Corporate Social responsibility is one of the ways for firms to show that they care about their environment, employees and customers. Why is this important for companies to show that they care about their environment? Competition is fierce in the telecommunication market having companies like ‘Alice’ an American telecommunication company that entered the German market providing telecommunication services like Internet and phone call services at a flat rate basis and far more cheaper than Deutsche Telekom. This means that Deutsche Telekom has to put more effort in retaining its customers or attracting more customers to use their services. Therefore, a bad reputation might kill these efforts and even lead to customer migration. This paper gives an insight in the corporate social responsibility practices that firms undertake to show that they care about their environment. But what many research papers like that of Wang, (2008), failed to show whether CSR activities could help firms improve their reputation. Why should a public company like Deutsche Telekom put more efforts in CSR activities?
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Relations, And Ethical Leadership.
Worldwide, there is increasing awareness of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Tan and Uncles, (1985, pp. 1) point out that initiatives such as regular sustainability reports, company-wide policies, which address issues such as anti-discrimination and employment conditions, and the establishment of foundations affirm the commitment of firms such as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and the Body Shop. Therefore, the way that consumers assess corporations’ discretionary and relational practices may provide important insights to successful branding. In addition, Corporations have to follow the rules of behavior considered appropriate by society, whether these rules are stated in laws or defined by ethical standards (Wang, 2008, pp. 156).
As organizations scale up and stakeholders become increasingly aware of business scenarios, the term “corporate social responsibility” is more than just a buzzword in business circles. Indeed, the emergence of CSR is not only a blueprint for the future, but a new highway to follow for conducting business in an uncertain world that has witnessed the evisceration of many long-accepted norms of conduct Mittal (2008, pp. 6). The interesting part for the consumers is how to get the information about firms and their practices? Of course one may answer this question by saying; I will use the news media like newspapers, TV, radio and nowadays in most cases the Internet. As a result, publicity in the form of news coverage related to a corporation’s CSR practices plays a key role in shaping people’s perceptions of the corporation (Wang and Anderson, 2008, pp. 2). Exploratory research papers like that of Wang and Anderson came to a conclusion that the publics opinion about a corporation was highly influenced by the exposure to news media reporting the corporations CSR activities (Wang and Anderson, 2008, pp. 2). Therefore, taking into consideration about the importance of CSR practices in the firms I came up with the research question that, “Can CSR help Deutsche Telekom improve its image or is the classic Public Relation Works the best way to improve a bad image?”
First of all, I will start by defining CSR, then go ahead with the literature review after that I will state the situation or problem concerning Deutsche Telekom as a firm, then proceed with the reasons why firms practice CSR thereby, stating some examples of CSR activities that are practiced by Deutsche Telekom. Last but not least, I will note some contributions and implications that are necessary or important for the firms.
First of all, we have to have an appropriate definition of CSR. Reinhardt et al. (2008, pp. 3) claim that the...