Data Analysis chapter: Role of Corporate Social Responsibility

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Data Analysis and Discussion

Introduction

The section of the report present data analysis of primary data gathered. Based on the results obtained from the data analysis discussion is presented. In this section, the researcher has provided analysis, findings and discussion based on results obtained by the gathered primary and secondary data. The analysis includes quantitative analysis of primary information obtained from the survey of selected participants. The findings obtained from the analysis have been discussed in lights of research objectives, questions ad literature reviewed.

Analysis and Finding

Demographic Findings

The researcher is conducted to investigate the real importance of firms to engage in corporate social responsibilities by assessing firm’s performance operating in different industries (with respect to financial performance, reputation and customer loyalty).

Age and Gender

A number of 100 participants were selected as research participants. The participants were asked about the age. The results indicated that the majority of the respondents belonged to age group 25 to 34 years as 38.38 percent of the respondents belong to this age group and 45 to 55 years (25.32 percent). However, none of the respondents belong to age group 75 and over. It indicates that the majority of the respondents were young individuals and middle aged. In addition, the results reveal that the unbiased sampling between male and female have been done, as 50 percent of the respondents were male, and 50 percent were male.

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Qualification

Further, the respondents were queried about their qualification. The results of data show that the 51.25 percent of the individuals were graduated from university, and 21.25 percent were school passed, whereas only 2 percent of the participants were Ph.D. qualified. It can be noted that the majority of the respondents were university qualified. Further, the respondents were questioned about the respective industry they have been working. The findings of the study reveal that the majority of the respondents belonged to transport, postal and delivery (24 percent) and hospitality industry (13 percent), whereas 11 percent of the respondents belonged to other industry that were not specified by the researchers. 6 percent belonged to the retail industry, 7 percent belonged to the hospitality industry, 8 percent professional including management, 3 percent from art and recreational and Information Technology and only 2 percent belonged to administration.

The respondents were further asked if they heard of the phenomena corporate social responsibility. 52 percent of the respondents were aware of the phenomena, whereas 48 percent of the individuals were not aware of the corporate social responsibility. It shows that the most of the individuals were not aware of the corporate social responsibility. It indicated that the most of the individuals were aware, however still a larger number of audiences were not aware of social responsibility.

Further, the respondents were asked what corporate social responsibility means or could mean. Therefore, they were asked if corporate social responsibility is the way that the employees in the workplace the mean value of 2.32 indicate disagreement of respondents. The mean value 2.13 indicates that the respondents agreed that the corporate social responsibility is the way that the organization involves local communities.

The respondents also agreed that the corporate social responsibility is the act through which the organization looks after the environment (mean 2.13). The respondents were disagreed about corporate social responsibility treat their customers. The mean value of 2.66 shows that the respondents disagreed that the corporate social responsibility is the way organization looks after their stakeholders. From the responses obtained it can be derived that the respondents were aware of the accurate definition about corporate social responsibility. As the results indicated that the most of the participants believed that corporate social responsibility is the way how the organization include local communities and look after the environment.

In addition, the respondents were asked how their organization treated their business and management practices in a corporate social responsible way. The respondents disagreed that the organization treated their employees/workplace, local communities, suppliers and environment in a corporate social responsible way. On the contrary, the mean value of 2.43 indicates that the respondents agreed that the organization treated their shareholders in the corporate social responsible way. Hence, it can be determined that the most of the organizations did not corporate social responsibly in its operation. The organizations are inclined to act corporate social responsible only for the sake of it, shareholders, whereas in the business practices Corporate Social Responsibility activities by the organizations were neglected.

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The researcher further questioned the respondents about the contribution of Corporate Social Responsibility to bring commitment to the business to behave ethically and contribute towards economic development to improve quality of life of the workforce, families and local communities. The results show that the majority of the respondents (57.50 percent) agreed that the Corporate Social Responsibility activities were contributing to improving the quality of life of the workforce, families, and local communities.

With the passage of time, global community persuades business to act socially responsible. There are number of scandals that have emerged that indicate the organization that are engaged to maximize their profits and are intruded with unethical activities. One of the scandals about Tesco Plc’s horse meat scandal happened in 2012 was asked if the respondents were aware of the scandal. 79 percent of the respondents agreed that they heard about Tesco's horse meat scandal that happened in 2012. Hence, it can be noted that the most of the respondents were aware of the scandal of Tesco Plc.

Further, the respondents were asked if Tesco PLC was carrying out its business activities in the socially responsible way. The statistical results show 42 percent of respondents disagreed that Tesco Place was carrying outs its business activities in socially responsible way, 22 percent were unaware about the Tesco’s practices, whereas only 16 percent of the individuals agreed that Tesco persuaded its business activities in a socially responsible way. Based on the result, it can be indicated that the Tesco is not carrying out its activities in the socially responsible way.

The researcher further investigated if the companies are found on acting unethically its business practices affects performance and reputation of the business. Hence, the respondents were asked if Tesco Plc was affected by the events such as horse meat scandal (2012). The answer depicts respondents strongly agreed that Tesco Plc’s reputation and sales were highly affected by the horse meat scandal. In addition, it was also agreed that the scandal affected new customers and repeated customer business activities of Tesco Plc. On an overall average, respondents agreed that the scandals affected overall performance and reputation of Tesco Plc, as well as it also negatively affects customer loyalty and repeat customer business indicating that the company lose it potential customers and may not be able to retain its customers for a longer period.

The respondents were asked if what factor persuades business to recover from such events. Respondents agreed that the organization recovers from these events because of owning up, being honest and truthful about the event (mean 2.27) as well as establishing the trust of the company with the community. The respondents disagreed that the customers are only concerned about the price and do not consider ethical practices of the business. Hence, the company’s efforts to recover from such events is important for the company as it allows the company to prove it's itself trustworthy and considered towards the issue occurred.

In addition, it also reflects the eagerness of the company towards the community to ensure and prove that the company is willing to improve its performance and practices from the event that has occurred. The mean value of 3.16 shows that the respondents disagreed that the companies that are engaged in efforts to recover from such events did not recover. On the basis of the results it can be revealed that the company can actually prove itself to be better and concerned about its ethical practices and by engaging itself in the activities to recover it can regain its position in the market. However, it can be difficult for the company or may require time to overcome the negativity of the company.

The organizations that are engaged in corporate social responsibilities are often tagged with higher prices. Therefore, researcher underlay a question for the respondents to ask if they would pay more for the goods and services for the companies that are engaged in socially responsible activities and programs. The majority of the respondents agreed that the respondents would pay more for the goods and services of the companies that are engaged in socially responsible activities and programs.

When organizations are engaged in corporate social responsibilities, it is stated that the companies act responsibly to ensure and meet its stakeholder’s interest. Therefore, it is important to identify the interests that the company put first. Based on the results of responses it can be noted that the customers, employees and society interests are put first by the organizations when it is engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility activities (Greece, 2011; Chasan, 2014; Wood, 1991). The government’s and owner’s interest is kept at the last by the organization when it is engaged in socially responsible activities.

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However, currently the interest of government has also put the pressure on the organizations to engage itself in Corporate Social Responsibility activities by setting environmental and ethical laws and regulations for the companies. The socially responsible activities are associated with the well-being of the environment and social community that has no interest of profits (Chasan, 2014). The owners of the companies are mainly inclined towards maximizing its profits, whereas engaging its Corporate Social Responsibility activities requires funds. Therefore, the interest of the owners is kept last when the company decides to engage itself in Corporate Social Responsibility activities and programs (Chasan, 2014).

One of the most important aspects is to identify the cause and idea of the company to engage itself in Corporate Social Responsibility activities. In order to identify the main cause and agenda of companies to get involves in socially responsible activities. The researcher asked the respondents to rate the business obligations. The results show that the respondents were inclined that the philanthropic duties that are the charities, duties, donation, etc. and economic duties are the least important business obligations. However, legal duties and ethical duties are the major business obligations that the business should ensure in its practices. The responses indicate that the business are obliged to ensure that their business practices are in accordance to legal and ethical framework rather than giving more importance to philanthropic and economic duties. Hence, it can be noted that the business should align itself in a manner than it ensures to meet ethical and legal perspectives in its operations.

Discussion

Based on the findings presented, it can be noted that the Corporate Social Responsibility is an important phenomenon. Besides, the respondents are not aware of the technical definition and focus areas that Corporate Social Responsibility covers for businesses. The idea of Corporate Social responsibility is evident among large number of respondents. It can be identified from the findings when the respondents were asked about the technical areas organizations are required to focus when engaging in corporate social responsibility. The concept of corporate social responsibility is clearly embedded in the minds of the respondents that is evident from the responses obtained regarding horse meat scandal of Tesco Plc.

When the organizations are found in unethical practices, results indicate that company’s reputation is the most sensitive area that is affects that eventually declines the sales as the customer’s trust is damaged. It also affects customer’s loyalty due to which the company may lose it potential customers, as well as the new customers in the future and retention of its customers. Hence, it is important for the companies ti ensure that it is engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility activities that will not only anticipate the needs of customers, as well as the society. The firms that are engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility activities do not only benefit from gaining higher customer loyalty but also maximizing its profits (Greece, 2011). It is because the customers are agreed to pay more for the goods and services that are provided by companies that are engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility activities. It clearly reveals that the companies that are engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility activities can attain more profits than the companies that are not engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility activities. It not only makes the business profitable but also gains customer loyalty that enables the company to sustain its sales volume for a longer period. The companies that are engaged in unethical practices can cost a lot to the companies, as it can adversely affect overall profits of the company. Hence, it is important for the companies to ensure that it manages its activities in efficient manner. Huniche & Pedersen (2006) in their book have mentioned Carroll’s Corporate Social Responsibility Pyramids, which discusses the main factors of Corporate Social Responsibility. From the book, it is known that the economic factor is the base of Corporate Social Responsibility and all the other factors depends upon it. If a company is profitable, it will be able to pay its employees and follow other rules.

Companies have to perform this function of the Corporate Social Responsibility as it is important for their survival in the market. The study supports that application of Corporate Social Responsibility activities in its operation does not only improves financial performance of the company but also market positioning of the company, as it allows the company to gain customer loyalty and satisfaction for over a longer period. It can also be identified from the findings that the companies that are companies that have been found on involved in unethical practices. It is possible for the company to recover from the negative aspect. The determination and efforts of the company to recover from the negative aspects can allow the company to gain competitive edge by gaining trustworthiness of its customers. However, it may take a longer period but it is possible for the companies to get itself out from the scandals such as the horse meat scandal of Tesco. One of the other reason that the organization are not able to deliver or correspond their corporate social responsibility activities and programs to its customers is because the company is not able to convey the social responsibility activities undertaken by the company. It is also observed the most important aspect that the company considers while engaging in corporate social responsibility is because of its customers. It is because with the passage of time, the growing awareness and ethical consideration prevailing in the global community has persuaded the business to engage in corporate social responsibility activities. Chasan (2014) states the importance of Corporate social responsibility as a phenomena that strengthens the relationship of company with its customers by participating in activities for well being of society, communities and environment. It allows the organization to develop strong relation with the customers by giving back to the community based on trustworthiness, loyalty and ethical practices (Chasan, 2014). Though, the organizations are required to ensure that the corporate social responsible activities should not be specified till consumer’s perspectives. It is also required for the companies to ensure that internal practices, such as human resource management practices and workplaces are designed and carries out its activities as a socially responsible aspect of the society (Greece, 2011). It will not only benefit the company to improve its relationship with the customers but also improves the efficiency of its employees and workforce that can allow the company to generate higher returns and optimize its performance (Greece, 2011).

Conclusion

Based on the findings, the study indicates that the Corporate Social Responsibility plays a great importance in the contemporary business environment. Though people are not aware of the technical definition or terminology of Corporate Social Responsibility but are aware of the fundamental concept of Corporate Social Responsibility. Customers highly regard and appreciate the companies that are ethically engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility activities and programs. The firms that are engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility activities are noted to have higher returns, profits and customer loyalty that allow the company to position it in the market.

Ethical and Legal Aspects are the dominant Corporate Social Responsibility components that the business is obliged to anticipate in its business practices. Stakeholders and customers should be the main focus for the companies to engage itself in Corporate Social Responsibility activities. Hence, the future of Corporate Social Responsibility activities in the twentieth first century has a broader aspect that should be anticipated by the firms. Hence, the companies that aim to sustain its edge in the market ensuring its efficient financial performance and market position the companies should engaged itself in Corporate Social Responsibility activities.

List of References

Baker, H. K. & Anderson, R., 2010. Corporate Governance: A Synthesis of Theory, Research, and Practice. New Jersey: John Wiley and Son.

Chasan, E., 2014. Hyatt CFO: Bringing Sustainability into Corporate Culture. Wall-Street Journal.

Greece, R. R., 2011. Human Behavior Theory and Social Work Practice. London: Transaction Publishers.

Mallin, C. A., 2013. Corporate Governance. Oxford : Oxford Univeristy Press.

Wood, D., 1991. Corporate Social Performance Revisited. Academy of Management , Volume 16.