Since the second half of the 20th century a long debate on corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been taking place. In 1953, Bowen (1953) wrote the seminal book Social Responsibilities of the Businessman.
Since then there has been a shift in terminology from the social responsibility of business to CSR.

Additionally, this field has grown significantly and today contains a great proliferation of theories, approaches and terminologies.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development defines CSR as the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. CSR is a relatively new field in the worlds corporate history and even newer in Indian context

But why CSR?

With India having made a transformational progress within the last few decades, world is looking at us as one of fastest emerging economies of world. Shall we assume that our society is also progressing at the same rate as the economy is growing or there is a gap between economic vs. social progress of the country? If the answer here is Yes then we are doing a great job but if the answer is No then our footprint on the society and our communities is something that we should question? Why

On 18 December 2012, finally the Lok Sabha passed the companies Act 2011, paving the way for anew modern company Law. The new act will replace the existing Companies Act 1956, which was enacted 56 years ago. Besides making independent directors more accountable and improving the corporate governance practises, the bill seeks to make corporate social responsibility mandatory for certain companies.

Currently the way CSR is run (not only in India) is normally a one way interaction, where companies have identified (generally picked by a select few at the top) and based on parameters which are not strategically weighed.

Another problem that this industry faces is the adhocism and lack of measurement and monitoring in the non profit sector. There are thousands of organisations that have flooded the market but how many of them are really doing what they intend to. Though in most case the intent is right but they somewhere go through a mission shift. The sector also suffers hugely because they are unable to attract and reatain good talent.

The focus now needs to shift to the impact of how you manage your core business. Some go further than others in prescribing how far companies go beyond managing their own impact into the terrain of acting specifically outside of that focus to make a contribution to the achievement of broader societal goals. It is a key difference, when many business leaders feel that their companies are ill equipped to pursue broaders societal goals, and activists argue that companies have no democratic legitimacy to take such roles. That particular debate will continue.

We at evoluer work with organisation from strategy to implementation. We have a team of specialists from both corporate and social sector to ensure that the flow of resources is strategically relevant for the company and the same time reaches the correct hands to create maximum impact.

Further Reading

A recent survey by PWC indicates that Seventy-five percent of CEOs in India are planning to strengthen their engagement with local communities, 72% with the media and 59% with NGOs. Forty-eight percent of CEOs in India (31% globally) are also increasing their focus on volunteering and community work. Their attention to reducing the environmental footprint is almost on par with the global number; 44% in India as opposed to 48% globally. More than half of the CEOs interviewed in India are encouraging a framework to support a culture of ethical behaviour.

Read full report (link)

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