THE ISSUES OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY A MUST TO NIGERIA BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The concept of business social responsibility has continued to evolve and expand. Today, the efficient use of resources to make profit is still seen as the primary social responsibility of business.
The idea of corporate social responsibility began in the early part of the twentieth century. Interestingly enough, it came from business executive who believed that corporations have an obligations to use their resources in ways that would benefits the entire society.
Although, the role of business firm is that of producing goods and service for a profit, social expectations of business have increased dramatically since the 1960, so there is a need for social response in order to narrow the gap between expectation and response and to keep business in tune with society. While an organization is busy establishing its goals, objectives, developing and executing strategies for achieving its stated purpose, it should recognize that it operates in such a manner that would not disrupt its very essence.
Furthermore, there is little doubt that business must involve itself in social issue broader than producing goods and services, not only because it is the best thing to do but because it is in the best interest of business. In view of these, this study narrow down to Guinness Nigeria Plc which can approximately be describe as one of the most prominent and well known company in the brewery industry with branches within and outside the country. The company in the year 2002 celebrated her 50th year of corporate existence in Nigeria and the demand for its products, no doubt has continue to grow and it has indeed remain consisting high all through the years.
This brewery company majors in the production of small and big Guinness stout Beer, Harp, Gulder, Spark, Malta Guinness and Satzenbrau. Guinness Nigeria Plc operates in various parts of the country until the early seventies precisely (1974) when a plant was established at Ikpoba slope in Benin City. Till this day, the company has continued to grow and it remains one of the most dominant and prominent companies in the brewery industry.
1.2 PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUBJECT MATTER
According to C.C. Nwachukwu (19988:227) majority of Nigeria business organization believed that business enterprise had not shown sufficient interest to their social responsibility. At present, many Nigeria businessmen’s attitude to social reasonability is characterized by the belief in the doctrine of Laizzez fair “the government is best that governs the lest.” This belief has resulted in conflicts especially in this era where larger number of people now believes that corporations should actively pursue socially responsible goal. This include reducing pollution, programme for education, public health, employees welfare, environmental protection and inculcating more safety and reliability into their products.
The issue of corporate social responsibility is treated within the context of this research work in relation with Guinness Nigeria Plc Benin City activities with respect to consumers’ employees’ shareholders and the community at large. Perception to the issue by both community members and management of Guinness Nigeria seems to differ based on each group preference needs, motives, values, goals and aspiration. Guinness Nigeria is constantly maximizing profit but not much attempt have been made in balancing, ethics with economies.
A balance must be struck between actions of Gunnies Nigeria which is profit maximization and the community wants in the height of the above, this study attempt to determine the extent to which Guinness Nigeria Plc Benin city has been socially responsible to the needs of community.
1.3 PROBLEMS THAT THE STUDY WILL BE CONCERN WITH.
Social involvement has not replaced the basic economic role of business in society, but it does introduce new goals for business to pursue and new constraints on how business will operates. The study thus, will serve to highlight on these goals and constraints.
The following aims and objectives of the study came to mind in the choice of this topic.
1. To evaluate the extent of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Benin City involvement in social affairs.
2. To have an insight into the role it is expected to play in the area of corporate social responsibility
3. To become familiar with the effects of social responsibility on a company and society.
4. To evaluate public impression/opinion/perception on the company.
1.4 THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING THE AREA
In order to be able to effectively understudy the activities of business corporation and the community in which they operate in terms of their corporate social responsibility, this study will narrow down to determine how social responsible Guinness Nigeria Plc is to the community in which it operates, hence the emphasis is on Guinness Nigeria Plc Benin city and the inhabitants of Benin city community.
1.5 DEFINITION OF IMPORTANCE TERMS
The concept of corporate social responsibility has attracted increasing attention among business economics and it is firmly based on ethics- which is the principle of conduct used to govern decision making. Now the question is “what is corporate Social Responsibility? Various writers have succeeded in providing answers to these questions through their various contributions. One of the pioneering analyses of social responsibility problem was that provided by Peter Oruker (1974,p94) he defined social responsibility as:
“What business should do or might do to tackle and solve the problems of the society”
In another work, C.C. Nwachukwu (1988-272) defined social responsibility as:
“The intelligent and objective concern for the welfare of the society which restraints individual and corporate behaviour from ultimately destructive activities, no matter how immediately profitable and which leads in the direction of positive contributions to human betterment”.
Another writer Daris and Bellomstom (1973:39) defined social responsibility simply as: “The obligation of decision makers to take actions which protects and improve the welfare of the society as a whole along with their own interest”.
On the other hand, Omokhole (1977.p15) sees socially responsible as “the interest in and commitment to the aims, objectives and aspiration of the wider society in which the private sector functions”.
According to stainer and Steiner (1980,p.110) socially responsible is “ A business organization’s configuration of the principle of social responsibility, process and of social responsiveness and policies, programmes and observable outcome as they relate to a firm’s societal relationship.
In essence social responsibility simply refers to the role of business in solving current social issues over and above legal requirements.
Drucker (1978, p.86) suggested that corporate social responsibility should apply to all types of organisations that under any circumstance business as well as non-business institutions should assume responsibility beyond their own performance and contributions.
According to Stainer (1978,p.168) “The issue is not whether business has social responsibility, the fundamental issue is to identify them for business in general and for the individual company”.
Two terms will interchangeably used in this study they are social responsibility and social responsiveness. According to Tate and Taylor (1983, P.63) corporate social responsiveness incorporates; The idea of a firm responding to its multiple constituencies in such a way as to enhance the long term effectiveness of the firm”
In it simplest sense, corporate social responsiveness means knowing how to manage a company’s relations with external social political and government forces that can affect the company. By making a positive respond, business demonstrates its understanding of society’s needs and dues what it can to remedy the situation.
Social responsiveness often is used to refer primarily to activities that the firm does or could undertake which would not necessarily enhance the company’s financial performance.
According to Stainer (1979), corporate social responsibility of business is public expectation of business which go beyond minimum compliance with the law, but do not exceed the traditional legal functions of and do not seriously impair business capacity to make a reasonable return on its investment.
From my own humble perception of the social corporate responsibility their provision should be geared earnestly to arrest the debilitating nature of massive unemployment during university and polytechnic grachates and the like in Nigeria setting.
Finally, when talk about social responsibility, they are thinking in terms of problems that arise when corporate enterprise casts its shadow on the social scene and of ethnical principle that ought to govern the relationship between the corporation and society. They are concerned with the impart of the corporation on the individual and the possibility of reconciling big business, big labour and by government with the values deeply noted in government.