Corporate Social Responsibility Project in UAE

Introduction

Corporate social responsibility encompasses corporate (citizenship and responsibility) and sustainability which are very crucial factors in the existence of a business. Therefore, it can be defined as the behavior of the business to the community. CSR leads to a lot of wealth being created in businesses and also the social welfare of the people is greatly improved. CSR is a fundamental aspect of organizations, and a very conclusive decision should be made on where to establish the company. Businesses do not just exist, but they are governed by certain rules and regulations set by the government. These enacted laws expect companies to operate in a particular manner. For example, a company should be concerned of the externalities that arise from its production. Consequently, most of the pollution should be controlled or treated to avoid health hazards to the society. Since businesses have benefits and costs that are accrued, there is a need to consider the great roles that are played by corporate bodies in the society, more so as technology advancements and innovations are embraced.

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General Objectives

  • The overall objective is to investigate the different gender perspectives towards the concept of corporate social responsibility

Specific Objectives

  • To find out the importance of corporate social responsibility,To find out the differences in gender perceptions in corporate social responsibility in the United Arab Emirates,
  • To provide the necessary policy recommendations on corporate social responsibility

Literature Review

Some research has been carried out to explore corporate social responsibility and this research will examine the existing knowledge gaps. Over the years, the meaning of CSR has been changing and the traditional definitions were more general, but currently the meaning is more precise. Some of the stakeholders that businesses have include consumers, workers and the government as well as the natural surroundings as a whole that influence business operations (Katsioloudes and Tor, 2007).

Corporate social responsibility is viewed to have various functions. These functions include creating an economic value in the sense that it is profitable, it should be in a position to add the ecological value by benefiting the environment and also it should participate in activities that add meaning to the community and life. This is referred to as the social value (Crane and Matten, 2007). Crane further argues that CSR relates to businesses being concerned with the welfare of others before their own interests. This includes even the competitors who are either directly or indirectly influenced by the company’s activities.

The earlier thinking that these two cannot be incorporated together is a primitive thinking and should not be used in the contemporary businesses. Companies that have respect to the environment enjoy long term benefits from the community since the society is loyal to them. This is because a company with a good reputation is first considered by the consumers when making purchase decisions. From a different perspective, people want to associate themselves with those organizations that have a positive repute (Katsioloudes and Tor, 2007). Many researches that have been carried out examine the differences in corporate social responsibility. In this regard, less attention has been accorded on CSR perspectives. Therefore, this research is geared towards establishing the different gender perspectives in corporate social responsibility.

CSR in the UAE Contest

The company of Pearl Dubai held a cultural evening in the UAE to show commitment and dedication to community in the corporate social responsibility program. In this event, very many reputable leaders attended with their main aim being sustainability initiatives for the concern of the future generations. Another event was organized in 2008 in the Foundation of Aids Research under the sponsorship of Pearl Dubai where a lot of money was raised to support research and create HIV/AIDS awareness.

Islam and CSR in the UAE

The UAE has incorporated modernity with the traditional culture and beliefs in order to come up with a very different business atmosphere. An outstanding aspect of this atmosphere is that it is heavily influenced by the Islamic religion. In the Middle East, the Holy Quaran states that every adult Muslim who is not financially challenged despite of gender should help the poor in the society. This is according to Zakat which contains the values in the Islamic religion. Therefore business practices are greatly influenced by Zakat since it is a requirement in the Holy Quaran to help those that are disadvantaged for example the orphans, widows, among others. Thus, business see it as a responsibility to help the needy which further accelerates the level of CSR activities in the UAE market.

Research Methodology

This deals with the sample population and data collection methods. It is a combination of various techniques used in the collection of data of a particular research to accomplish the objectives in a particular research. The sampling frame consisted of all men and women. Since there are many men and women and limited resources (time and money) a sample size of 40 respondents was used. Closed questionnaires were administered in order to get the required information. Since the number of respondent used was 40, 20 questionnaires were issued to females while the other 20 were issued to men. This was achieved through systematic random sampling. This type of sampling was used because it removes biases when obtaining information from the respondents and consequently gives good results.

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Assumptions of the Study

  • This research assumes that there will be enough time to carry out the research, and therefore, all respondents will be reached
  • It is assumed that the method used for research will be suitable since there are no biases and the researcher cannot influence the results

Research Ethics

  • In case the respondents would like the results given to them, they will be availed when needed
  • The information that is contained in the questionnaires will be treated with utmost confidentiality and it will only be used for academic purposes

Results and Analysis

From the research that was carried out, it was found out that only 15% of the women agreed that business profits should be given a priority before corporate, ethical or social responsibility while 75% of the men agreed. This shows that women were more concerned with the social responsibility than men. It was also evident that all women that responded wanted the business to behave ethically apart from producing goods and services. However, most men (80%) were comfortable with the business producing goods and services only. This could be explained by the fact that social responsibility could add costs which could have a negative impact on the production of these goods and services. On the other hand, all the respondents agreed that businesses should assist by donating money to the society, for example, in education, medical facilities as well as provision of entertainment.

The results obtained shows that 65% of the women strongly agreed that the community and the environment are the most important stakeholders for the businesses while 21 % of the men disagreed. In the case of taxation by the government for those businesses that did not have social programs, all the respondents strongly disagreed. This could be due to the fact that an increase in tax reduces the profits of the business. 95% of men and 92% of women stated that they would establish their own business even if it did not consider the community and the environment who are the main stakeholders. This is clear that most of the respondents were profit oriented, and as such, the welfare of the community was not prioritized. Most females (over 60%) were undecided on whether it is more profitable for those businesses that are both socially and ethically responsible. However, only 16% of men that were sampled were undecided.

Conclusions and Recommendations

In this research, it is clear there are some differences that exist in gender perceptions towards the corporate social responsibility. From the report, it can be deduced that women value corporate social responsibility more than men, and thus, women play a very significant role in ensuring that both social and ethical responsibilities are observed by a business. Profit maximization is not the only objective of businesses, but there are other goals that affect the community that need to be pursued. This is because both the business and the community rely on each other. Some improvements need to be made in order to improve the understanding of corporate social responsibility. These suggested improvements include educating men on the holistic approach of what is entailed in corporate social responsibility. Different results were obtained when the respondents were asked on the establishment of their own businesses. Consequently, the respondents need to incorporate the social and ethical responsibilities even in their own businesses.

References

Crane, A., and Matten, D. (2007). Corporate Social Responsibility. New York: Sage Publications.

Katsioloudes, M. I., and Tor, B. (2007). Corporate social responsibility: an exploratory study in the United Arab Emirates. SAM Advanced Management Journal. 72(4). Pp. 1-10.

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