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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Corporate Social Responsibility is an effort by organizations to deploy their resources in a way that helps the organizations build a mutually productive and sustainable business relationship between them and the communities with which they do business. It is a massive force for social change and it works by producing and offering services that improve the lives of users of the services, and communities in which these companies operate. A true CSR gives an opportunity to the businesses involved to make the world a better place by ensuring their activities have a sustainable impact on the society. Measuring the impact of CSR in the Kenyan market is difficult because very few companies issue sustainability reports, and it is not compulsory to indicate how much they give under the banner of CSR. No legislation exists to compel them to do so.

CSR is a concept born of the premise that both for profit and not for profit organizations have various stakeholders whose different interests are affected one way or the other by an organization’s goals, operations or the behaviour of its members. The extent to which a company and its products are accepted in society is highly dependent on the extent to which the products and services meet the needs of the clients and generally the level to which the company is involved in meeting the real needs of the community. A firm working with the poor will boost its image consequently opening up new business opportunities for new products. The community will seamlessly support a firm that cares for them. Having the poor at heart is likely to generate political good-will from government through incentives such as tax relief and favourable policies. Neglecting CSR issues can lead to tarnishing the image of the firm and mass boycott of the firm’s products and services. Generally, a socially responsible business will create a win-win situation that will seek to offer the employees the best terms possible while pursuing its own profit objective in order to maximize shareholder value.

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