"By social responsibility we mean the intelligent and objective concern for the welfare of society that retrains individual and corporate behavior from ultimately destructive activities, no matter how immediately profitable and leads in the direction of positive contributions to human betterment variously as the latter may be defined".- Kenneth R. Andrews (1980).
While there may be no single universally accepted definition of CSR, each definition that currently exists underpins the impact that businesses have on society at large and the societal expectations of them. Although the roots of CSR lie in philanthropic activities (such as donations, charity, relief work, etc.) of corporations, globally, the concept of CSR has evolved and now encompasses all related concepts such as triple bottom line, corporate citizenship, philanthropy, strategic philanthropy, shared value, corporate sustainability, and business responsibility. This is understood in some of the definitions presented below: The EC defines CSR as "the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society". To completely meet their social responsibility, enterprises "should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders" The WBCSD defines CSR as "the continuing commitment by business to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the community and society at large." The UNIDO states, "Corporate social responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. CSR is generally understood as being the way through which a company achieves a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives, while at the same time addressing the expectations of shareholders and stakeholders. In this sense, it is important to distinguish CSR, which can be a strategic business management concept, and charity, sponsorships or philanthropy. Even though the latter can also make a valuable contribution to poverty reduction, will directly enhance the reputation of a company and strengthen its brand, the concept of CSR goes beyond that." From the above definitions, it is clear that:
• The CSR approach is comprehensive and integrated with the vital business strategy for addressing social and environmental events impacting by businesses.
• CSR needs to be addressed as the well-being of all stakeholders and not just the company's shareholders.
• Philanthropic proceedings are only a part of CSR, which may otherwise constitute a much larger set of methods resulting in strategic business benefits.
Since 1960's CSR has attracted the attention of businesses and stakeholders in regards to its benefits and what it is. India is the first country to mandate CSR on 1st April 2014 under The Companies Act 2013, section 135. Of course, times before had little floatation of this term. In this, we shall look into the arguments which indicated CSR as a social welfare mechanism. First is it necessary to understand 'what is CSR' and 'how does it function'. On that note, corporate social responsibility is an old idea though the perspectives on it have been changing over time.
Corporate Social Responsibility focuses on the idea that a business has social obligations above and beyond making a profit. It is the companies' responsibility to produce an overall positive impact on society. To achieve this we shall look closely at the guidelines and principles of CSR.
The concept of social responsibility is based on the premise that a business firm is more than economic instructions. It's an organ of the society and its activities exercise significant influence on the public. This drives the need to understand 'why CSR is needed and most importantly in India'.
Social responsibility is a reciprocal obligation. A business firm can discharge its social responsibility only through an efficient instrument which is Media. In this study, we will understand the Importance of Media in shaping CSR in India.
To understand CSR we must also consider the salient conditions of corporate responsibility which comprises broader issues such as corporate governance, ethics, and environment. Incorporate social responsibility the focus is mainly on the social aspects of business or on giving back to society. As stated earlier that CSR has taken its fleet in India and top companies have provided their reported data on CSR activities and its rank, we shall also study 'is CSR a success or a failure in India'.
And lastly, we shall also examine the arguments' for and against CSR in modern in India
Emergence and variation of definitions.
Companies Act 2013 in India has introduced several new provisions that change the face of Indian corporate business. One of the new provisions is Corporate Social Responsibility. The concept of CSR rests on the ideology of giving and take. Companies take resources in the form of raw materials, human resources, etc from society. By performing the task of CSR activities, the companies are giving something back to society.
Ministry of Corporate Affairs has recently notified Section 135 and Schedule VII of the Companies Act as well as the provisions of the Companies Corporate Social Responsibility Policy Rules, 2014 which has come into effect from 1 April 2014.
CSR Committee and Policy:
Every qualifying company is required to spend at least 2% of its average net profit for the immediately preceding 3 financial years on CSR activities. Further, the qualifying company will be required to constitute a committee (CSR Committee) of the Board of Directors (Board) consisting of 3 or more directors. The CSR Committee shall formulate and recommend to the Board, a policy which shall indicate the activities to be undertaken (CSR Policy); recommend the amount of expenditure to be incurred on the activities referred and monitor the CSR Policy of the company. The Board shall take into account the recommendations made by the CSR Committee and approve the CSR Policy of the company.
Now the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility was again borrowed from the west as most of our policies are. The western world had its own experience and was taking CSR to levels higher; we are at the starting point of it. Lets us understand the function instead of society.
We can spot around 1950s and moving up to 1970s and continuing, a variety of definitions were proposed by scholars like Bowen 1953, Carroll 1979; Davis and Blomstrom 1975; and such definitions have continued to evolve. Earlier definitions were focused on basic aspects of CSR, such as achieving corporations' economic objectives and meeting legal standards, whereas recent definitions have emphasized social benefits and stakeholders' welfare. For example, social responsibility is positioned in the context of economic and legal objectives, observing that the ideology of social responsibility states that the corporation has not only economic and legal obligations but also certain responsibilities to society which extend beyond these obligations. Though several definitions of CSR exist, one of the most comprehensive and widely used is Carroll's (1979) description of CSR as entailing economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic. Especially, economic responsibility requires that a business be profitable and produce goods and services which are desirable in a society. Monitoring employees' productivity or customer complaints are examples of activities signifying economic responsibility. Legal responsibility is meeting society's expectations as established by law. Training programs about sexual harassment and fairness in the workplace represent initiatives aimed at fostering legal responsibility. Ethical responsibilities require that businesses follow the modes of conduct considered to be morally right. The Codes of ethics help businesses meet their ethical responsibilities. Finally, philanthropic responsibilities reflect the common desire to see businesses actively involved in the betterment of society beyond their economic, legal, and ethical responsibilities. Work-family programs, corporate volunteerism, and donations to cultural organizations are examples of philanthropic initiatives. The distinction between ethical responsibilities and philanthropic responsibilities is that the latter type is not expected in a moral or an ethical sense. For example, communities desire and expect a business to contribute its money, facilities, and employee time to humanitarian programs or purposes, but they do not consider a firm unethical even if it does not provide such services at the desired levels. Using such a comprehensive concept of CSR improves our understanding of CSR trends over time.
Principles for Corporate Social Responsibility in India
Every Business themselves should conduct and govern with Transparency, Ethics, and Accountability.
Throughout the life cycle, it is expected that businesses should provide goods and services that are safe and contribute to sustainability.
The business should ensure and promote the wellbeing of all employees.
•Respect of interest and responsiveness towards all the stakeholders, especially the ones who are disadvantaged, vulnerable, and marginalized.
•Respect and promotion of Human Rights by the business.
•Respect, protect, and make efforts to restore the environment.
•Engaging in activities to influence public and regulatory policy should be done responsibly.
•Business to be supportive of inclusive growth and equitable development.
•Customers are to be prioritized.
Need for Corporate Social Responsibility In India.
In any sort of CSR discussion, it is important to understand, why corporate should socially be responsible in the first place?
Public image advancement
It is often seen that customers favor those companies which are considered as less self-regarding. It may be a complete psychological understanding but somehow people find companies with social responsibilities easier to approach and access. Companies sending out messages of and about their corporation's philanthropic attitude does well to design the public image, add to the existing goodwill as it reflects an empathetic side of the company. Corporations can do that by supporting non-profit organizations or through donations.
Government relations are boosted
Companies strive to be in good books of politicians and government regulators. To achieve that company must give a positive public perception about its seriousness on social responsibility. This is the best easy way to make contacts with government officials and even design public campaigns.
Engagement of public and customer
When the message is easy to share, it becomes easy to interact with the customers Now the customer is easily interested in your cause, they're slowly going to believe the ambitions of your company. As said there is no maneuvering but with a little effort on social responsibilities, a company reaches more public in new ways than it might do without CSR. Just like today's generation which is ambitious and they're in the constant lookout for being associated with companies that have a good public image and is always in the media for its positive decisions.
One of the reasons why companies from the past which had incorporated CSR is considered in the first place. Now that it is a common phenomenon, corporations are looking out new ways to build up their goodwill by experimenting on their social responsibilities. They're not only taking it seriously but bringing in a lot of creativity so that they serve their visionary purpose along with creating a distinct image for themselves in the market.
Positive Workplace Environment
Corporations must care about the lives outside the gates of their business. They kind of inspire and motivate employees to walk into work each day eagerly. This helps to enhance the relationship between the highest management to the lowest-paid workers. Along with these, there are other advantages of establishing CSR like retaining investors who want to constantly know that their funds are being used properly, creating a strong partnership between non-profit organizations and companies, and dig out the best of their workforce. With so many benefits and a vision to be a company that people look upon must be the ultimate goal of every corporation after all.
Society gives business the charter to exist and the charter can be amended or revoked as and when a business fails to live up to the expectations of society. To retain its social power, a business must respond constructively to the needs of society. In the long run, those who do not use power in a socially responsible manner will lose it. This is the Iron law of responsibility.
Businesses have been delegated economic power and have access to the productive resources of the community. They are obliged to use these resources for the common good of society so that more wealth for its betterment may be generated. Technical and creative resources are also helpful to them. A business organization sensitive to community needs would in its self-interest like to have a better community within which the business may be conducted. This way, the resulting benefits would be decreased in crime, easier labor recruitment, reduced employee absenteeism, easier access to international capital, and this way a better with a better environment can be achieved.