The India is first country where companies are mandated 2% of the company net profit on CSR. The first few years have not been encouraging and the CSR spends in most of the companies have not been to do strategic CSR and 2% of the company profit not properly deployed as companies has not taken long term vision and Strategic CSR approach.
What is CSR?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is known by several names like Corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, responsible business, business ethics etc.(Free man (1994)It is a concept whereby the organisation consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, communities and other stakeholders, as well as on the environment(Philip,2005). According to Peter, ‘social responsibility is good capitalism or on other word good capitalism is socially responsible’ (2004:215).The emergence of corporate responsibility as a concept dates back to the 1920’s .From the mid 1990’s, CSR has gained much importance with political and public debate (Frank, 2007) and is regarded as a natural component of good management. Corporate social responsibility has become an important concept today and has gained importance in the public agenda and has remained topic of interest in society (Frank, 2007). The CSR program needs to be not only on paper or in policies but needs to be thoroughly translated into action.The word ‘responsibility’ has wider meaning etymologically to be responsible is to be answerable or willing to answer. It means to act responsibly for good (Frank, 2007).It is a commitment to improve community well-being through discretionary practices and contributions of corporate resources (Philip, 2005).
Need for Strategic CSR Approach
The CSR has got huge criticism in the past but I think if the companies follow the strategic approach to CSR and direct resources to maximize social impact would be more important for India development. The companies who are taking care of the stakeholders and society at large get better edge over. The strategic CSR approach where putting the people in centre in designing CSR programme, building the business but maximizing the social impact. The strategic CSR needs to focus on long term vision and social impacts. It would determine activities to be devoted to the people based on the need and where company can utilize its resources to maximize social impact.
CSR Leadership for leading strategic CSR
To do so it would be not easy and CSR leadership plays important and it involves implementing the program taking into account that different stakeholders have different social and environmental challenges. Management and leadership is often viewed at higher levels only, but CSR practices are from staff at all level who are implementing this programme. It focuses on personal understanding and focus by individual employees (Frank,2007).CSR programmes need to be translated from paper to action and also need to have long term effects underpinned by a long-term commitment. In order to practice CSR, Management and Leadership are very important component (Frank, 2007)
Strategic CSR for India’s inclusive growth and sustainable development
The research done by Rute Abreau and Fatima David also sets the importance of CSR in Health care. This research sets the importance of global strategy for the health care system where corporate social responsibility is urgently needed. They have also highlights invest in prevention of the quality of life as a basic requirement to honour the corporate social responsibility in hospitals, health care infrastructure improvements (Abreuau and Fatima 2005). This research provides insight into how a particular target public differentiates between various CSR attributes. In doing so, it offers preliminary evidence that CSR activities are not equally valued by publics and has been critiques in the past.
The need of the hour is Strategic CSR approach which suggest that organizations should keep people needs at the centre and look into it resources to mobilize for maximizing social impact. The strategic CSR approach to development would have long term vision on social impact and it needs to be inclusive and sustainable. It would also help India to reduce burden and dependency from foreign aid and more companies need to adopt strategic CSR for India development. Companies in India now need to come forward and focus on Strategic CSR for shaping future of India and development. Nevertheless, to do so CSR leadership to drive Strategic CSR in companies would be important for shaping India’s future.