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Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’S) and Corporate Social

Responsibility

The role of NGOs, by some seen as “a third force” in the


international system (Florini, 2000), in bringing CSR on the international
agenda, brings forth a number of questions. Which are these NGOs and
what are their reasons for involvement? What are their aims and how do
they go about to achieve these? Who do the NGOs represent and how is
this representation played out? What is the content of the initiatives
advocated by the NGOs and the basis for their construction? How does
this relate to the already existing body of international instruments and
procedures concerning the relation between TNCs and human?

The development of social movements and NGOs is not a


phenomenon of the 1960s, but has a long history (two examples are
discussed further below in section 4.1 below).22 in the 19th century this
development was very much entangled with the development of multi
government agencies or what we today call IGOs (Chatfield, 1997).
During this period IGOs were created by the European states to deal with
issues such as health, commerce, communication and technology, and
they grew rapidly. These IGOs, together with the INGOs that also
developed, laid the foundation to the formation of the international
system, as we know it today. During the 1930s this interaction faded, but
was regained after World War II.

The term NGO came into use in 1945 when the UN needed to
make a distinction of participation rights between intergovernmental
specialized agencies and the so-called international private
organizations.23 The NGOs were from the start successful in
strengthening and formalizing their relations to the UN, 24 as well as
strengthening the role of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
itself (Willetts, 2002). Thus creating an important platform for their
activities, but also giving the organizations involved certain legitimacy.

How far the Non Governmental Organisations in the nation can


join hands with the corporate in their effort to social and environmental
development is the prime concern of this article. The corporate social
responsibility blends the objective of social development and
environmental protection thorough ethical effort. Many non-
governmental organizations (NGO’S) in India are engaged in social
development and environmental development activities. These
organisations are good enough to support the industrial development by
ensuring community participation the developmental process. The
concept of corporate social responsibility is underpinned by the idea that
corporations can no longer act as isolated economic entities operating in
detachment from broader society. Corporate Social Responsibility to be
looked upon as mutual support programs that ensure development of
community near by the industrial area with the expansion and
development of the industrial organisations.

The community today needs external agency intervention in the


alleviation of many social problems like poverty, health, unemployment,
community education, homelessness and eco development programs. By
looking upon the needs of the community, the organisation gets an
opportunity to understand the social needs of the people and it will enable
them to intervene into such social issues and finding solution to the many
basic needs. It develops greater trust and confidence on the community
on the business organisation effort in their real development. Integrated
community investment strategies align internal community-related issues
and link business goals with community needs. Here the role of Non
Governmental Organisations (NGO’S) can be better realized. The Non
Governmental Organisations existing within the industrial location and
closer to the community can better act as moderators and facilitators in
the realization of their social need and better environmental protection.
The industrial expansion is a threat to the people living nearby and it
invites protest from many like consumer, investors, activist groups,
government regulators and other stakeholders. To develop a better rapport
with the community in the implementation of the developmental activities
the Non Governmental organisations can play better role with the
industry and community. They can help the industrial management in
convincing the expansion program to the community and there by
develop a proactive and social environmental and industrial development
policy. Lower operating costs, Enhanced brand image and reputation,
reduced regulatory oversight, Product safety and decreased liability,
improved financial performance etc are the benefit to the organisation.
The benefit of Corporate Social Responsibility not only for the
community and organisation but also for the employees. The Research
demonstrates Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives have a positive
impact on employee morale, motivation, commitment, loyalty, training,
recruitment and turnover. Benefits in these areas have been found to
improve the bottom line of companies. Three surveys across Europe, the
USA and a survey involving 25 countries found employees felt greater
loyalty, satisfaction and motivation when their companies were socially
responsible. The impact of these HR initiatives gives better brand image
to the organisation in the labour market and it in turn help the HR
department to get potential employees who believe in similar values
system. The ultimate goal of such effort is the development of an
'organisational culture' which establishes harmonious relationship with
the Community-Employee and Organisation at large. This establishes that
fact that many Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives reflect the
essence of Human Resource Management activities.

Overview of the NGOs involved in CSR advocacy

There are some 80 international NGOs (or national NGOs with an


international orientation) identified in my research so far to be involved
in CSR. Although this does not pretend to cover all organizations, I am,
however, suggesting that the organizations do represent the fairer share of
the field of CSR organizations according to the selection criteria I have
applied here. Geographically the very large majority (close to 90 %) of
these organizations are located in either North America or Europe, and
the remaining part almost all in Asia. The organizations in North America
are all but one found in the USA; this is also the single country with the
largest number of CSR organizations. The organizations with offices in
Europe are found (in order of frequency) in the UK, The Netherlands,
Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and France. Furthermore, these
organizations are mainly located in large cities or capitals, pointing to
activities around CSR being very much an urban phenomenon as well as
often appearing in NGO dens environments. This would suggest that the
often-alleged domination of NGOs from the North in international
relations in general also applies in the
area of CSR. The organizations in Asia are found in China, Malaysia,
Thailand, Pakistan, India and Japan. Only two of the organizations are
found in South America (Quito, Ecuador and
Santiago, Chile), one organization is found in Australia and one in Africa.
I have so far not come across a single organization located in the Middle
East. This does not come as a surprise, given the investment and
outsourcing policies of TNCs directed towards the Southeast Asia.

Most of these organizations have been established after 1980, and the
overwhelming majority where created in the 1990s. This clearly points to
a new or renewed interest in issues related to globalization, and
particularly in issues concerning trade and its effects.

Conclusion

Corporate social responsibility is most frequently used to describe


a company's relations with its wider community. CSR is on the boundary
of HR and PR. There are dangers for companies and for the HR function
if it is allowed to slide too far towards PR. More than excessive use of
relationship management techniques they should make use of strategic
relationship management approaches. This strategic relationship
management approaches includes the relationship development,
maintenance and separation factors. After the goal attainment the HR
managers should be able to separate themselves from the community and
Non Governmental Organisations and lead them to new interventions and
action programmes where the organizations development and Social
Development can be better integrated. If HR managers are not orienting
and experimenting them with innovative areas the Human Resource
Management don't have better role in the industrial sector. HR has a role
in demonstrating the benefits of workplace practices that both reflect
CSR and at the same time, contribute to organizational efficiency and
success.