Corporate Social Responsibility in Bangladesh

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Introduction

Business houses, right from the inception of human race, have been regarded as constructive partners in the communities in which they operate. Though they have been instrumental in creating employment, wealth, products and services, yet the pressure on business to play a role in social issues involving employees, stakeholders, society, environment, government etc. is continuously increasing. The society is questioning the existence of business houses, especially in the wake of the scandals and scams conducted by the business houses like UTI, Enron, and WorldCom. In response to it, the organizations around the globe are forced to wake up to the need for being committed towards Corporate Social Responsibility. Over the years this concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained unprecedent momentum in business and public debate and has become a strategic issue crossing the departmental boundaries, and affecting the way in which a company does business. It has become so important that many organizations have rebranded their core values to include social responsibility. Almost all corporate websites/ policies/reports talk about their endeavors for CSR which has become a way of ensuring that the organization is fulfilling all the obligations towards society and thus is eligible for the license to operate. It assures that the organization can grow on sustainable basis.

These activities of CSR ranging from small donations to bigger projects for social welfare sustainable practices differ from organization to organization depending on the resources available to an organization for undertaking sustainable practices. Business practices of big and successful companies, with plenty of resources at their end, have set the trend for being committed to sustainable practices. Such business houses around the globe show their commitment to social responsibility. In India, the initiatives of Dabur India Limited, for example, which commenced 'Sundesh' in 1993, a non-profit organization, with an aim to promote research and welfare activities in rural areas are appreciable. On the same track to fulfill its urge to do something for community, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited has adopted 37 villages as their responsibility to develop in all walks of life. It has made efforts to make them self-reliant, provided them fresh drinking water, sanitation facilities, medical facilities, vocational training and literacy camps. Around its industrial facilities, Tata Group has created towns and cities like Jamshedpur, Mithapur, Babrala for the benefit of its employees. Cadbury India, Glaxo and Richardson Hindustan are some of the companies which are helping farmers to grow crops which in turn shall serve as raw materials for them (Tripathi & Reddy, 2006).

Although the implementation of such activities involves time, effort and resources yet the business houses have realized that it (CSR) is one of the important ways in which an organization can distinguish itself from its competitors. The tangible and intangible benefits associated with for organization are immense. A powerful tool like CSR not only enhances the brand image and reputation of the business but also leads to improvement in sales and customer loyalty, and increased ability to attract and retain employees. By capitalizing on it, the organizations can improve their financial performance and attract more investment with immense economic value. The word CSR has, as a result, occupied very important place in the plans and strategies of the organizations in the present era.(1)

Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), also known as corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, responsible business, sustainable responsible business (SRB), or corporate social performance- is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ideally, CSR policy would function as a built-in,...
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