Corporate Social Responsibility


Lindgreen and Swaen (2010) define Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as approaches organizations or corporations undertake their businesses in methods that are societal friendly, ethical and beneficial to the stakeholders in form of development. Its definition, however, has been debated since the 1950s, shifting its meaning and practices limiting it to a classical view of philanthropists then shifting again to business-society interactions that focus on solving social issues. Nowadays, CSR is an idea whereby business corporations consider the interests of society by taking initiative for the influence of their functions on shareholders, customers, suppliers, environment, employees, and communities. Ryanair airline CSR has integrated strategies in its business operations in ways that are ethical and society friendly. The range of activities like partnering with local communities, creating relationships with employees and customers and being sensitive to the environment locally and globally..


Ryanair’s CSR has applied Friedman’s concept that an organization can be socially responsible if they do not oppose the wishes of the stakeholders. Ismail (2009), argue that the theory Milton Friedman concerning social responsibilities is exceptionally crucial and influential position only if it focuses on capitalism and freedom. Friedman formulated two version of CSR. The first version depicts the theory of shareholder by martin Friedman that a business’ obligation is to maximize profits while taking part in an open and free competition without fraud or deception. The second version depicted that executives of the business are obligated to follow the wishes of the stakeholders at the same time not breaking the rules as well as the ethical customs embedded in a society. The second version has been greatly utilized by Ryanair airlines making it one of the greatest organizations in the European Union.

Tai and Chuang (2014), in their study of Martin Friedman’s theory of stakeholder interpreting that the social bargain of any business involves the application of humane and unselfish character that further dignifies the self- centeredness and self-interest. It can recommend some persuasive concepts for synergetic control of the corporation. The focus point of the company is, however, to preserve the social bargain among the stakeholders and the individuals of the society. This in return promotes the value of community. The main fields of corporate social responsibility are to broaden the presence further the current members of the society bearing in mind the imminent synopsis. Contrarily, the actions are extremely influenced by the external surrounding in which the organization functions. This surrounding involves the local society as well as larger global environments. Turner and Ryan (2017) agrees with Friedman’s notion on CSR that there are several factors which affect this environment along with the adoption of natural resources within the manufacturing series, consequences of competition amidst itself and other organizations, reinforcement of a neighboring community via the creation of employment opportunities, modification of raw materials, dissemination of wealth created accommodated by the proprietors of the company as well as climate change of amalgamated sector.

Epstein (2018) identifies in his study that the availability of ambiguity in the working surrounding of organizations, there exist three fundamental assumptions that require to be adhered by enterprises and they include; accountability, sustainability, and transparency. These are the fundamental values of the Ryanair airlines company and the correct usage of wherewithal is as well included for the future application and in restricted abundance. Elving (2013) emphasize that the correct usage of resources which further requires conversion which can be characterized via the productivity standards of resource utilization. It further involves the computation of the consequences of the measures that are per taken as well as the teams that are involved in the assessment. It implies a manifestation to stakeholders for the consequences of the measures for corporate development.

Anttila and Kretzschmar (2010) argue that the theory for corporate social responsibility must depict the moral of the business, that in any venture, people are the main actors who possess responsibility for maximizing the profits. Individuals employed by the enterprise also possess the accountability towards the owners of the business for achieving the objectives of the organization. Each person has the anticipated obligation in fields away from the enterprise. In references to a study by Barros and Couto (2013), airline businesses will always face stiff competition potential to offer better services in regards to the revenues that consequently leads to requirements of effective and structured functions that make sure there is a lasting business achievement. In this case, businesses that intend to last and make profits currently and in the future are those that incorporate corporate social responsibility programs into their business strategy. For that reason, Ryanair airline, irrespective of recent CSR issues it has been facing, it also possesses a clear CSR program based on the stakeholder theory by martin Friedman, with a clear vision of how it has to be developed and managed to meets the desires of the stakeholders and as well promote its success in its unique environment.

Burns and Cowlishaw (2014), in their study they elaborate that since the foundation Ryanair airlines, the company’s CSR program point at transforming more than any other airline in form of digitalization and customer experience. Besides being the favorite airline in Europe, with the best customer service, Ryanair’s CSR has incorporated environmental features making it the cleanest, greenest airline, with its management committed to manage the rising demands for environmental concerns. According to McLachlan, et al. (2018), aviation is the most efficient form of mass production of carbon dioxide emissions amounting to two percent, while that of road transport accounts to twenty-six percent, the fuel burn per every airline customer per kilometer for a Ryanair aircraft is as low as zero point zero nine percent, which is forty-four percent less than the fuel consumption per passenger in kilometers of a typical family vehicle in European Union. The airline is aware that aviation is required to play its role in devoting oneself to climate change, and Ryanair, as Europe’s biggest and most successful airline of the twenty-first century, it is committed to leading the way. In addition, the airline supports the Paris Agreement to minimize global temperature rise to at least two degrees centigrade above the pre-industrial levels.

Hřebíček et al. (2014) claim that airlines CSR focus on influencing communities and neighborhoods that surround these major business operation hubs, Ryanair is aware that it has a responsibility to promote these communities in any way possible. Ryanair took the first step by recruiting and training locally based staff, bought supplies as well as services from the local enterprises, offered educational support to local residents as well as educational institutions per took various charitable activities, cultural events, and sports. Irrespective of all these activities the airline per took to promote the livelihood of the communities and neighborhoods, Ryanair found it is much of a positive aspects, the staff took an initiative to be actively involved with global issues such as fighting droughts and hunger in Africa, volunteering to natural disasters such as earthquakes in far east Asia and any other charitable activity considered to be vital for human sustainability across the globe. The airline as well took it its initiative to reduce noise pollution during taking off and landing in airports that mostly affected the neighboring communities, but also to the wildlife.

According to Siu, et al. (2014) in most instances, airline customers are presented with an option to choose between types of services offered by numerous airline companies. Claydon (2013) also claims that it is a requirement that airlines are required to offer low price tickets not just as a strategy to lower prices so that they can attract more customers. In that case, the client service process needs to repeatedly assess, monitor and develop. Thus, Ryanair reviewed its focus on improving its services via feedback from its customers. Based on a study by Coles et al. (2014), for the company to promote customer service, it offered services that make the clients experience more comfortable as well as less time-consuming in addition to reduced air tickets charges. The airline adopted a better method of speeding up the process by introducing the e-ticketing as well as online booking among others. Mayer, et al. (2012) confirms that it was a positive step forward where smart boarding allowed Ryanair passengers to board independently by use of fingerprint identification. Other customer service characteristics include offering meals without any harmful ingredients or additives or even providing special services not only to the first class passengers but also to economy class not leaving out the unaccompanied youth and the disabled clients.


While it might be identified that Ryanair airlines CSR are developed mostly on maximizing profit, affirming the shareholder’s theory just like Friedman’s first notion on sustainability of a business, the company’s CSR programs have more focused on Martin Friedman’s theory of stakeholders that prove the concepts that actually define CSR. Ryanair airlines CSR have been identified through commitment of minimizing environmental impacts by fully complying with the environmental rules, standards, regulation as well as the codes of practice, limiting the influence of aircraft noise not only to people but also to wildlife and limiting the consumption of fuel to limit the emission of greenhouse gases. The company has taken stern initiative towards its surrounding community and neighborhood by promoting lives in all various aspects. Finally, Ryanair CSR program has not left out how the company has made it possible for its customers to make free movements by creating affordable traveling platforms from Europe to African and Asia. The company is believed to have done more to integrate European society and the globe at large than any other business thus promoting the stakeholders' objectives as well as the entire global society.

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  • Anttila, T. and Kretzschmar, A., 2010. Application of CSR Programs in the airline industry. Journal of Sustainable Air transport Industr management.
  • Barros, C.P. and Couto, E., 2013. Productivity analysis of European airlines, 2000–2011. Journal of Air Transport Management, 31, pp.11-13.
  • Burns, P.M. and Cowlishaw, C., 2014. Climate change discourses: how UK airlines communicate their case to the public. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22(5), pp.750-767.
  • Claydon, J., 2013. Consumer-Driven Corporate Responsibility. In Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility (pp. 444-450). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Chernev, A. and Blair, S., 2015. Doing well by doing good: The benevolent halo of corporate social responsibility. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(6), pp.1412-1425.
  • Coles, T., Fenclova, E. and Dinan, C., 2014. Corporate social responsibility reporting among European low-fares airlines: challenges for the examination and development of sustainable mobilities. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22(1), pp.69-88.
  • Elving, W.J., 2013. Scepticism and corporate social responsibility communications: the influence of fit and reputation. Journal of Marketing Communications, 19(4), pp.277-292.
  • Epstein, M.J., 2018. Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental and economic impacts. Routledge.
  • Ismail, M., 2009. Corporate Social Responsibility and its Role in Community Development: An International Perspective. Journal of International Social Research. 2(9)
  • Siu, N.Y.M., Zhang, T.J.F. and Kwan, H.Y., 2014. Effect of corporate social responsibility, customer attribution and prior expectation on post-recovery satisfaction. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 43, pp.87-97.
  • Tai, F.M. and Chuang, S.H., 2014. Corporate social responsibility. Ibusiness, 6(03), p.117.
  • Turner, T. and Ryan, L., 2017. Corporate social responsibility and independent employee representation: A Case of ethical confusion and contradictions. Proceedings of the 11th MAC 2017, p.78.

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