1.1 Background of the Study
The concept of business social responsibility has continued to evolve and expand. Currently, the adequate and efficient use of resources to make profit is still seen as the primary social responsibility of business organization.
The idea of Corporate Social Responsibility started in the early stage of the twentieth century; interestingly and good enough, it began from business executives who believed that corporations have an obligation to use their resources in ways that would benefit the entire society. According to Miltton Friedman (NY Times 2010), the role of the business firms is that of producing goods and services at a profit but despite that, social expectations from business associations have increased so well that there is need for social attention in order to narrow the gap between the exceptions and the responses thereby keeping the business in tune with the society. While an organization is concentrated in establishing its goals, objectives, developing and executing strategies for achieving its stated purpose, it should also recognize the fact that it operates within an environment which expects it to operate in such a manner that would not harm the particular environment.
In the light of the above, if married to by business organizations, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) would bring about greater benefits and good relationship between business organizations and the society. This study is narrowed to Guinness Nigeria plc, an alcoholic beverage industry most prominent and well-known in the country and beyond. Founded 29 April, 1950 and incorporated 1962, celebrated her 50th year (Golden Jubilee) in the year 2002 and obviously has been in existence for the past 63 years in Nigeria. Till today, the company has continued to grow and remains one of the most dominant and prominent companies in the brewery industry whose product demand is ever on the increasing rate all though the year. It produces the following brands: Foreign extra stout, Guinness extra smooth, Malta guiness, Harp lager beer, Gordon’s spark, Smirnoff ice and Satzenbrau.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Without proactive corporate social responsibility practices, and the forging of a long-term vision for the business sector, Nigeria’s entrepreneurs will continue to focus on their activities as traders. This trend contributes to low job growth, the steady expansion of the informal economy, and an undiversified import-based economy. It also deepens poverty and income inequality.
The pursuit of short-term gains is further encouraged by an environment that favors opacity and corruption over transparency and accountability.
Business associations can serve as the nexus between business and civil society and as an important arena for dialogues on corporate social responsibility. According to Charlotte Walker (2004), business associations are the vehicles through which ‘business and society interface.’ CSR policy functions as a built in, self-regulating mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with one spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. In some models, a firm’s implementation of CSR goes beyond compliance and engages in actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law. Manufacturing remains dominated by midsize firms unaccustomed to organizing and investing resources to advance their interests.
Osita Ogbu concurs: “no other section is more important than manufacturing in developing an economy, providing quality employment and wages, and reducing poverty.” The urgent need to for robust and sustained employment-generating growth in Africa must therefore be brought more centrally into the discourse on CSR.
CSR, when implemented through business associations, can assume different forms and yield a variety of results.
1.3 Objective of the Study
Bearing in mind that CSR is a process with the aim of embracing responsibility for a company’s actions and encouraging a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders, the following underlisted focus came into play:
1. Evaluation of the activities of business organizations in the economy.
2. To know the impact of social responsibility on a company and the society.
3. Ascertainment of the public opinion and perception with regards to CSR and the company implementing it.
4. To examine how socially responsible Guiness Nigeria Plc has been.
The hypothesis for this study is in three (3) folds. Thus,:
Ho: The adequate and efficient use of resources to make profit only does not affect the utmost aim of social responsibility.
H1: The adequate and efficient use of resources to make profit only, affects the utmost aim of social responsibility.
Ho: CSR does not dwindle in Nigeria as a result of deficient infrastructure and inconsistency in policies.
H1: CSR dwindles in Nigeria as a result of deficient infrastructure and inconsistency in polices.
Ho: Manufacturing companies indulgence in social responsibility would not increase production.
H1: Manufacturing companies indulgence in social responsibility would increase production.
1.5 Research Questions
1. Are there benefits as to a company being socially responsible?
2. Should corporate social responsibility be the sole aim of a business or that of the government?
3. Are there expectations from the government to improve CSR awareness or involvement by business corporations?
4. Are dilapidated infrastructures and inconsistency in government policies the major limitation to CSR?
5. Does Guiness Nigeria Plc contribute positively to the welfare and/ standard of living of the masses?
1.6 Significance of the Study
The need for corporate social responsibility has been found researchable, as manufacturing industry is very competitive. With Guiness Nigeria plc being a representative of the manufacturing company under study, the researcher wants to find out to what extent has the manufacturing industries been socially responsible and/ impacted positively to their consumers and the society at large and what kind of strategies can the manufacturing industries employ in achieving greater heights for the economy?
The researcher and the interesting readers of this work will so much be pleasured and motivated in knowing the answers to the above mentioned questions.
There should be ways mapped out to overcome the obstacles to building an efficient manufacturing sector and one that also advance measures to improve the physical security of citizens. Manufacturing and business must be expanded throughout the country to generate jobs and economic development in the poorer regions of the country. To achieve such objectives, both public and private sectors must be made aware of the necessary policies which can only take place if the business community is able to effectively communicate to state and local governments what is needed to expand growth and job creation and at which the state and local governments must be receptive to private sector policy recommendations and willing to engage in dialogue.
CSR would help sustain business operations and create a secured business environment whereby; declining high crime rate, combating armed robbery and kidnapping will b achieved.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work is limited to Guiness Nigeria PLc, Aba representing the business organizations under study.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
In a study of this nature, one would like to accumulate data from many areas but there were many problems that stammed up during the research work in which some of them are as follows:
TIME CONSTRAINT: In view of the length of time allowed for this research, the researcher has to limit it to Guiness Nigeria Plc, Aba out of its other locations at Lagos state and Benin City or say, visit some other manufacturing companies in Nigeria.
FINANCIAL CONSTRAINT: As a student, there was not enough capital to spend in transport and fact finding and borrowing of necessary literature that would have helped more in writing this researcher work.
MANAGEMENT CONSTRAINT: Here, the principle of confidentiality played its role, as most business corporations dwell strictly on keeping confidential any information regarding its affairs and that, the researcher experienced when carrying out the research work.