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Background to the Study

An organization may be profit oriented or non-profit oriented. The fact remains that every organization is made up of four basic resources (i.e. man, material, money and machinery) and its environment.

According to Weirich and Koontz (1987) management is a process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected aims. The term ‘environment’ in this definition refers to both internal and external environment. All organization have a two point agenda to improve qualitative (the management of people and processes) and quantitatively (the impact on society). The second is as important as the first and stakeholders of every organization are increasingly taking an interest in “the other circle” – the activities of the organization and how these are impacting the environment and society.

Social responsibility is an ethical ideology or theory that an entity be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large. Social responsibility is a duty every individual or organization has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystem. The term “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) came into common use in the late 1960s and early 1970s after many multinational corporations formed the term stakeholder meaning those on whom an organization’s activities have an impact. It was used to describe corporate owners beyond shareholders as a result of an influential book by R. Edward Freeman, Strategic Management; a stakeholder approach in 1984. CSR is one of the newest management strategies where organization’s try to crate positive impact on society doing business.

Corporate social responsibility which is also known as corporate citizenship, corporate responsibility or corporate social performance is a form of corporate self-regulation which is integrated into a business model. Corporate social responsibility tends to operate as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism under which a business will monitor and ensure its compliance with law, international norms and ethical prescriptions (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria [ICAN], 2010). A business or organization assumes responsibility for the impact of its activities on the environment. Thus, CSR is a process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the organization’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all the members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders succinctly a business or organization ahs to proactively promote the interest of the public through voluntarily avoiding activities which are harmful, regardless of legality.

According to Business for Social Responsibility, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined as operating a business in a manner that meets or exceeds the ethical, legal, commercial and public expectations that society has of business. On the other hand, the European commission hedges its bets with two definitions wrapped into one; CSR is a concept whereby companies decide voluntarily to contribute to a better society and a cleaner environment. A concept whereby organizations integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntarily basis. Each of these definition when reviewed broadly agree that CSR now focuses on the impact of how you manage your core business. However some go further than others in prescribing how far organizations beyond managing their own impact into the terrain of acting specifically outside of that focus to make of contribution to the achievement of broader societal goals.

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