Csr in Construction Industry

Topics: Sustainability, Green building, Deconstruction Pages: 16 (3384 words) Published: July 8, 2012
CSR in Construction Industry

1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Corporate Social Responsibility: a Brief History 1.2 Definition of CSR 2.0 DISCUSSION AND INTEGRATION 2.1 CSR Practices and Sustainable Development in Construction Industry 2.1.1 Social 2.1.2 Economy 2.1.3 Environment 2.2 Push and Pull Factors Influencing CSR and Sustainable Development Adoption 2.3 Challenges 2.4 Conclusion


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Module: FEM 205

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CSR in Construction Industry



1.1 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: A BRIEF HISTORY According to Cannon (1994 cited by Barthorpe, 2010, p. 5), as early as the late nineteenth century during the industrial revolutionary era, prominent

businessmen and politicians were influenced with the “Victorian Philanthropy” and supported the needs of those who had failed during the industrial revolution.

In the UK, notable achievements by the Salvation Army which was founded by William Booth in 1878 pursued to deal with problems associated with social inequalities on disadvantaged employees by their unscrupulous employers (Cannon, 1994 cited by Barthorpe, 2010, p. 5).

And, early influence of Religious Society of Friends known as Quakers is significant in the establishment and development of what is now known as corporate social responsibility (CSR). One of the notable members of the Quakers was Richard Cadbury, the chocolate manufacturer, where in 2004 Cadbury Schweppes won the Management Today “Most admired company” award (Wall, 2005 cited by Barthorpe, 2010, p. 5).

The first era of modern corporate social responsibility appears in the 1920s and it is the first time that the concept of social responsibility is developed from a corporate perspective rather than individual. This stems from a decline in individual ethic and a rise of social ethic required for industrial harmony (Hoffman, 2007, p. 56).

CSR has been in practice ever since the 1950s in the US due to the rapid growth of corporate scene. In the beginning, CSR is part of business ethics study together with two other components; moral philosophy and ethical dilemmas (Virakul, Kalayanee and McLean, 2009, p. 178).

Module: FEM 205

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CSR in Construction Industry

From the 2000s, with the rapid change in the world environment and population growth, CSR has gain momentum amongst leaders, government, academia and public (Virakul, Kalayanee and McLean, 2009, p. 178). Notable change in trends of social responsibility and business as noted from Davis et al. (1980 cited by Barthorpe, 2010, p. 6) in Figure 1.

Figure 1 : Historical Trend and Related Social Issues

1.2 DEFINITION OF CSR Defining CSR is quite complex as many have their own interpretation and explanation. It is implemented voluntarily and a form of self-regulation which is integrated within a business entity towards good corporate practice. Generally, it covers two major categories; financial-performance and moral-driven (Virakul, Kalayanee and McLean, 2009, p. 179).

Businesses have a continuing obligation both ethical and economical in improving the quality of the workforce which extends to their family, local community as well as society, according to Moir (2001 cited by Barthorpe, 2010, p. 6) in defining CSR.

In many ways, CSR is the combination of philanthropy which supports social causes and business which practices responsibly towards its environment. The concept of CSR brought about 3 main elements;

Module: FEM 205

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CSR in Construction Industry





Figure 2 : Elements of CSR

The practice of CSR is done voluntarily and those who practice good CSR are viewed as having responsible behaviour which ensures long-term sustainable business success (Gokulsing, 2011, p. 219).

To sum up what CSR means, it is a morally acceptable approach of practicing business with the hope of reducing environmental...
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