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THE ISSUE OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY A MUST TO NIGERIAN BUSINESS ORGANIZATION (A CASE STUDY OF GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC)

CHAPTER ONE

 1.1            BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The concept of business social responsibility has continued to evolve and expand.  Today, the efficient use of resources to make profit is still seen as the primary social responsibility of business.

The idea of operate social responsibility began in the early part of the twentieth century.

Interestingly enough, it came from business executives who believed that corporations has an obligations to use their resources in ways that would benefits the entire society.

Although, the role of  business firms is that producing goods and services for a profit, social expectations of business have increased dramatically since the 1960, so that is a need for social response in order to narrow the gap between expectations and response and keep business in turn with society, while an organization is busy establishing its goals, objectives developing and executing strategies for achieving its stated purpose, it should recognize that it operates within an environment which expects it to operates in such a manner that would not disrupt its very essence.

Furthermore, there is little doubt that business must involve itself in social issue broader than producing goods and services not only because it is the best thing to do but because it is in the best interest of business.  In view of these, this study narrow down to Guinness Nigeria PLC which can approximately be described as one of the most prominent and well known company in the brewery industry with branches within and outside the country. The company is the year 2002 celebrated her 50th years of corporate existence in Nigeria and the demand for its product, no doubt has continue to grow and it was indeed remain consisting high all through years.

This brewery company majors in the production of small and big Guinness stout beer, harp, Gulder, spark, Malta Guinness and Satzen Brau.

Guniess Nigeria PLC operates in various parts of the country until the early seventies precisely (1974) when a plant was established at Ikpoba slope inBenin city.  Till this day, the company has continue to grow and it remains one of the most dominant and prominent company in the brewery industry.

 1.2            STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

According to C.C Nwachukwu (1988:227) a majority ofNigeriabusiness organization believed that business enterprise had not shown sufficient interest to their social responsibility.  At present, manyNigeriabusinessmen’s attitude to social responsibility is characterized by the belief in the doctrine of Laizzez Fair the government is best that governs the lest.  This belief has result in conflicts especially in this era where larger number of people now believe that corporations should actively pursue society responsible goal.  This include reducing pollution, programme for education, public health, employees welfare, environmental protection and in calculating more safety and reliability into the produces.

The issue of corporate social responsibility is treated within the context of this research work in relation with Guinness Nigeria PLCBenin, City activities with respect to consumers, employees shareholders and the community at large.  Perception to this issue by both community members and management of GuinnessNigeriaseems to differ based on each group preference needs, motive, values, goals and aspirations.  GuinnessNigeriais constantly maximizing profit but not much attempt have been made in balancing ethics with economics.  Therefore, a balance must be struck between actions of GuinnessNigeriawhich is profit maximization and the community wants.  In the light of the above this study attempt to determine the extent to which Guinness Nigeria PLC Benin City has socially responsible to the need of it community.

 1.3            PURPOSE OF STUDY

Social involvement has not replace the basic economic role of business in society, but it does introduce new goals for business to purpose and new constraints on how business will operate.  The study thus, will serve to highlight on these goals and constraints.

The following aims and objective of the study came to mind in the choice of this topic.

1.       To evaluate extent of Guniess Nigeria PLCBenin Cityinvolvement in social affairs.

2.       To have an insight into the role it is expected to play in the area of corporate social responsibility.

3.   To become familiar with the effects of social responsibility on a company and the society.

4.       To evaluate public impression/opinion/perception on the company.

 1.4     SCOPE OF STUDY

In order to be able to effectively evaluate the activities of business corporation and the community in which they operate in turns of their corporate social responsibility, that study will narrow down to determine how social responsible Guinness Nigeria PLC is to the community in which it operates hence the emphasis on Guinness Nigeria PLC Benin City and the habitant of Benin  City community.

 1.5     RESEARCH QUESTION

The following questions have been raised in order to emphatically test the result from the questions in my questionnaire.  The result of these questions will form the basic for my conclusions and recommendations.

1.   To what extent has Guinness Nigeria PLCBenin Cityimproved the living condition in its community?

2.     To what extent does the company engage itself in community and employee welfare?

3.       Does the gain derive by the community from the company exceed the loss they suffer

4.       Does the company meet up with the needs of the community?

Answers to the questions would be of immense benefit in making meaningful recommendations which will aid the business corporation and government in its policy formulation

 1.6     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

A healthy business and sick society are hardly compatible” noted Peter Druker (1980:10)

therefore, business corporations must be constantly reminded that exercising responsibility is a way to reduce or avoid public criticism that heads to government regulations and must be made to know that business corporations must respond to societal demands.  This is because the long run self interest of business are served by energetic social responsibility.

Since Guinness Nigeria PLC of a major multinational corporation operating inNigeria, it becomes necessary to embark on a study of a multinational corporation and its social responsibility with special attention on Guinness Nigeria PLC actions inBenin City.

It is expected that finding would be useful to the organization in decision making and will help government in policy formulation.

Furthermore, this study will serve to broaden the frontiers of knowledge and drop the attention of business corporations in the role they are expected to play in the society in they operate.  The emphasis of this study is on business society relation.

 1.7            LIMITATION OF STUDY

The limitations of the study are associated with the diverse nature, attitude and perception of managers, most of whom did not consider it worth while offering their assistance in providing answer to the questionnaire majority were skeptical in providing required information.

There were problem of generating information from respondents as most of them were illiterates.  There was also the problem of financial restraints which did not enable me to travel wide and frequent as necessary.  These problems invariably led to time and cost restraints.

 1.8            DEFINITION OF TERMS

THE CONCEPT OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The concept of corporate social responsibility has attracted increasing attention among business economics and it is firmly based on ethics which is the principle of conduct used to govern decision making.  Now the question is “what is corporate social responsibility?  Various writers have succeeded in providing answer to these questions through their various contributions.

 One of the pioneering analyses of social responsibility problems was that provided by Peter Druker (1974:694) he defined social responsibility as what business should do or might do to tackle and solve the problems of the society”.

In another work CC Nwachukwu (1988:272) defined social responsibility as “The intelligent and objective concern for the welfare of the society which restraints individual and corporate behavior from ultimately destructive activities no matter how immediately profitable and which leads in the direction of positive contributions to human betterment”

In essence, social responsibility simply refers to role of business in solving current social issues over and above legal requirements.

 Druker (1978:62) suggested that corporate social responsibility should apply to all types of organizations that order any circumstance should assume responsibility beyond their own performance and contributions

Two terms will be interchangeably used in this study.  They are social responsibility and social responsiveness.  According to Tate and Taylor (1983:63) corporate social responsiveness incorporates, the idea of a firm responding to its multiple constituencies in such a way as to enhance the long term effectiveness of the firm.

In its simplest sense corporate social responsiveness means removing how to manage a company’s relations with external social political and government forces that can effect the company.

Finally, when talk about social responsibility, they are thinking in terms of the problems that arise when corporate enterprises cast its shadow an the social scene and of the ethical principles that ought to govern the relationship between the corporation and society.  They are concerned with the impact of the  corporate on the individual and the possitricities of reconciling big business, big labour and by government with the values

 REFERENCES

 1.   Churchman C.W. Averbach and Saclon (1975) Thinking for Decision: 

Deductive Quantitative Methods Chicago, Science Associates

2.    C.C Nwachukwu (1988) Management Theory and PracticeOnitsha-

NigeriaAfricana Fep Publishers

3.    Ejiofor Peter (1989) Foundation of Business AdministrationOnitsha

NigeriaAficana-Fep Publishers

4.    Druker Peter (1980) The Practice of managementlondonWilliam Heinemana LTD

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