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Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development

Role of Companies towards Social Welfare

Introduction To Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is an imperative task that consists of several activities such as social program, education in the discovery and reducing waste material. Along with that, making environment clean and providing safe living for human being also comes under this. It is an old and foremost concept for all types of industries and its importance is continuously increasing in the organization. It is because CSR is the means to ensure sustainable development of company at the marketplace and also, it explores strengths of company to beat competition. The retail industry of UK is growing at the rapid speed by valuing money of the customer and providing the good quality of services. With the help of customer satisfaction corporations have high growth and increasing rate of return of companies at the marketplace.

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The retail industry of UK is performing appropriately in term of profit, customer satisfaction and environmental sustainability. The top retail companies are Tesco, Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer. Along with that ASDA, Waitrose and Morrisons is also included that provided variety of services in the country. Here, Tesco is the largest supermarket of UK that owned total 2378 convenience stores and 768 supermarkets accords different geographical areas (CSR Initiatives at Tesco, 2014). Furthermore, Sainsbury has 583 superstores and 523 convenience stores. It is opting several types of distribution channel by which customers can be approach easily. Industry provides wide range of services to customers such as home delivery, after sales service and online services that aid to give them high er level of satisfaction. The number of products that are being provided by UK retail industry is also increasing that aid to meet expectations of number of buyers in an effectual manner. The key drivers of the retail industry are value, range and locations. In addition to this, price, quality are also the key drivers that are taken into mind while taking decisions about selling of products and services. Thee key drivers are serve as the basis for growth and development of overall retail industry.

The retail industry of UK is the significant sources of income that associated more than 3 million workers Here, Marks and Spencer stated that communication is the more important than technology in order to increase customer base and firm is planning to start work in appropriate manner. In this regard, company will focuses on social and environmental issue by which it can build its sustainable development at the marketplace (Why Corporate Social Responsibility is Important in 2015, 2015). Likewise all companies are keep on updating their CSRstrategies that aid to increase overall rate of return. In addition to this, companies are focusing on the changing needs and preferences of buyers so they can cope up with changing scenario and build competitive edge in the marketplace(Analysis: Top 10 UK retailers revealed, 2015). Furthermore European commission is planning to make online shopping very simple by removing the borders. Tesco has opened its new outlet for food services that facilitate to cater needs of different types of buyers. This shows that, retail sector of UK contribute towards economy to a great extent and also endure its sustainable development. Sustainable development facilitates to give certainty about future business activities and increase overall rate of return of industry.

Gap in knowledge

There are number of studies have been done for the sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. However, research has not conducted specifically in the field of the retail industry of UK. So the proposed study will aid to enhance knowledge and skills and scholars with regards to sustainable development.

Rationale of the study

The topic is under investigation because corporate social responsibility is the prominent aspect to create sustainable development of the industry and it is imperative to create public image of the firm at the marketplace. On the non-compliance of CSR organization will have to face barrier in the growth and expansion as this is one of the ways to cater need of different types of stakeholders.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has direct relevance with community and environment where business actually operates. Wu and Pearn, (2008), quoted that CSR incurs short term cost of companies to implement its CSR strategies. It is the prominent aspect to gain competitive edge at the marketplace and caters need of different types of buyers in an effectual manner. It can be critically evaluated that organizations get profit after a long time span because CSR generally aids to generate positive attitude among employees as well as society as whole (Wu and Pearn, 2008). As per the views of Evans and Lindsay, (2005), industry expresses citizenship in the society by reducing waste material and through ensuring safe environment. Along with that, providing educational facilities and health promotional programs for society proves to be very effective. CSR is the means to ensure sustainable development of industry and it is creating distinctive image of the same at marketplace (Evans and Lindsay, 2005).

According to Porter and Kramer, (2006), this is the one of the effective way to achieve organizational aims and objectives because management can be able to retain customers and may increase the number of new customers towards companies has direct impact on revenues of company by which companies can create competitive edge at the marketplace. However, management invest in the CSR activities in order to fulfill legal requirement and contributing in community life. For example, when firm launches health promotion programs, the general public’s get attracted towards the same. It creates an image of firm in the mind of customers and they perceive company as trustworthy. By this way, organization gets multiple benefits such as it can easily attract customers and investors which lead to increase an overall rate of return (Porter and Kramer, 2006). There are number of activities that are covered in the social responsibilities such as charity and fund raising for education of several types of people that aid to build good relationship with top management and its employees. Matten and Moon, (2008), advocated that, company can be able to build good relation with suppliers and customers as well as with other stakeholders who are directly or indirectly connected with the organization (Matten and Moon, 2008). It assists the management to clear path for growth and development of company. Dahlsrud, (2008), asserted that organization needs to incur expenses at the initial stage but it aids to save money and operating cost. Along with that, it proves to be effective for creating competitive edge and for delivering good quality of services to customers because it influences general public and enables those to have positive perception regarding several types of efforts that are being put by retail industry (Dahlsrud, 2008).

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The Tesco which is the largest retailer of UK take several types of initiatives in day to day business activities. It consists of recycling by which management is able to reduce the waste material and utilize the available limited resources in a most effective way. Further, company makes use of organics, water and energy appropriately. Owing to this, firm is outperforming in term of environment, marketplace, and workplace and community life. Not only this, management of Tesco is also putting efforts to reduce CO2 emissions that aid to ensure wellbeing of industry as well as general public. With this regard, firm also proposes to reduce the carbon dioxide emission in all its stores by 50% till 2020. However, this figure was minimum but company may achieve more than what is expected. This is the reason it gains popularity from the large number of customer and able to increase overall rate of firm. Still, packaging, waste management and recycling serve as the some issues in corporate social responsibilities is For example, John Lewis has good command over packaging whereby customers can gain satisfaction because it is helpful to keep the product safe. On the contrary, it plays active role in polluting environment and increasing financial cost that has adverse impact on the organization.

Kolk and Van Tulder, (2010), argued that, marketplace is also the main activity which has direct relevance with CSR strategy. Marketplace consists of set of issues such as ethical commercialism, animal welfare and sustainable sourcing.

This issue are taken into account by several types of retail companies of UK such as Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Morrison (Kolk and Van Tulder, 2010). It enables them to compete in the local market effectively. Jenkins and Yakovleva, (2006), asserted that, by maintaining good working condition management of firms give satisfaction among employees and they are powered to move ahead. Owing to this Tesco adopt several types of strategies such as providing time to time training and creating employment as well as giving retirement benefits for workers. These contribute towards achieving long as well as short term objectives (Jenkins and Yakovleva, 2006).

Importance of CSR activities on growth of retail sector

According to Turker, (2009), corporate social responsibility is the imperative part of industry for long run success. It assists management to give new direction for the business and manage customers as well as employees in an effectual manner (Turker, 2009). There are following factors which provides evidence that how CSR activities determine growth of retail sector-

Building public image

As per the view of Matten and Crane, (2005), It is the most prominent aspect by which retail sector build image among general public and enables them to purchase products and services that are being offered by the companies. Under this, people attract from the activities of organization that have been done by them such as education, charity and social welfare activities. It generate positive attitude among them and they perceive good quality of services. It influences their purchase decision that had direct impact on the revenue of company. It facilitates to create competitive edge of the organization at the marketplace. By this way, there will be continuous increase in the number of customers because when management become able to change the perception of customer then generally sales turnover of company keep on increase. It can be critically evaluated that without incurring cost, industry cannot be able to build public image. Further, for the sake of increasing number of customer, short term cost is employed to gain the trust of general public (Matten and Crane, 2005). It gives long run benefits and gives upward direction for future business activities of firm.

As per the view of Salzmann, Ionesco-Somers and Steger, (2005), contribution of company in the community project assist to give opportunity to connect with general public so as to make brand image of firm sentence does not make sense. Such type of association with society or general community integrates all employees together and enables them to work in the direction of growth of the business. This helps to save cost as well as time of company because customers will easily attract towards the product. As the employees are the life blood for the any business and if company proves to be effective to satisfy their need then it can easily get sustainable development of overall industry (Salzmann, Ionescu-Somers and Steger, 2005). Fox, (2004) stated that organizations' contribution towards environment turn out to be effective to ensure sustainable aspect of business. For the sake of it, employees are provided time to time training and their knowledge as well as skills are enhanced. In addition to this, Carroll and Shabana, (2010) asserted that, company offer career opportunities in the society also by providing equal chance for all people in context of employment. This results in growth and development of industry thereby company make out large amount of profit and out performs at the marketplace. On the contrary if, production process is harming to environment then even by putting many efforts, industry have to suffer from several types of barriers for its sustainability (Carroll and Shabana, 2010).

According to Welford, (2005), corporate social responsibility is the only way for long run sustainability of business by creating positive attitude among society as well as customers. It has positive impact on the performance of companies and assists them to expand business over the globe (Welford, 2005). Furthermore, Garriga and Melé, (2004) quoted that company need to appoint competent personnel in this field and also have to make budget for the same that create addition short term cost. It can be critically evaluated that it incurs high cost at the initial stage and does not aid to give return quickly. However, it ensures long run success of businesses and they are powered to move ahead with the support of general public. It proves to be effective to give certainty about future business activities and retain customers as well as employees for longer span of time (Garriga and Melé, 2004).

Coverage of media

According to Branco and Rodrigues, (2006), media plays the active role when company take initiatives related to corporate social responsibilities. Industry need to have good relations with local media so they spread information related to work done by company with regards to social wellbeing. It is the main source by which firm get attention of general public that create distinctive identity of the same at the marketplace. However, if company perform or contribute to the society then they can easily get finer media coverage (Branco and Rodrigues, 2006). It assists management to expand business over the globe and deliver good quality of services to number of buyers. It proves to be effective to increase in the number of customer and have competitive advantage so they can retain employees as well as suppliers. Likewise, Valor, (2005) asserted that, these all leads to growth of overall retail industry and ensure sustainable development of the same. Furthermore, media coverage prove to be effective for the industry for lifelong because it aids to rotate the important information to the public. Media coverage is an imperative way thereby management adopt effective strategies in relation to growth of industry as whole. By the help of media visibility, industry can light up key success of organization in the marketplace that leads to development of industry (Valor, 2005).

Positive work environment

As per the views of Aguilera, Rupp, Williams and Ganapathi, (2007) with the help of corporate social responsibilities all employees also tend to contribute towards achieving long as well as short term objectives of firm. Because, organization that have good public image, will also attract competent personnel and also help to retain them for long span of time. It facilitates to create good working atmosphere thereby management can ensure optimum utilization of limited resources (Aguilera, Rupp, Williams and Ganapathi, 2007). These results in increasing creating brand image of the firm and give higher level of satisfaction among employees. Banerjee, (2008), argued that, positive work environment is the key to success of industry that leads to remove stress of employees. It make them able to accepts challenging work and contribute their best in relation to success and growth of industry (Banerjee, 2008). It facilitate to cater need of different types of buyers and build good relation with upper level management and employees. Blowfield and Frynas, (2005), quoted that social responsibility bring positivity among employees and also increase their interest towards work. It assists management to cope up with changing scenario and make employees more flexible to accept the changes at workplace. Therefore, corporate social responsibilities have indirect relevance with positive work environment. It contributes towards fulfilling aim of firm within specified time span and delivers good quality of services to customers (Blowfield and Frynas, 2005).

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Impact of CSR activities on sustainability aspect of business

As per the views of Heslin and Ochoa, (2008), the corporate social responsibilities always has positive impact on the sustainability aspect of business Sustainability refers to managing financial, social and environmental risks with business where focus is laid on managing present business activities without hampering future growth as well as success. gives several types of benefits to company and assist management to ensure sustainability of the same. By the help of different types of activities that are being performed by the retail industry of UK, the overall industry is powered to move ahead. Under this, companies ensure their products and services that provided to customers are free from any type of ill effect or harm (Heslin and Ochoa, 2008). Garriga and Melé, (2004), asserted that, by the help of CSR, it is also ensured that business is not harmful to the society and even paying to society in several means such as employment, social program. These activities also provide evidence that firm is operating ethically and not harming to environment in anyway (Garriga and Melé, 2004). This proves to be effective for sustainable growth of firms and increases their revenue to a great extent. Maon, Lindgreen and Swaen, (2009), asserted that, there are basic two dimensions of corporate social responsibility such as internal and external policies of companies. Internal policies consist of human capital, health and safety as well as restructuring. Here, management put efforts to improve its internal policies in order to attract competent personnel and retain them for long span of time (Maon, Lindgreen and Swaen, 2009). Similarly, Andersen and Skjoett-Larsen, (2009), stated that, specific training program and appropriate remuneration packages for all employees contribute towards sustainable development of country (Andersen and Skjoett-Larsen, 2009). Furthermore, external policies such as business partners, human right and social program as well as welfare activities related to society enables management of companies to attract number of buyers. It proves to be effective to create brand image of the firm in the marketplace.

RESEARCH AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

Aim

The aim of present research is to assessing Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development in retail industry of UK.

Objectives

In order to fulfill the proposed aim following research objectives will be framed that aid to conduct study in an effectual manner. It sets path for researcher and enables to draw the valid conclusion-

To assess up to what extent, CSR activities aids in achieving organizational aims and objectives
To critically examine the importance of CSR activities for sustainable development of retail sector
To assess the impact of CSR activities on sustainability aspects of business

Research questions

In order to reach at the aim of the study, following research questions will be framed that aids to conduct study in structural way and find the optimal solution for the retail industry. It proves to be effective to ensure long run growth of industry and suggest management to bring improvement, if necessary-

How activities of CRS aid to achieve organizational aims and objectives?
What is the importance of CSR activities for the growth of retail industry of UK?
What are the impact CSR activities on sustainable aspect of business?

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The research methodology is the subset of different types of methods and techniques that is used in the research. For the present research, following methods and approach will be used in order to derive at the aim of the study-

Research approach

Research approach is the foremost part in the research methodology that assist researcher to develop in-depth knowledge for the study. Basically two types of research approach are used that consists of inductive and deductive. Deductive approach is used for quantitative study where research gather general information related to topic and then move towards the specific issue of the study. On the other hand inductive study is used in case of qualitative research where scholar at first takes into account specific issue of the study and then move towards the generalization of the same. For the present research on understanding corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, research will make use of inductive research approach. Under this, at first specific data will be gathered with regards to the concept of sustainable development with regards to corporate social responsibility (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill. 2007). It enables to find out relevant information that already exist related to sustainable development so as to reach at the aim of the study (Aslam and Jun, 2009). Furthermore, deductive approach move general to specific by which it becomes easy to assess the impact of CSR on the sustainability aspect of business. It proves to be effective for collecting data supporting to study and analyzing the same in an effectual manner (Sekaran, 2006). In addition to this, inductive approach will be helpful in fulfilling objectives of the topic understudy. It will aid to develop alternative solution for the problem and understand the specific problem of organization in an effective manner. The inductive approach explores knowledge of scholar by the help of observation for developing strong base for assessing social responsibility and sustainable development.

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Sampling plan

Sampling is the another important part of research methodology whereby scholar aids to collect data from the respondents. It represents the individual unit of population as it is not possible to access data from the large population. There are several types of sampling methods are used such as simple random, systematic, strategies and cluster. Along with that, quota and judgment sampling is also used (Wallace, Mike and Wray, 2006). For the present research on understanding the corporate-social-responsibility and sustainability development, scholar will make use of simple random sampling. The proposed study is related to retail sector of UK hence the all managers who are associated with CSR department are serve as the population from which sample will be selected. In this regard, 6-8 managers from the retail industry will be selected who will be approached for collection of data (Foulkes and Anthony, 2014). In order to collect data, questionnaire method will be used that will includes set of questions related to corporate social responsibility of retail industry and its sustainability aspect. Further, for collection of data, interview method will be used by which scholar will ensure direct or indirect connection with mangers of retail industry of UK (Kahraman, Ertay and Büyüközkan, 2006). It will be helpful in gathering accurate information related to contribution of CSR activities for ensuring sustainable development of companies.

Analytical approach

Analytical approach refers to analysis of collected data in relation to provide answer for formulated research questions. There are two types of methods are used in data analysis such as qualitative and quantitative (Maxwell, 2012). For the present research on understanding corporate-social-responsibility and sustainable development, qualitative method will be used wherein thematic analysis will be applied. In the thematic analysis, themes are prepared on the basis of objectives of study or research questions (Bryman and et. al., 2011). It will aid to give clear understanding regarding the key findings of the research so as to draw the valid conclusion. Under this, qualitative analysis will be selected because of the nature of study where it is not possible to do quantitative analysis. It will prove to be effective to reach at the aim of the study and develop deep understanding among the researchers (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2005). It will also assist researcher to recommend management of companies to improvement performance and ensure their sustainable growth at the marketplace. In addition to this, thematic analysis will clarify the impact of CSR activities on the overall performance of business.

REFERENCES

  • Wallace, Mike and Alison Wray., 2006. Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates. Sage study skills, Sage Publications, London.
  • Andersen, M. and Skjoett-Larsen, T., 2009. Corporate social responsibility in global supply chains.Supply chain management: an international journal.
  • Aslam, M. and Jun, C. H., 2009. A group acceptance sampling plan for truncated life test having Weibull distribution.Journal of Applied Statistics.
  • Banerjee, S. B., 2008. Corporate social responsibility: The good, the bad and the ugly.Critical Sociology.
  • Blowfield, M. and Frynas, J. G., 2005. Editorial Setting new agendas: critical perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility in the developing world.International Affairs.
  • Branco, M. C. and Rodrigues, L. L., 2006. Corporate social responsibility and resource-based perspectives.Journal of Business Ethics.
  • Bryman, Alan and Bell, Emma., 2011. Business Research Methods. Oxford University Press, 3rd edition.
  • Dahlsrud, A., 2008. How corporate social responsibility is defined: an analysis of 37 definitions.Corporate social responsibility and environmental management.
  • Evans, J. R. and Lindsay, W. M., 2005. The management and control of quality(pp. pp-687). Mason, OH: South-Western.
  • Foulkes, S. H. and Anthony, E. J., 2014. Group Psychotherapy: The Psycho-Analytic Approach: A Facsimile of the First Edition. Karnac Books.
  • Fox, T., 2004. Corporate Social Responsibility and Development: In quest of an agenda.Development.
  • Garriga, E. and Melé, D., 2004. Corporate social responsibility theories: Mapping the territory.Journal of business ethics.
  • Ghauri, P. and K. Gronhaug., 2005. Research Methods in Business Studies: A Practical Guide. FT Prentice Hall, 3rd edition
 

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