Corporate Social Responsibility and Organisation Productivity

Corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (often referred to as corporate conscience or corporate citizenship) is a policy that integrates consciousness and self-regulation of stakeholders and their well-being into a business model (David, Winster, Praveenraj and Vijayalaksmi, 2014). As argued by Rasche, Morsing and Moon (2017) there are several reasons why organisation engage in CSR, but organisation mostly engage in it to improve its relationship with her major stakeholder with the view of actualizing the ultimate goal of profit maximization. Whatever, the reason is, CSR policy aims to act as a self-regulatory tool that monitors and ensures the firm’s effective compliance with ethical standards and international norms as well as the laws of the country where it operates while creating more value to their customers (Ranshe et al, 2017; Amjad et al, 2016).

According to Caligiuri, Mencin and Jiang (2013), CSR aim at improving positive corporate impacts to all its stakeholders; these stakeholders include host communities, employees, customers, investors, including its shareholders and the host of others. Thus, a good CSR practice in turn do a lot of good to the organisation as it improves the stakeholders trust on the organisation compliance with ethical behaviour, commitment to improves the environment degradation, commitment to improves poverty in the society they operates, commitment to improves health, education and empowerment. CSR activities should not just be viewed as way to achieve goals that can improve the environment and ensure organisation is law abiding but should also be viewed as a strategy to improve firm’s financial performance and competitive advantages (Orlitzky, Schmidt, and Rynes, 2003).

Charkraborty (2010) opined that when business leaders decide to invest firm resources into CSR through value addition; working with employees and families, and the local community, they often do so hoping to maximise the benefits for multiple stakeholders including the firm’s shareholders.

Partnering with NGOs to Achieve Objectives of Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR is also increasingly perceived as self-serving of the business executing it (Bruhn, 2013, p.21). The belief that, CSR is self-serving (serving the interest of the multinational firms) has degenerated a paradigm shift of how the firms CSR are being implemented. This stem from the fact that, stakeholders’ perception of business and their interpretations of an organisation’s CSR activities have been equated to public relations to cover up organisations failing ethical standards. Such actions have been observed to result in reduced CSR impact and outreach (Bruhn, 2013, p. 22). Eneh and Enouh (205, p. 76) noted that in implementing CSR, there is a need to properly align the community expectations to the corporate expectations within the CSR activities for better results. Employees in an organisation are considered an important stakeholder as they play a significant role in realising firms’ goals and objectives. Their perception of the firm’s corporate responsibility may influence their performance on their job which in turn has a positive impact on organisation performance (Valentine and Fleishman, 2008, p. 167). In collaboration to this assertion, Wood (1991, p. 712) argued that employee’s perception about organisation corporate responsibility affects how they identify with it and their commitment to its goals. He argued that there is no standard measure which defines what and how CSR should be done. But Firms should adopt flexible approach towards CSR where each organisation sets its own CSR initiatives (Valentine and Fleishman, 2008, p. 167).

In view of the above, there exists an urgent need for a strategic shift in the approach to social responsibility practice within organisations, to make CSR more responsive to the needs of all business stakeholders. As such, partnerships have gained increased prominence as an approach to achieving win-win-win outcomes. Such partnerships often entail the collaborative participation of shareholders, management, customers, non-government organisations (NGOs), and community in realising sustainable goals. It can also be argued, that this approach to the delivery of CSR initiatives can ensure higher social impact and improve their effectiveness (Caligirui, Mencin and Jiang, 2013, p.826). Caligiuri, Mencin and Jiang (2013, p. 851) noted that corporate social responsibility through a Non-governmental organization had assumed the forefront position among the strategies adopted by multinational firms in delivering social responsibility to all their stakeholders, in particular in their host community.

One way of aligning the business interest with that of the stakeholders is through partnering with an NGO to deliver its CSR initiates.  Nijhof, de Bruijn and Honders (2008, p. 154) have argued that business-NGO partnerships have different orientations such as the ‘inside-out’, ‘outside-in’ and ‘open system orientation’. The authors point out that the stakeholder roles and position also differ and play a major role in the partnership’s success. However, the body of knowledge examining the employee perceptions of these partnerships is currently limited. As such, the evaluation of these perceptions is important in efforts to understand their impact on employee motivation and performance. Lee, Park and Lee (2014, p.1721) observe that positive employee perceptions of a firm’s CSR efforts result in improved motivation and performance. Negative employee perceptions, on the other hand, have been observed to result in poor performance outcomes.


Amjad, H., Joong, W. L. Sohee, P., 2016. Corporate social responsibility as a marketing strategy in foreign markets, International Marketing Review, 33(4), pp. 530 – 554

Caligiuri, P., Mencin, A., and Jiang, K. 2013. Win-win-win: The influence of company-sponsored volunteerism programs on employees, NGOs, and business units’, Personnel Psychology, 66(4), pp. 825-860

David Winster Praveenraj, D. and Vijayalakshmi, R. 2014. Role of NGOs in CSR. International Research Journal of Business and Management, 7(12), pp. 8-14.

Orlitzky, M., Schmidt, F. L. and Rynes, S.L. 2003. Corporate social and financial performance: A meta-analysis. Organization studies, 24(3), pp. 403-441

Rasche, A., Morsing, M. and Moon, J. eds., 2017. Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, communication, governance. Cambridge University Press. [Online]. Available at:

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