Research Project on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - ‘Samsung’
Review at least twenty (20) articles and write about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), in general, and within a given context (according to your preference), stating its importance in building and promoting a company’s brand image and reputation. (2000 words)
In groups of four (4) students, you are required to;
1. Choose a company and conduct an extensive research on it and discuss how it engages in CSR, identifying antecedents and possible challenges it encounters and how the challenges are or could be addressed.
2. Ensure that your research project is organised in the following format; an abstract, introduction, main body (literature) and conclusion. – you are free to add sub-headings!
3. Make sure the abstract is between 100-200 words (identify 5 keywords)
4. Ensure that the conclusion is brief but not less than 200 words.
In this project, the company Samsung has been selected for comprehending its corporate social responsibility practices and initiatives. It has been comprehended that CSR initiative has offered significant benefits to companies. However, alignment of business operations and function with CSR practices has to be maintained by companies in order to gain competitiveness, success and customer loyalty in the long-run. In addition, it has been also identified that Samsung has been making significant efforts to maintain its social, environmental and ethical responsibilities wisely since the business year 1995. However, its supplier relations and visibility of human rights and protection have to be developed for collaboration and improving reputation in the market.
In the present business world, the context of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one of the challenges in business strategy as CSR is based on taking responsibility for stakeholders while maximizing the interest of stockholders of a company. Furthermore, CSR has become a significant business practice at present that enhances the reputation and brand image of a company in the cynical business world. This indicates that companies have to frame appropriate policies and procedures aligning with consumer, social, ethical or environmental concerns into its core strategy and business operation with the collaboration of each stakeholder. Samsung is a South Korean multinational conglomerate that was founded by Lee Byung-Chul in the business year 1938. It is headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. Taking the view of the company Samsung, the need for effective CSR practices has been highlighted in this project. In addition, the antecedents and possible challenges associated with the engagement of CSR of Samsung have been identified in a detailed manner for in-depth understanding. Other than that, the ways of mitigating techniques have been also addressed to overcome the challenges for the company Samsung to gain a competitive advantage as well as enhance its brand image in the market.
Introduction to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
The major aim of companies is to attain a positive influence on society while enhancing the creation of shared value for the stakeholders, owners, shareholders and employees of the business. On the contrary, Albuquerque et al. (2019) argued that firms that engage in CSR practices are much more focused on corporate financial performance compared to the societal and environmental benefits. In relation to such context, it can be stated that the engagement of companies towards CSR has to contribute towards positive societal benefits rather than just focusing on financial terms. In addition, Ali et al. (2017) also highlighted that companies that genuinely engage in CSR activities achieve a 19 times higher average return on assets. This highlights the need for effective CSR engagement of firms in the competitive business world.
As stated by Birch (2017), Samsung is one of the tech giants around the world has a responsible approach towards its business as well as global citizenship. The innovative products and services of the company have gained acceptance in the market. In addition, the need for disclosure of CSR activities in the present time has been a significant measure by Samsung disclosing each information timely with transparency. Other than that, Cooper (2017) also highlighted that Samsung has made every effort to comprehend the views of external and internal stakeholders while integrating the views into CSR initiatives. It has been also analyzed that the integration of CSR into business activities can assist companies to achieve sustainable growth and enhanced brand image in the market. In relation to such context, the company Samsung has been trying to follow each step strategically to contribute to the CSR activities. Hence, it can be acknowledged that the need and engagement of CSR initiatives are mandatory for every business company.
Benefits of engaging in CSR with regards to Samsung
The drivers that push business towards CSR initiatives include government, the need for disclosure, increased interest of customers, competitive labour markets as well as supplier relations. These drivers make companies act within as an economic entity operating and contributing towards broader society. As suggested by Crane et al. (2019), investor pressure is also growing on companies as they access companies’ performance based on ethical concerns. Other than that, it has been also identified that the positive outcomes of adopting CSR activities include company, general public, community as well as environmental benefits. However, Davidson et al. (2019) argued that there are several companies that outlooks CSR activities in their core business functions which create concerns towards the commitment of sustainability. It can be highlighted that the need and potential of CSR practices have to be comprehended by the companies around the global world to maintain competitiveness and customer trust that can lead to success in the long run.
Based on the company Samsung, Dewi and Dewi (2017) revealed that Samsung has made several CSR initiatives in the field of health and medical, education, environment and employment. This has certainly assisted the company to engage with customers and other stakeholders at ease. Furthermore, the collaboration and cooperation among the stakeholders and shareholders have been significant to engage in CSR initiatives. On the other hand, Dyck et al. (2019) stated that three factors need to be comprehended by companies while formulating CSR initiatives that include relevant focus, partnerships, and participation. Based on such context, Samsung has focused to fulfill the needs of the workforce while forming partnerships with social and environmental firms contributing towards the sustainability of external factors through funding. In addition, the benefits of CSR initiatives are well achieved by Samsung including lower operating costs, increased customer loyalty, greater brand image, integrating environment management tools as well as charitable contributions resulting in higher financial performance, collaboration and coordination.
Antecedents of CSR with regards to Samsung
The technological industry has gained international consideration because of the way reflect their social and ecological obligations. As suggested by Dyduch and Krasodomska (2017), it has been a critical issue for companies around the global world to follow appropriate CSR initiatives as the wrong product recycling process or supplier relation has significantly prompted resources and environment exhaustion. Furthermore, the need to adopt sustainable practices and maintain environmental balance has been antecedents of CSR since ages for maximizing business value. On the other hand, it has been also identified that customers are expecting that companies must be responsible while providing goods and services economically and efficiently. Based on such context, El Ghoul et al. (2017) argued that companies have responded to the demands of the customers by engaging in CSR activities through stakeholder communication initiatives. However, the major concern is the part where the companies do not comprehend the benefits of engaging in CSR activities as well as disclosing the activities. It has been also identified that literature based on the benefits of disclosing or reporting of CSR activities has been inconclusive.
As put forward by Famiyeh (2017), the understanding of antecedents of CSR has evolved from the generation of profit and had been limited to it which got significant attention in present times as it includes a broader set of responsibilities to generate shared value. In relation to the company Samsung, the concept of CSR evolved was limited to profit generation but it gradually expanded to broader aspects taking environmental and societal views under concentration. Additionally, it has been also comprehended that the Committee for Economic Development, 1971 of the USA initiated a clear response to the social demands and momentum of corporate behaviour that evolved gradually with a significant understanding of CSR, Forcadell and Aracil (2017). In relation to such context, the understanding of CSR initiatives evolved in Samsung since the business year 1995 with the Samsung Welfare Foundation and has been expanded immensely after that. Challenges of CSR engagement with special reference to Samsung As stated by Galant and Cadez (2017), challenges to CSR engagement have been a critical debate among critiques as there are numerous issues for its successful integration into the core objectives of the companies. Likewise, the case of Samsung has been also a significant example to highlight the challenges towards the integration of CSR initiatives successfully. Although the company has been taking part in each CSR initiatives, the supply chain has been a critical issue that has created problems within the stakeholders. The fire and explosion accidents with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 have created a negative influence on the customer's buying behaviour. In addition, Gondet al. (2017) also highlighted that Samsung’s CSR is beneficial to the reputation and brand image of the firm and dies nit promote customer rights. The supplier relations have also created significant issues as the company does not focus much on the products or manufacturing process of suppliers.
On the other hand, Grayson and Hodges (2017) argued that the implementation of CSR activities is essential to the firm’s strategy. However, it has been identified that there is a significant gap between promotion and visibility of customer rights as well as supplier relationships with the companies’ CSR initiatives that have to be mitigated. It has been well stated by Lim and Greenwood (2017) integrating CSR practices require collaboration and alignment of each business function in order to address environmental and societal concerns. Based on such context, it can be highlighted that the need for effective alignment of CSR initiative with supplier chain and disclosure of information to the customers is highly required by Samsung. Mitigation of the issues associated with CSR based on the company Samsung As put forwarded by Lins et al. (2017), companies need to craft an effective corporate social responsibility initiative that is sustainable and strategic. In relation to such a context, Samsung needs to enhance its leadership skills to align business and social or environmental returns. In addition, CSR initiatives must be developed within the core competencies of the company. On the other hand, Singh et al. (2017) also suggested that the issues which matter to the customers must be recognized by companies in order to increase collaboration and customer loyalty. Thus, it can be highlighted that Samsung must increase charitable programs and focus on products that provide social benefit by collaborating with suppliers based on CSR initiatives. This can increase brand loyalty towards the company Samsung.
As stated by Yakovleva (2017), companies must develop CSR initiatives that can assist to increase employee engagement and collaboration. It has been identified that CSR practices assist companies to gain employee’s or job applicant’s attention. Therefore, it can be stated that Samsung has the potential to attract millennials in the present world as they are highly inclined towards the firm that reflects strong CSR practices. As put forwarded by Uduji and Okolo-Obasi (2019), in order to engage in CSR practices, the initiative must be comprehended by the stakeholders and shareholders of the company for its successful adoption. Companies need to examine and understand the practice, embed the CSR initiative and leaders must motivate and engage staff towards such practices. Samsung must use such ways to engage and integrate the CSR initiatives in every part of the company for effective collaboration and success.
After analyzing the context of CSR based on the company Samsung, it can be stated that the company has used the antecedents of CSR wisely and reaping its benefits for ages. However, the issue in its supply chain and the visibility of CSR practices towards the public is of deep concern. Hence, the company needs to develop appropriate measures and align the CSR initiatives in its core business function. Other than that, collaboration and disclosure of the information are highly essential for Samsung in order to gain reputation, brand image as well as customer loyalty within the competitive business world.
CSR is the practice of integrating environmental and social goals into business operations. In addition, the benefits of such practice include control costs, improve the brand image as well as retain and attract potential talent resulting in long term financial growth. Likewise, the company Samsung has responded to wisely and strategically to the stakeholders and external environment with collaboration and cooperation. However, significant measures to mitigate the challenges have to be addressed by the company for gaining long-term success. Following appropriate measures of CSR initiatives engagement can assist Samsung to reap the potential benefit of such practice.
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