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The first step of any research is to analyse the previous researcher literature and theories. The literature review gives the researcher the idea and gap on the research as well as the understanding of the research topic which help the researcher to focus towards the conclusion. As a part of this research various research on corporate social responsibility are reviewed and analyse to get the gap on the previous research and try to fill that gap on this research project.
The study conducted by Archie B, Carroll (1999) found the history, evolution of concept and the definition of corporate social responsibility. As their study result the corporate social responsibility first guideline of modern era start at 1950s and expand the defination1960s, 1970s. According to them there some new definition created in 1980s due to some research and understanding. The new themes began to mature at that time which includes corporate social performance and stakeholder theory. As this way the corporate social responsibility gradually develop and many firms, businesses try to follow even though it is not compulsory to make good connection between society and environment.
As the McWilliams and Siegel (2001) study and defines the corporate social responsibility. They define the corporate social responsibility as the actions by the firm for the further some social goods beyond the requirement of laws and regulations. From this study it is revel that the corporate social responsibility is not the compulsory but if the businesses follow these it will have positive impact on their success. As the business always short term objective is to make profit but as it expand and establish it has to stand as a one of the member of the society. So it has to deal with the every problem because it also hampers it business sooner or later. So even the problem seems to be only for society and environment the business should help the society to cope with that problems. So that it can sustain in the society for the long term.
The study journal written by Ye Cai Et.al. (2012) examines the empirical association between the firm values and the corporate social responsibility on the sinful industries which produces tobacco, gambling and alcohol as well as some industries which produce weapons, oil. To overcome these issues they develop three hypothesis: window dressing hypothesis, the value -enhancement hypothesis and the value-irrelevance hypothesis. By taking US sample from 1995-2009, they found after controlling for various characteristics even this controversial industries have positive impact on the society. Even they did different study to overcome some problems but they found positive relation between those industries and the corporate social responsibility. From this study the society is concern about the company behaviour toward the society rather than what they do within their business unless it does not affect the outside society.
According to the study of Holmes (1976) on corporate social responsibility he found the strongest response that business should help to solve the social problems in addition to making a profit even though those problems are not created by the business. This study also focus for the long term aim of business should not be only focus on profitability but also response accordingly in need of society.
According to the Department for Business Innovation and skills defines corporate social responsibility as how the companies address the social environmental and economic impacts of their operations and get able to meet their sustainable long term goal. According to them the government will make the minimum rules to make sure for health and safety and environmental but the business has their own responsibility to make sure they take their own responsibility toward society and environment beyond minimum. The UK government is encouraging the business to follow the corporate social responsibility to sustain long term.
The study conducted by Philip and Robert (1984) on corporate social responsibility and financial performance revel that average age of corporate assets is found to be highly correlated with social responsibility ranking. So even after controlling this factor there is also correlation between corporate social responsibility and financial performance. This study gives the clear view that on any business there is the influence of corporate social responsibility on its financial performance.
Another study by McWilliams and Siegel (2000) on corporate social responsibility and financial performance give positive, negative and neutral effect. They found this inconsistency due to the flawed empirical analysis. So they try to prove imperfection on the econometric studies which creates such inconsistent result between corporate social responsibility and financial performance. After the study they found the model used in research as misspecific as CSR which does not have control on research and development which is the main important part of business success. So they specified the model and found that corporate social responsibility has the neutral affect on the financial performance of the business.
According to the study of Jean B. McGuire et. al. (1988) on corporate social responsibility and firm financial performance they found that the firm's prior performance measure on stock market returns and accounting based measure are also linked with the corporate social responsibility. But corporate social responsibility is more closely related with the risk measure. From this study the corporate social responsibility does not have direct impact on financial performance but while the risk grows higher there is cost will be higher. As the cost rises in any business the profitability will be lower. So even the corporate social responsibility cannot be measure directly with financial loss in short term but if in long term it will impact on the sustainability of the business. So every business should focus their responsibility toward society and environment.
The international organisation for standardisation on its ISO 26000, gives the voluntary guidance about corporate responsibility and aimed to follow by the public and private sector businesses from the worldwide. The ISO will inform and give guide to the participant organisation. The standards are being developed with other relevant declarations and conventions from United Nations and International Labour Organisation. These standards cover definitions, social responsibility, guidance on social responsibility and its implementation. This standard is mostly followed by UK's businesses.
From the above literature review the different researcher found the different result but one thing is sure that the corporate social responsibility has the impact on its performance. But still there is not exact result whether it gives positive or neutral effect as some research says it has positive effect and some say it has neutral. But one thing is sure if the businesses follow the corporate social responsibility it does not have any negative effect. Also it is the best and only way for any business to fulfil their responsibility towards the society as they receive many more benefit from the society and environment.
As the many research done on the corporate social responsibility to fulfil many gaps on this topic. They even compare with the corporate social responsibility with the financial performance to be able to make sure there are links on their positive performance target. But still there are gaps on the corporate social responsibility and the businesses. To fill the gaps between these two this research may not sufficient but add one more stone.
The previous research mainly focused on the corporate social responsibility definitions and some research focus on comparing its performance by financial performance indicator. But much research still not done under which performance indicator the corporate social responsibility will be measure. The other gap is the corporate social responsibility and the customer behaviour. There are still unanswered question whether the customer really care about the shop or business they visit will follow the corporate social responsibility or not.
This research project tries to cover the customer behaviour on the business corporate social responsibility with taking account its impact on the financial performance. This research is also trying to find out the other measurement indicator for the corporate social responsibility so that business can compare it with their prior year and also with the competitor.
2. Industry background and reason for choosing
Every business on this time has to compete with very hard time to be successful. The business should aim to be competitive and globalisation with following rules and regulations. Almost all business follow the compulsory rules and regulations of the country where they operates but some guidelines to run the business are only mandatory where regulatory body does not force to follow. But these guidelines is watched unknowly by the society and other competitor to take chance to take the competitive advantages. Like that one of the guidelines is corporate social responsibility. The research project will be based on this topic on which the UK's largest supermarket such as Tesco and Sainsbury will be taken into account.
As the both supermarket business is financially successful with the top share on the retail supermarket. Tesco is the leading while the Sainsbury the competitor. So any activities toward the society and environment will highly influence on their performance. So they follow the every compulsory and mandatory guideline to attract the customers. But it is still unclear whether the customers really care about the corporate social responsibility they follow before going to shopping in one of this supermarket.
As the many research on this two companies found and also the independent annual report also found that they are competing financially as well as competing to follow the most of the guidelines by corporate social responsibilities. They think while they take so many benefits from the society and environment, it is their responsibilities to return something to the society and environment as well. So they try to fulfil their responsibilities through different channels such as employing people, getting awareness about green environment.
3. Research aim, questions, hypothesis and objectives
3.1 Research aim
The research aim is to find the exact situation of corporate social responsibility on the retail business. It also aims to get the result and impact of the corporate social responsibility on their performance objectives. While doing this research it also aims to find out the cost and benefit of implying corporate social responsibility on the business.
3.2 Research question
How does the retail business cope with the corporate social responsibility guidelines?
Does the corporate social responsibility add value to meet the target performance objective of retail industry?
Business follow the corporate social responsibility to attract the customer
Corporate social responsibility add value to gain the success on their performance
To get the clear view between the theoretical and practical implication of corporate social responsibility
To trace how the business implying the corporate social responsibility
To review cost and benefit for the business on implying corporate social responsibility
To get the analysed result on the performance target with the help of corporate social responsibility
4. Research Methodology
While doing any research work, the research methodology plays a vital role on its result and conclusion. So to make the research work worth full to its reader in future the research process should be on appropriate way without any bias.
Re means again and Search means to examine closely and carefully, to test and try, to probe. The two words form a noun to describe a careful and systematic study in some field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or principles. Research is an organized and systematic way of finding answers to questions (SamHui/081105).
Methodology is the process in which way the task is perform. So the research methodology give the clear track to finalised the research project within the time period.
The research approach indicates whether the use of ''...theory is explicit within the research design'' (Saunders, et. al., 2000)
The research consist different philosophy to be adopted according to their nature. According to Saunders, et. al., (2003) the research outer layer is research philosophy. For this research we adopt the 'positivism' philosophy as this assumption is determinism, empiricism, parsimony, and generality (Conen et al 2000). Also most of the researches are based on this philosophy even it is criticised by most of the people due to the research limitations.
As Saunders, et.al. (2003) the layer next to research philosophy the next layer for research is research strategy. For this research 'quantitative research strategy' as it analyse the data and give the suitable result.
The quantitative research strategy will analyse the some financial performance indicator and make the critical analysis with corporate social responsibility cost. The quantitative research strategy give the researcher easy way to compare any result and make decision on that basis. The limitation on this research strategy may impact the result given by researcher as the data used are from past and it may not reflect the clear view of future.
Research approach is another important aspect as it will tell how to deal with all those research methodology. As this research used the already proved theory to creates the hypothesis and get data and observe the result and confirm which the 'top-down' approach also called the 'Deductive approach' of research. Deductive approach works for the more general to the more specific and conclusion follows logically from premises (B. Aqil, 2008).
Fig: Deductive approach
5. Method of collecting data
For research, the researcher has to collect the data from different sources but the appropriate data collection method only give the research result. Sometime the wrong and inappropriate way on collecting data give the opposite result than the actual. There are mainly two ways of collecting data: primary data and secondary data collection.
5.1 Primary data
The data which are collected by the researcher by interviewing, conducting survey etc and presented in the way without proceeding to manipulate are the primary data. For this research the researcher will follow some survey and interview to collect primary data to get the exact view of customer and the management of retailer on the corporate social responsibility. For this the researcher conducts certain study to make sure the sample we took represent the entire group and produce the result without any discrepancy.
5.2 Secondary data
The data which are already taken for any other purpose by other researcher but are also useful and play important role to get the actual result for this research and are used in this research are secondary data. Mainly on this process the validity of data play important role so the researcher mainly took data from the independent recognised body. The secondary data are collected via different sources such as:
5.2.1 Library visit:
The British library and the London Business library collect the financial and management report of all listed company in United Kingdom and Ireland from the recognised independent source in the software such as financial analysis made easy (FAME). These data are most reliable source as secondary source than their own website data which may be presented to attract the shareholders.
5.2.2 Books and Journals:
Different books and journals written on the corporate social responsibility are taken as text books. This books and journals give different guideline on collecting data and used in the proper way on research to produce the result.
Newspaper is also the secondary source of data collection as because different news and share price information are published on the daily newspaper. The main newspapers such as City AM, Evening Standard, Metro, Financial time will be used as required to collect the data.
The website play vital role on searching different secondary source data. Even the previously produced data are found on different website so different website will be used to get the relevant data.
6. Reason for Research location, business and topic
The research is based on the corporate social responsibility of the United Kingdom's top retail business such as Tesco and Sainsbury. As most of its business situated at the capital city London, the researcher will take different parts of London to get the sample data while collecting primary data with different size of its business.
The corporate social responsibility is the most important part to the business as there are many issues arising to the business to its environment and the society. As businesses survive with the society many raise voice to the business they should also need to contribute towards society and environment, not only took from them. This mean the research will examine the contribution of business towards society and environment to get its research aim and to meet its research objectives.
For any research project, the researcher need to make a target to finish that task on certain time period and make a routine and follow that accordingly to accomplish that task on specific given time period.
As the research project is the long and time consuming process the researcher need to make routine and time plan given sufficient time period for specific task so the researcher do not get stuck on last hour and make the research a good work to present. So the following time scale will be followed for this research project:
Identify the research area
Creates research question, research methodology and write research proposal
Negotiate and Confirmation of research title and literature review
Data collection from various sources
Data analysis and review
Write first draft of research
Final review and dissertation due
For any research to be complete and perfect, the researcher should have access to different resources. For this research also there are many resources used such as published books, journals, articles, online sources (e-book, websites), newspaper articles and many more accessible sources to make the project successful.