Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

A Discourse on Corporate Social Responsibility in Nepal

Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

A Discourse on Corporate Social Responsibility in Nepal

Article excerpt

Introduction

The meaning of Corporate social responsibility (CSR) does not only indicate the contribution made by corporation for community simply in charitable activities but also to design, integrate and practice community development programs as the part of their core business programmes strategy, in such a way that both the company and the concerned stakeholder(s) are benefited. It is the obligation of companies to serve the society. In other words, CSR is the commitment of business enterprise towards its stakeholders to satisfy their interest through ethical and moral actions. The interests of stakeholders may be different to different segments of the society. Thus, the meaning of corporate social responsibility also varies across the interests of stakeholders. It is the sustainable economic development for the nation, good working environment for employee, employment and welfare for community, profit to the shareholders, quality goods and services to customers and so on. It is the general feeling among the stakeholders that the organisation has done beneficial activities to improve quality of life at utmost level without impeding the common interests of the people at large. A business decision of a company may be favourable to a particular stakeholder but the same decision may adversely affect other stakeholder(s). Thus, companies are required to analyse the impact on all stakeholders while making business decisions. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD, 2000} defines CSR as "...the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. CSR is about capacity building for sustainable livelihoods. It's about business giving back to society". Corporate social responsibility is a comprehensive term, which denotes such responsible and ethical business actions that provide advantages to the concerned stakeholders and company without neglecting the interest of others. In the view of Shrestha (2009), a member of the CSR Forum Nepal, "CSR is doing business in a responsible way where there is a positive effect to the business itself and its stakeholders". Thus, CSR refers to such business activities that make business win by making stakeholders - stockholders, employees, community, customers, suppliers and government win in the long run. In the view of Joseph (2009: 403), "it in reality is the alignment of business operations with social values... It focuses on the social, environmental, and financial success of company... with the aim to achieve social development while achieving business success".

There is no full realization among the businesspersons in Nepal on the fact that business organizations should have a social impact in order to survive in competition. Consequently, almost all Nepalese companies have been attempting to minimize the cost with a view to gain more and more profit and survive in the competition from insider and outsider companies. Unlike in the business organisations in developed counties, where the works of CSR are considered as an integral part of successful business strategy, the scope and impact of CSR are not taken seriously in Nepal considering CSR as philanthropy effort.

Consequently, the issue of CSR could not still be a core part of business logic of most of the organisations in Nepal. In this juncture, the basic aim of this paper is to highlight the existing status of CSR and problems inherited therein to recommend suggestions for the development of CSR practices in Nepal.

Practices

In Nepal, business sector is not so much developed. Thus, it is not also easy to launch full phase CSR in the present context of difficult business environment caused by political instability, instability of government and its policies, strike and lockouts, power shortage, kidnapping, murder and so on. …

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