Efficacy of Social Responsibility


By

Author:
Prof. M. Subramanian
Asst. Professor (Finance)
R.L. Institute of Management Studies
Madurai

Co-Authors:
Ms. Divya, Ms. Sivaranjani, Mr. Gopi, Mr. Senthilkumar, Mr. Nirmal Maharaja
I-MBA (Batch 2007-09), RLIMS, Madurai
 


Introduction

Man is a social animal as somebody rightly said; we the privileged human beings posses 6 senses who are ultimately responsible for the preservation of this beautiful world by our socially responsible actions and activities. But the questions which challenge us are:

* Do all have the proper awareness of social responsibility?
* Is it the ultimate responsibility of Government to be socially responsible for all the abuses made by people?
* Is it the responsibility of corporate to be socially responsible to maintain and develop the eco friendly environment?

This article is an attempt to find few snippets which will answer the above questions.

What is Social Responsibility?

The online dictionary Wikipedia says: "Social responsibility is an ethical or ideological theory that an entity whether it is a government, corporation, organization or individual has a responsibility to society. This responsibility can be "negative," in that it is a responsibility to refrain from acting (resistance stance) or it can be "positive," meaning there is a responsibility to act (proactive stance). While primarily associated with business and governmental practices, activist groups and local communities can also be associated with social responsibility, not only business or governmental entities.

A survey outcome on social responsibility

The first year MBA Students (Ms. Divya, Ms.Sivaranjani, Ms. Nirmal Maharaja, Mr. Senthil Kumar, Mr. Gopi) of R.L.Institute of Management Studies, Madurai did a mini survey on "What is Social Responsibility?" The following are the various outcomes of the survey:

Individual Respondent's response

*
Helping the poor.
* Growing trees.
* Educating with service mind.
* Adopting orphans.
* Paying tax promptly.
* Eye / Blood donation.
* Save electricity.
* Raising voice for women empowerment.
* Equal Pay.
* Helping helpless old age people.
* Keeping the environment litter free.
* Making advice not to marry within blood relations.

Corporate Respondent's response

*
Providing rural employment
* Treating the industrial waste with proper effluent plants.
* Building educational institutions and hospitals.
* Helping the government in construction of public convenience facilities, maintaining gardens, traffic barricade etc.
* Creating awareness about the globalization and its cause & effect.
* Taking the technology to the public through user friendly modes.
* Developing infrastructure in backward areas by setting up industries there.

Discussion on the above responses with the author's view point

*
The survey result shows that social responsibility awareness is at reasonable level, but the probing question is will the mere awareness enough? A million dollar unanswered question.

* The author and his team proposes a few tips and ways for effective social responsibility system:

For individuals

- Start growing more service mind set from school level onwards, with more focus and more effectively put the students into practice towards doing more service For example, take school kids to govt. hospital and let them learn how the system works and why it fails or succeeds? Definitely this kind of activity will make them to think a loud.

- Ask them to help the old age people demonstrate by examples, take them to a old age home and tell them how to and what to help them? In turn they can practice the same at the home. Assign marks to these kinds of activities and make it compulsory.

- Ask the educational institutions to inculcate the practice of social responsibility as their second nature. At one stage schools & colleges should mould the students to volunteer more for service; rather than compelling them by undue pressures in terms of marks. But to start with we may insist this system to be compulsory with marks.

For Corporate

*
Install the social responsibility practices more vigorous with a service mind set.

* Government should make it compulsory that every corporate should also submit their corporate social responsibility reports and accounts along with their regular annual reports.

* As told earlier rather than insisting and enforcing things it should become a practice.

CSR - Corporate Examples

INFOSYS, India (Courtesy: Official Websiet of Insosys)

Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Infosys Technologies Ltd., came into existence on 4th December 1996 with the objective of fulfilling the social responsibility of the company by supporting and encouraging the underprivileged sections of society. In a short span of time, the Foundation has implemented numerous projects in its chosen areas. The Foundation has undertaken various initiatives in providing medical facilities to remote rural areas, organizing novel pension schemes and in aiding orphans and street children. It has undertaken a large rural education program titled "A library for every school" under which 5500 libraries have been set up in government schools spread across many villages. Other activities include the reconstruction of old school buildings, setting up of rural Science Centers and schemes to provide support to dying traditional art and culture forms.

TATA Group, India (Courtesy: Official Websiet of TATA)

The Tata Memorial Centre is not just India's best cancer hospital. It is a global centre of excellence where 70 per cent of patients get free primary care. About 10 to 12 million people the world over suffer from cancer. Almost 52 per cent of them are from developing countries. In India 800,000 are diagnosed with this dreaded disease every day. At any given time there are 2.5 million old and new patients. If you think this is bad news, there's worse to come. By 2020 the number of patients globally will shoot up to 20 million, and 72 per cent of them will be from the third world. Is India geared for this future? Not at all, says Dr Ketayun Dinshaw, director, Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), adding, "we need a Tata Memorial Hospital in every state." She says it was extraordinary vision which made the Tatas set up a speciality cancer centre at a time when there were only a handful of them in the world. Today TMC treats one-third of the cancer patients in the country.

Conclusion

The sense of Social responsibility for every human being is the central axis for saving today's highly polluted world. The author and his team wishes that each and every individual and corporate should have a socially responsible mindset to make better and brighter tomorrow.

Author's Email id: madurai_subbu@yahoo.co.in.

A word about the co-authors:

All co-authors of this paper are the First Year MBA Students of RLIMS, Madurai. All 5 students (Divya, Sivaranjani, Gopi, Senthilkumar and Nirmal) are very studious and industrious. I hope all these 5 stars will come out with more flying colors in coming days. As a faculty to these students I am very proud to present these budding executives to the corporate world that these 5 students will definitely be super performing assets to your organizations.
 


Author:
Prof. M. Subramanian
Asst. Professor (Finance)
R.L. Institute of Management Studies
Madurai

Co-Authors:
Ms. Divya, Ms. Sivaranjani, Mr. Gopi, Mr. Senthilkumar, Mr. Nirmal Maharaja
I-MBA (Batch 2007-09), RLIMS, Madurai
 

Source: E-mail September 12, 2007

          

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