The Strategic Role of Human Resources Management in Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in Business Organisations in Zimbabwe

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THE STRATEGIC ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN PROMOTING CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS IN ZIMBABWE

1.InTRODUCTION
This study will critically analyse how industry in Zimbabwe is exploiting the strategic role of Human Resources Management in promoting Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in order to give their business organizations competitive advantage. This introduction presents a context of the research proposal and helps to clarify how fulfilment of the research aims and objectives will make a contribution to Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM) theory and practice. To achieve this, the discussion starts with a brief background and purpose of the research study and then it explains the research problem and gives a brief overview of the research objectives and questions. The proposal also includes an overview of the proposed research methodology and outlines the contributions of the study to the science and practice of SHRM. Throughout the proposal an approach to literature review will be demonstrated

2.background and purporse of the study

With the manifest of globalisation there is growing interest in the social dimension of business activities. In this informed millennium the general citizenry are now better informed and their values have evolved; they are increasingly environmentally and socially aware and demand more from business organisations than just the efficient production of gods and services. On their part business organisations have responded to these new social and environmental demands from their stakeholders by implementing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes which include all the environmental and social activities that go beyond mere economic interest and deviates from the traditional image of a sector that focuses solely on generating value for its shareholders. Social responsibility can be defined as actions of an organisation to take responsibility for the impacts of its activities on society and the environment, where these actions; are consistent with the interest of society and sustainable development; are based on the ethical behaviour, compliance with applicable laws and intergovernmental instruments, and; re integrated into the on-going activities of an organisation (ISO26000; working draft)

Thus over the years the concept of Social Responsibility has gained exceptional drive in business organisations and has also sparked public scrutiny in response to global protests largely fuelled by social, economic and environmental externalities associated with economic globalisation. The major causes of discontent are associated with general environmental degradation, a feeling of unjust exploitation of local resources, discriminatory labour practices and perceived disregard for employee wellness of life. To that end a universal remedy to these negative externalities being advocated by business organisations is private sector self-regulation; referred to in this study as corporate social responsibility. CSR is therefore viewed as a way to balance the interests of business and society without expanding government intervention in the global market. This fundamental approach to CSR is drawn from the Holy Scriptures which are full of exhortations for doing good as illustrated by the following verse from the Book of the Philippians.

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)(New King James Version)

Globally the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility is as old as mankind and in Zimbabwe CSR is not a novel phenomenon. There is no doubt that industry in Zimbabwe is a key sector that facilitates development and economic transformation of the country. A review...
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