support the industrial development by ensuring community participation the developmental process. The concept of corporate social responsibility is underpinned by the idea that corporations can no longer act as isolated economic entities operating in detachment from broader society. Corporate Social Responsibility to be looked upon as mutual support programs that ensure development of community near by the industrial area with the expansion and development of the industrial organisations.

The community today needs external agency intervention in the alleviation of many social problems like poverty, health, unemployment, community education, homelessness and eco development programs. By looking upon the needs of the community, the organisation gets an opportunity to understand the social needs of the people and it will enable them to intervene into such social issues and finding solution to the many basic needs. It develops greater trust and confidence on the community on the business organisation effort in their real development. Integrated community investment strategies align internal community-related issues and link business goals with community needs. Here the role of Non Governmental Organisations can be better realized. The Non Governmental Organisations existing within the industrial location and closer to the community can better act as moderators and facilitators in the realization of their social need and better environmental protection. The industrial expansion is a threat to the people living near by and it invites protest from many like consumer, investors, activist groups, government regulators and other stakeholders. To develop a better rapport with the community in the implementation of the developmental activities the Non Governmental organisations can play better role with the industry and community. They can help the industrial management in convincing the expansion program to the community and there by develop a proactive and social environmental and industrial development policy. Lower operating costs, Enhanced brand image and reputation, Reduced regulatory oversight, Product safety and decreased liability, Improved financial performance etc are the benefit to the organisation. The benefit of Corporate Social Responsibility not only for the community and organisation but also for the employees. The Research demonstrates Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives have a positive impact on employee morale, motivation, commitment, loyalty, training, recruitment and turnover. Benefits in these areas have been found to improve the bottom line of companies. Three surveys across Europe, the USA and a survey involving 25 countries found employees felt greater loyalty, satisfaction and motivation when their companies were socially responsible. The impact of these HR initiatives gives better brand image to the organisation in the labour market and it in turn help the HR department to get potential employees who believe in similar values system. The ultimate goal of such effort is the development of an  'organisational culture' which establishes harmonious relationship with the Community-Employee and Organisation at large. This establishes that fact that many Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives reflect the essence of Human Resource Management activities.

Role of Human Resource Managers

If Non Governmental Organisations can play better role in the corporate social responsibility, the question here is, who can play better role in linking industry with community. The answer here is Human Resource Management Department of the industry. The HR managers should take lead in its effort to make a linkage between community and the industry. To develop better rapport with the people, HR managers have to make use of their Strategic Relationship Management Skills. They should interact with the community by establishing better linkage with the Non Governmental Organisations Working there in the locality. The HR managers can initially conduct Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with the community and community leaders with the help of Non Governmental Organisations and need evaluation and need prioritization is to be conducted. Here HR managers can act as facilitators in the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. The community may have unlimited social needs. It is the responsibility of the HR managers to intervene into those needs and give a realistic perception to the community members related to their unlimited and unrealistic needs. The needs of the community to be segregated into important and important needs, to unimportant and unimportant needs. Both short-term goals and long-term goals are to be segregated. The discussion to be entertained and the need categorization and finalization should come from the community itself. The HR managers who act as the implied leaders should lead the community towards realistic goal perception that integrate the goals and objectives of Corporate Social Responsibility programme initiated by the organisation. This indicates that as leaders of the Corporate Social Responsibility programme HR managers should integrate the needs of the community and that of the organisation. The list of social development needs and the environmental protection needs to be discussed soon after the Focus Group Discussions, with the top management in order to ascertain whether all those needs can be met with the budget allotment for the developmental programs.  A multi level discussion, with members of the NGO's, HR managers and representative of the Top Management, is to be initiated for the finalization of the social intervention programme. Corporate Social Responsibility offers the HR community opportunities to demonstrate its strategic focus. The relationship with the community and Non Governmental Organisations indicates the level of HR manager's success role in the Corporate Social Responsibility effort.

Conclusion

Corporate social responsibility is most frequently used to describe a company's relations with its wider community. CSR is on the boundary of HR and PR. There are dangers for companies and for the HR function if it is allowed to slide too far towards PR. More than excessive use of relationship management techniques they should make use of strategic relationship management approaches. This strategic relationship management approaches includes the relationship development, maintenance and separation factors. After the goal attainment the HR managers should be able to separate themselves from the community and Non Governmental Organisations and lead them to new interventions and action programmes where the organisations development and Social Development can be better integrated. If HR managers are not orienting and experimenting them with innovative areas the Human Resource Management don't have better role in the industrial sector. HR has a role in demonstrating the benefits of workplace practices that both reflect CSR and at the same time, contribute to organizational efficiency and success.  

Bibliography

1. Department of Trade and Industry. Business and society: corporate social responsibility. 2002.
2. Britain at Work. Workplace Employment Relations Survey, 1998.
3. Career tracking survey. London, CIPD, 2001.
4. Recruitment and retention survey. London, CIPD, 2002.
5. Annual Report - www.bemlindia.com
6. www.humanresourcesmagazine.com.au/CSR/challenge.htm
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9. www.ziplink.net
10. www.societyandbusiness.gov.uk
11. www.takinitglobal.org
12. www.state.gov
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15. www.ttf.co.uk/industry/csr
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The wider issue for HR practitioners is how far they are going to be involved in promoting and implementing CSR initiatives. It is the need of the hour to integrate new areas of Human Resource intervention and there by facilitate the organisation in a different manner towards its growth and expansion. Without serving and lead the organisation towards the business surplus, the HR managers have no role in industry. The hard realty is that HR operations have to link their role with profit maximization and industrial expansion. Here the HR managers have significant role in linking Corporate Social Responsibility with NGOs in the effective Human Resource Development, Organisational Development and Social Development.
 


Prof. Dileep Kumar M.
Ex-Professor
Symbiosis (SCMHRD, SCDL), IIIT, SCMLD, SBS
Pune
 

Source: E-mail April 3, 2006

    

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