The Background Of Corporate Social Responsibility Commerce Essay


Corporate social responsibility as a topic of discuss has been deliberated upon over a century now. Multinational organization tends to go into it for numerous reasons while its impacts on organization, environment, stakeholders and employees have been deliberated upon via diverse model and theories. One of theory commonly used is ethical theory which has been repeatedly addressed by different CSR scholars. (Crane 2008). Garriga and Domenec (2004:51) reviewed a prestigious scholar's view in this discipline CSR, who characterized the situation as "an eclectic field with loose boundaries, multiple memberships, and differing training/ perspectives; broadly rather than focused, multidisciplinary; wide breadth; brings in a wider range of literature; and interdisciplinary (Carroll: 1994). In this scholars view CSR is gone beyond fiduciary duty imposing higher standards of behavior on businessmen than on citizens at large" (Votaw, 1972, p.25)

Tom Cannon (1992) criticizes that firm will concentrate more on the areas that will benefit their interests going by his enlightenment matrix.

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The debate has been on for more centuries, ranging from numerous headings or communicated in different ways or forms like , corporate responsibilities, social responsibility of businessman (Bowman,1953) to corporate responses to ascertain that corporate citizen understand the reason behind giving back to its host communities without being compelled to doing so.

However, the approaches used by this scholars and critics are so complex and unclear but for the purpose of this research work I will be working with the frame of four CSR theories and related approaches.(1.) Ethical theories, this theory emphasizes more on ethical responsibilities of an organization to the society it's situated in; (2) Instrumental theories, this elaborated the perception of an organization involvement in the societal responsibilities for the benefit of creating wealth to achieve economic results; (3) Political theories; buttress some reasons why corporation respond to social activities for the benefit of power in the society and its usage in political arenas;(4) Integrative theories; expatiate the involvement of corporations in societal activities to satisfy social demands. Garriga and Domenec (2004:51). (Matten et al., 2003). This brings us to the issue of corporate responsiveness. How responsive are organizations to the host community, ethically, legally, economically and to think outside the box using their discretion to be more involve by being philanthropic, going by the pyramid of corporate social responsibility (Carroll, A 1979).

Corporate social responsibility cannot be discussed to detail without emphasizing on the importance of ethics. An organization cannot be responsive without doing it ethically, doing what is just and right in it's environ. Socially responsible firms must act ethically. Corporate Social Responsibility and business ethics have a common concepts, they both have concern for values, mission, objective and they do take decisive decisions that helps organization with its image, brand and therefore gain customer or consumer retention, loyalty, and it also puts an organization in a particular industry at a good competitive advantage ahead its competitors which in turn yield good returns for every stakeholders investments expectation is profit (Mellahi 2003).


Globalization is a strong cord that integrates national economies through trade and financial interaction with international economy limiting frontier barriers, shrinking time and space. Globalization has brought the world together making it a common village with diverse language but common intent. However every good success comes with its challenges(Held et al, 2005), for globalization it sprung out societal, economical problems taking into consideration, distribution of income, wars, natural disaster due to costly experimenting, migration and human welfare with lack of peace (Brakeman,2006).

Globalization can be defined as the process of intensification of cross-area and cross- border social relations between actors from distant locations, and growing transnational interdependence of economic and social activities (Crane et al, 2009)

However there is a strong connectivity between globalization and CSR (journal of business ethics, 2009) this work well socially, economically and technologically but the negative intensity it has caused many society has outfaced its reason for being in existence. Businesses under the pretence of globalization have caused global regulation and public goods problems.

After the World War II, the need to transfer resources, assets, capital knowledge beyond cross-border was imperative. Telecommunication, mass media, transportation etc. were invented to make trade and accessibility easier through cross-country social exchange. This exchange came with certain costly risks like global warming, nuclear weapons, global diseases, due to intern business relationship between different citizens of different communities.

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Globalization in communication sector with the aid of advance technology shrinks distance through telecommunication (Kegley 2007:262). The birth of cellular and cyberspace or internet helps to increase speed.


Technology is a constant invention of science and its application to/ for commerce or business purpose. The telecommunication technology got a new face with the emergence of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) in 1997, a digital technology that uses digital frequency which helped to decongest the usage of fix landline phones in Nigeria.

The year 2001 saw the emergence of Global System of Mobile Telecommunications (GSM) technology into Nigeria. This revolution change did not only bring in Foreign Direct Investment into the country but changed the telecommunication technology in its entirety in Nigeria. The GSM technology has revolutionalized communication, bridging the gap between distance, shrinking space and time. GSM is a network that connects cellular phone to a cell through its location mast in that environment which response has been advantageous to GSM claiming up to 930% (NCC, 2009) in Nigeria out fashioning the CDMA and fixed landline usage.


Fig 1: Market Share of the Nigerian Telephone Service Providers (Source NCC 2009).

Nigeria as of today is the most populous African nation with over 160 million as population (CIA World fact book 2009). The country is naturally blessed with many natural resources like timber, cocoa, rubber, zinc, agricultural crops and crude petroleum. Nigeria is a full member to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Today, oil and gas contributes 80% of the countries revenues. The attention given this sector is so enormous that other sectors like telecommunication once suffered amongst other sectors in the country.

The emergence of democracy into the country in 1999 with the democratically elected government that was headed by president Olusegu Obasanjo, in the bid to encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), three notable hiccups were mentioned, telecommunication, energy and transportation (BBC 1999). Telecom industry was liberalized under the office of NCC; Licences were issued to companies through a globally lauded auction with the support of Bureau of Public Enterprise. This department in the presidency was set up to help the Government of the country reengineer its numerous sectors while inviting foreign and national investors to invest into them for functional and effective services. The administration's policy on reform had a tremendous impact on the telecommunications sector of the economy, reengineering processes that will transform the sector from being a monopolistic market to a more competitive one.


MTN Nigeria communications limited is part of MTN Group of company in South Africa. It's the largest network communication provider in Africa. It's was incorporated into Nigeria as a private company on the 8th of November, 2000. It got its licence as a GSM operator in 9th of February, 2001.It is mostly owned by the South Africans but 22.5% of its ownership belongs to the Nigerian businessmen and women while 3% is owned by the International Finance Corporation, which is the infrastructure arm of the World Bank (NCC, 2009). Its first GSM test call was made in Nigeria in May 2001(MTN, 2009).

This success story of this reputable institution has seen its deployment of its staff to over 224 cities, over 10500 villages, communities all over the 36 state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria including its capital Abuja claiming a reasonable share of the population of Nigeria. As at June 2009 MTN Nigeria communication subscriber's base was over 24million (MTN, 2009).

MTN as a customer centric organization sets up MTN Foundation to drive its vigorous CSR agenda for the Nigeria community and was formally launched in the year 2004. This launch was a "strategic and a sustainable way to practice philanthropy" (MTN Journal vol. 2, 2006). As it is written in the vision statement of MTN Nigeria which states: "To be the leading provider of telecommunications services in Nigeria" and its mission "To provide first-class network quality, customer service and value statement" (MTN 2009).

MTN Nigeria


Multinationals are currently facing a lot of hiccups with their Host countries which has now become a subject that needs more attention for their businesses to thrive in such countries.

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For the telecommunication industry in a new market in places like Nigeria the industry has also not been left out of this catastrophic situation.

The new Global System for mobile Communication (GSM) which is relatively a new business in a new market Nigeria emerge the country in the year 2000 and finally kicked of business in 2001 (NCC website) It's an industry that aided the communication system of the Nigeria with the aim of spreading through to its neighboring countries that are yet to be connected.

MTN Nigeria was the first telecommunication company that emerged the GSM market in Nigeria thereby setting a pace for other network providers which gave it a niche amongst its competitors like the indigenous company Globalcom, Zain, Etisalat which recently emerged the unexplored market 2008. (NCC, 2009) and it gained a good competitive advantage.


Today's competitive market should inform any organization that its survival depends on its customers and the calm around its business location to help any organization gain a competitive advantage over its competitors.

The aim of this research work is to evaluate the impact of Corporate Social Responsibility of Multinationals on host community: A case study of MTN Nigeria.


The success of many of multinationals who practices CSR has been enormous and as such has its weights either negative or positive impacts. For the purpose of this research the following are the proposed objectives that stirs the impact analyzes:

To establish the benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility activities to MTN Nigeria and its employees.

To establish the impact of MTN Nigeria's Corporate Social Responsibility activities in the Nigeria environment.

To critically evaluate MTN Nigeria's response to Corporate Social Responsibility

To propose improvement to MTN Nigeria's in its Corporate Social Responsibility activities.


How does MTN Nigeria tend to gain from CSR activities

As a profit oriented organization, what will the impact of CSR be to MTN Nigeria and its stakeholders

How effective has MTN CSR activities been to the Nigerian environment


This research work will follow the following sequence;


In this chapter, the background of study, aim of research, research questions, research objectives, statement of arising problems, justification of the study, scope and methodology of research will be deliberated upon.


This chapter comprises of the literature review for this study, seminal texts covering most of the areas in the research scope were used to form the theoretical framework for this research, critical analysis of the existing literature on the subject matter, need for the research proposed as well as an in-depth coverage of the relevant theories regarding the impacts of CSR activities on multinationals.


This chapter specifies concise methodology for this research, research design, and research approach, data collection methods employed by the author, sampling method and analysis as well as a detailed account of the ethical issues considered.


This chapter comprises of the qualitative data analysis, appropriate data collection techniques, semi structured interview and a synthesis of the findings obtained and how they relate to the objectives of the study.


The final chapter will entail the final part of the study where the findings, summary and recommendations will be highlighted and an in-depth conclusion of the project.