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Corporate Social Responsibility of an Oil Industry

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Introduction:
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has emerged as a business approach for addressing the social and environmental impact of company activities. Companies from the oil and gas sector have been at the centre of CSR development. With increasing expectations placed on business, one needs to ask if CSR is able to fulfill these larger expectations. Therefore, the aim of this article is to analyze CSR’s potential and limitations for contributing towards wider societal “challenges”. The article investigates the key areas of CSR policies where oil companies are expected to make a positive contribution: improvements in environmental performance, development and governance.

In order to understand the meaning of contemporary CSR, it is useful to go back in time. While CSR is a recent term, preoccupation with business ethics and the social dimensions of business activity has a long history. Business practices based on moral principles and ‘controlled greed’ have been advocated by pre-Christian western thinkers such as Cicero in the first century BC and their non-western colleagues such as Indian statesman and philosopher Kautilya in the fourth century BC, while Islam and the medieval Christian church publicly condemned certain business practices, notably usury.

The modern precursors of CSR can be traced back to the nineteenth century boycotts of foodstuffs produced with slave labour, the moral vision of business leaders such as Cadbury and Salt who promoted the social welfare of their workers, and the Nuremberg war crimes trials after the Second World War, which saw the directors of the German firm I.G. Farben found guilty of mass murder and slavery.

From a historical perspective, CSR is simply the latest manifestation of earlier debates as to the role of business in society. What is new, according to Fabig and Boele is that “today’s debates are conducted at the intersection of development, environment and human rights, and are more global in outlook than earlier in this century or even in the 1960s”.

While the role of business in society seems to have been changing for some time, there is no agreement among observers on what CSR stands for or where the boundaries of CSR lie. Different people have interpreted CSR differently. For example, CSR means different things to practitioners seeking to implement CSR inside companies than it does to researchers trying to establish CSR as a discipline. It can also mean something different to civil society groups than it does to the private sector.

The responsibilities of companies in developing nations are also defined differently depending on the social – especially national – context; for instance, CSR among Malaysian firms is partly motivated by religious notions and Islam’s prescriptions of certain business practices; the specific flavour of CSR in Argentina can be partly attributed to Argentina’s economic crisis in December 200110; while companies in South Africa focus on issues of racial inequality as a result of the unique legacy of the apartheid. Companies in Malaysia focus on charitable activities especially around Muslim and Chinese religious holidays, while companies in South Africa focus on black empowerment schemes. Therefore, CSR or “being socially responsible” can mean different things to different people in different countries.
Although these differences in the understanding of CSR are perhaps inevitable given the wide range of issues that companies need to deal with, they can be frustrating, not least to company managers who might prefer a bounded concept similar to quality control or financial accounting. Instead, managers find themselves wrestling with issues as diverse as animal rights, corporate governance, environmental management, corporate philanthropy, stakeholder management, labour rights, health issues and community development. To complicate matters further, new terms have entered the vocabulary of business–society debates such as corporate accountability, stakeholder engagement and sustainability, aimed variously at replacing, redefining or complementing the CSR concept. Indeed, some companies now prefer to use terms such as “sustainability” or “citizenship” instead of CSR.

Number of Pages of Project Report: 35
Package Includes: Project Report
Project Format: Document (.doc)

Table of Contents of Project Report:
1. INTRODUCTION OF THE STUDY
3. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
4. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
THE OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY IS AS FOLLOWS:
5. NEED OF THE STUDY
6. LITERATURE REVIEW
7. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
RESEARCH PARADIGM
RESEARCH DESIGN
TYPE OF RESEARCH METHOD
DATA SOURCE
THE SAMPLE
DATA COLLECTION
DATA ANALYSIS METHOD
8. DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
FINDINGS
SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH..
CONTRIBUTION FROM THE STUDY
QUESTIONNAIRE
REFERENCES


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