Corporate Social Responsibility and Change Management


By

Prof. C. Ramalingam
M.Com, MBA, M.Phil, (Ph.D)
Department of Management Studies
Rajalakshmi Engineering College
Thandalam, Chennai-602105

Dr. R. Gayatri
Asst. Professor
MBA Department
St. Peter's University
Avadi, Chennai-54
 


Abstract:

Corporate social responsibility must be a strategic issue for organizations and HR professionals need to play a key role in supporting corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR remain marginal interest to HR professionals even though they are ideally well placed to develop organizations by promoting trust based relationship with employees as well as with stakeholders.  The credibility of CSR is dependant on effective delivery of communication at recruitment, training and regular communication of recent changes in the company's plan.  Ethical commitment to the corporate policies and adhering to promises lead to corporate business success.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Introduction:

Corporate Social Responsibility according to World Business Council for sustainable development is the commitment of business to contribute for sustainable economic development, working with employees, local community, and franchise and to society at large in order to improve their quality of work life.

Impact of Change:

Change is the natural and inevitable phenomena due to technological innovations, competitor's strategies and customer preferences. So every company must make a commitment to give better products and services to customers.

So the companies have a major responsibility to take more initiative    and motivate everyone in the organization to meet the challenges of future.  Every day, presents new challenges and opportunities for the corporate entities to succeed in their endeavor for improving profits of organization and improving the wealth of stakeholders.  How managers adopt to the changes in the horizon can make the difference between surviving and thriving.

How we approach change affects its impact on us.  Always what we do is a change.  If one does not change, he becomes a man of past and hence change is the order of the day and fight against all competitions and attract the trust of the entire stakeholder for grand success.

Change Management:

Engaging a change management is now an item for every company's "to do" list and employees need to understand these changes.  From the point of view of customers and when the people see the product, a sense of faith and trust must come about the  product's  good quality and the company . The customers also must have faith that the company would not allow a product to harm people just to earn profits.  The external environment changes also need to be viewed, planned correctly and implemented in a right manner.

In the dynamic world, nothing is constant and change is the way of life, according to changes in the economic, cultural, social and political environment, Companies must fine tune their policies, procedures, in all the functional areas.  If people are given due importance and are allowed to participate in the change management with full involvement, many good ideas would come to solve the problems of business in corporate enterprises. Everyone needs to be made responsible for making the working Environment a great place to work and make positive difference to community.

Responsibility of HR:

The corporate senior executives have more social responsibility to give a better and a bigger image to all the stakeholders and the senior executives must create an "a-ha" moment of insight to satisfy the expectations of all the employees inside and other stakeholders outside.  HR professionals need to play a key role in developing effective people management practices. The way the company treats an employee will directly tell how willing it is to accept its wider responsibilities. Persons are increasingly hoping to align their personal values with corporate values. They want to feel a deeper sense of Motivation. Having highly motivated employees with good caliber would lead to more creativity in the organization. The creative people in the organization   would be able to Adapt to the changes and make a good change management in the organization to work according to changing expectations of external stake holders.    Proper attention must be given to all the employees and everyone should feel that they are convinced and the work environment is free from all the harassments; then they could achieve greater success under changing conditions of business environment.  So everyone in the organization must get involved to improve the quality of service given to organization.  If they   back off in the face of changing conditions; important communication line starts fading away. People withdraw from problems; It should not happen, on the contrary, employees must focus and refocus on the problem to achieve excellence in their quality of work. Every employee must ask himself "If someone also were looking at my work; then they should consider it to be excellent work"?

Social Responsibility of an Organisation:

Employees need to join appropriate committees or project teams and stay plugged into projects in such a way that the company regularly gets sales revenue through out the year.  Global markets are expanding, technology is improving, budgets are getting tighter consumers are better informed and more involved than even before, we must also keep an eye on changes in our related industries through active participation in professional association meetings, industry related journals, attending local meetings and conferences would give an idea to manage the change effectively and give confidence to all employees. Then employees would think that they would be protected at all times.

Commitment is required to reduce the financial liability and supply chain risks. Since Corporate Social responsibility cuts across organizational structure a holistic management framework is required to ensure consistency in declaring stable and proper dividends to shareholders.

All employees must be allowed to give their views on recent changes that are affecting their work and the problems could be effectively managed when there is a clear understanding of the given situation. Therefore any change in the company needs must be immediately taken note and it may be notified to one and all. In consultation with team members; senior executives who take more social responsibility would also be able to take suitable decisions. Solving problems is part of everyone's job in corporate enterprise.  Corporate executives must look ways to blend changes into a normal routine.  People need to think in terms of creating new tradition or new system for adapting to new realities for increasing the reputation of company and it should not lead to any negative Results such as decrease in profitability reduced market share or drop in sales and drop in customer expectations.

Mechanism of CSR:

The network of contacts with companies who are facing similar changes would serve as a safety net, former co-workers, people who had retired from similar profession could be the mentors to face the challenges of changes which are likely to take place in future.   If one wants to succeed, he has to face the obstacles. The successful people will not complain how the world is working against them, but they assume responsibility for the changing situations and take actions to make the lives of many stakeholders better.  Everyone from top management to lowest level in the organization must know clearly why they are working in an organization. Everyone must decide what is to be done to achieve the desired targets.  Everyone must believe that it is possible to manage the business in changing economic conditions.  Success is not an accident according to Tormy Newberry. He emphasizes that everyone must choose what they want to become.  The individuals must choose to be confident on their goals and must work hard towards achieving their goal. On the lack of success many people bored of learning to think through their changes.

Designing of CSR:

Managers must ensure themselves that they are socially responsible to discharge their duties effectively and everyone should justify their own existence and the leader must lead the people by guiding the subordinates in proper direction.  People need to gain satisfaction from as many directions as possible from transactions with all the members.

The corporate leaders must provide evidence that effort is worth while and things are going in right direction and nurture people in the field they are good at. . Acting responsibly in changing time is not an option, but it is the starting point for everything; and people need to be motivated with financial incentives and promotions, so that companies could attract high caliber staffs. This would lead to increased reputation and that reputation makes customers to choose among the other competitors. Corporate social responsibility is to be embedded into everyone's job. Hence people need to respect environment.. For eg.  Johnson & Johnson would not allow a product to harm people just to meet their bottom time.  Fortune Magazine has selected Merrillynch as the most admired American Securities Company and rated as first in holding corporate social responsibility.  In that company everyone strives to conduct themselves with high level of integrity and commitment to public and that is the company's cultural heritage.  They also do community development project, philanthropy and environment friendly programmes. . Helping people who need support to come out from poverty, developing diverse set of products are all part of corporate social responsibility.  Here it is worth mentioning about China Mobile Corporation ; whose products prices are very low with high efficiency and create a healthy competitive environment for customers and  provide high quality of mobile life style. . Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Steering   committee must review the progress made by employees in design, discuss, evaluate from the point of view of policy managers.  The CSR can be designed as operational strategies that exceed ethical, legal, commercial and public expectations about the performance of business..

Implementation of CSR:

Classroom training, on the job training can be given to select employees to change the attitude and behavioral pattern of employee in the shop floor. Further CSR could aim at proper waste disposal, reworking, repairs and maintenances activities to lead minimum safety risk with good environment for employees to work peacefully and happily.

Regular communications like supervisor review meeting, news letter, reports on R & D activities, cost benefit analysis of new tasks, displaying motivational posters, supportive managers, Good environment, best energy management and safety ness of work environment reinforces the corporate social responsibility among everyone in the organization.

Also while doing capital budgeting decisions, the cost of investment the resalable / recycling aspects of wastes and its effect on work environment is to be studied and also sees whether it would reduce pollution arising out of emission of dangerous fumes.  The employee health and safety due to noise, odors need to be checked, accordingly training for workmen are to be given to avoid wastage, and Evaluation would be done whether any Energy management devices are installed in the machine and whether the materials are available from nearby places to avoid excess transport distance.

Reduced inventory level and reduced scrap, makes the road to successful implementation of CSR in change management. Corporate social responsibility is to be embedded into everyone's job; so people need to respect environment and be conscious of their responsibilities to improve them and make the work place as an ideal place to work and live with better satisfaction.

CSR and Change Management:

The General Manger, Directors and Chairman who are holding very high social  responsibility play a vital role in the development and implementation of changes in an organization  which leads to better image and better brand name and become one of the admired  companies in the globe.

This corporate activism is sustainable, acceptable, and valuable as a change agent, particularly in the context of India. Corporate social responsibility has much broader implications for the nation as a whole. It reduces dependency on the government for social change. Most governmental programmes quickly become embroiled in political manipulation, corruption, communal overtones, and bitter infighting. There is a need for public-private partnership with well-defined controls and processes for the best use of Resources for social change. Social reforms driven by the community will bring people together, turn the attention of the masses to tasks that benefit society, and reinforce peace and harmony.  In recent times, a number of foundations set up by leading Indian firms, including Infosys, Wipro, Tatas, TVS, and Dr. Reddy's Laboratory, have taken a keen interest in corporate activism to improve healthcare, education, and living conditions, and Reduce poverty. These foundations support numerous government primary schools and have developed processes and methodologies for effective change. They support hundreds of non-governmental organizations and have built orphanages, hospitals, and schools.   However, the challenges in India are enormous. Social responsibility should not be limited to large successful corporations; there should be greater participation from most small, medium, and large businesses. The goodwill of firms can generate from acts of social responsibility may, in fact, be worth far more to the businesses than the amounts they give. Corporations collectively can make India a better place for every citizen.   Corporate social responsibility is about tradition and culture. Firms can institutionalize voluntarism among employees through appropriate incentives and recognition. Internal performance evaluation of employees could recognize community work. Community work can take many forms: teaching in government schools, supporting NGOs financially, empowering women, cleaning parks, planting trees, volunteering in orphanages, protecting the abused. Many corporations in the U.S. allow employees to write about their community service as part of their annual evaluation report. Even if companies do not reward community activities, at least, the idea that the company cares will have a positive impact.   

Conclusion:

Corporate social responsibility and volunteerism have no boundaries and are not constrained by race, colour, or religion. Sadly, concern for the community is often mistaken for socialism. On the contrary, capitalism thrives only when every citizen is an asset in economic activity and has opportunities to succeed. Corporate social responsibility is a culture and unwritten contract with the community. This invisible culture can shape brighter futures for nations. If employees don't see the point of CSR initiatives, or understand the message, initiatives are unlikely to be effective.

Bibliography

Sanjay K.Agarwal, Corporate Social Responsibilyt in India, Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.

Berle, Adophe and Gardner Means (1932). The Modern Corporation and Private Property. New York: MacMillian.

Business for Social Responsibility. (2002). "About BSR," Website at http://www.bsr.org/Meta/About/index.cfm.

Ross, Steven (1973). "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, 63(2), pp. 134-139.        Rowley, Timothy (1997). "Moving

Beyond Dyadic Ties: A Network Theory of Stakeholder Influences," Academy of Management Review, 22(4), pp. 887-910.  

Schumpeter, Joseph A. (1942, 1950). Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. New York:Harper & Row.    Smith, Adam (1776, 1937). The Wealth of Nation. Toronto, Canada: Random House.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corporate Social Responsibility and  Change Management General Issue

ABSTRACT

Author:
Prof. C. Ramalingam, Dept of Management studies, Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Thandalam- 602 105
Co-author:
Lect. R. Sindhu, Dept of Management studies, Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Thandalam- 602 105

Everyday changes take place in business, for which companies must adopt suitable strategies to manage the changes.  Companies have to concentrate more on civic commitment rather than building brand name and increasing market share. HR professionals need to play a vital role for promoting trust-based relationship with customers, employees and stakeholders. The credibility of corporate social responsibility is dependent on effective delivery of communications about the changes that are taking place in the organisation for the well being society.  Everyone must be encouraged to give their ideas for betterment of the company. The corporate employees need to be dealt with good dignity and the senior executives must create an "a-haa" moment of insight to satisfy the expectations of all people around the company. Executives must create a harmonious social networking to know how others are managing change accordingly a suitable strategy must be made keeping an eye on the changes that takes place  in the similar  Companies. The risks associated with such changes must be minimized and ensure better prospects to everyone in the organization. Finally, the change management will lead to embedding of corporate responsibility with every individual for improved welfare of society in general.
 


Prof. C. Ramalingam
M.Com, MBA, M.Phil, (Ph.D)
Department of Management Studies
Rajalakshmi Engineering College
Thandalam, Chennai-602105

Dr. R. Gayatri
Asst. Professor
MBA Department
St. Peter's University
Avadi, Chennai-54
 

Source: E-mail November 28, 2008

          

Articles No. 1-99 / Articles No. 100-199 / Articles No. 200-299 / Articles No. 300-399
Articles No. 400-499 / Articles No. 500-599 / Articles No. 600-699 / Articles No. 700-799
Articles No. 800 to 899 / Back to Articles 900 Onward / Faculty Column Main Page