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Evaluating the Impact of Corporate Social

Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility in the current business environment is not only significant for companies due to the need and compulsion to adhere to laws, but is also a significant factor considered by other stakeholders before contributing or getting involved in businesses. Different CSR techniques exist for application by different industries and organization depending on the necessary factors in these industries impacting effective CSR. This study is focused in an evaluation of the impacts of CSR in Saudi Arabia’s banking sector. The chapter highlights extensively the study background, study problem, aim and objectives as well as the methodology of study.

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Literature Review

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a self regulating business model that helps an organization or business to be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders as well as the general public (Chen, 2019). While it has evolved as a regular practice leading to the formulation of policies to guide its involvement and implementation within an organization including the International Organization for Standards’ (ISO) set of voluntary standards meant to help companies implement corporate social responsibility released in 2010 , Schooley (2019) emphasizes that in today’s socially conscious business environment, employees and customers place a premium and priority on working for and spending their income on businesses and organizations that prioritize CSR. As such it has become a practice for which organizations and businesses in the modern business environment are not only obliged to practice but also budget for and include in their strategic planning.

Among the major pillars of CSR include community engagement, alongside stakeholder satisfaction and sustainable business growth. Isaac, Babakatun and Hassan (2016) highlight different forms for which CSR community engagement may take up including: engaging in charity and charitable events within the community, sponsorship of local events, organizing events that are impactful to the community including supporting positive and impactful courses to the community and humanity as well as volunteering to fund local projects that impact the community directly. While the forms of community engagement are not only limited to these four, eventually, being able to impact a community positively in whichever way is effective, given that CSR standards cannot be certified but rather only guided.

Community involvement however, significantly encompasses all the four major types of CSR as highlighted by Villanova University (2019). A wide range of scholars including (Wang and Berens, 2015; Tilt, 2016 and Newman et al. 2018) agree on four major types of CSR including: Philanthropy, environmental conservation, ethical social responsibility as well as economic responsibility of an organization. While the study looks to evaluate the involvement of the banking sector in CSR, a particular focus will be drawn on the four aspects of CSR in the aim of determining effective CSR practices for the banking sector and the subsequent impacts it has had. The involvement of Organizations in CSR enables uniformity in the growth of the economy, as companies grow the community experiences growth as well as a result are capable to continue supporting these businesses.

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Research Problem/Question

CSR continues to evolve overtime to include a significant practice in corporate business environment. This fact illustrates the central importance that CSR is shaping up to within the current business environment and spearheads the aim of this research which is to highlight the impacts of CSR in the banking sector in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. To what extent do banks in Saudi Arabia engage in CSR? What are the most common forms of CSR implemented by banks and other financial organizations within the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? And what is the general impact of Corporate Social Responsibility in Saudi Arabia?

Research Aims and Objectives

The main aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of Corporate Social responsibility by the banking sector in Saudi Arabia, specifically with consideration of the city of Jeddah. To be able to effectively achieve the aim of the study however it was broken down into specific, quantifiable objectives including:

Objectives of study

To critically review theories, concept, findings, and assertion in existing literature on Corporate social responsibility

To evaluate major CSR strategies adopted by the banking sector in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

To determine the impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility adopted by the banking sector in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Research Methodology

The research will apply a qualitative research technique that endeavors to collect information regarding the engagement of banks and financial institutions within, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in CSR practices and the impacts it has had to Saudi Arabia. As such the target population for this research will be strategists of different banks and financial institutions based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Purposive sampling will be carried out to select only respondents from institutions that implement CSR and can therefore describe its implications within the city. Afterwards the research will use short structured interviews to collect data from the sample at their work places. The data collected will eventually be analyzed using thematic analysis to highlight the themes and patterns with relation to the impact CSR has had in Saudi Arabia.

Significance of the study

A gap is present in the current literature with regards to the impacts of CSR activities indulged in by financial and banking institutions in Saudi Arabia and how it generally impacts the community. This research should be able therefore to highlight the various ways with which different banking institutions have impacted the City of Jeddah in terms of their engagement in CSR practices and eventually recommend some of the effective CSR strategies that can be adopted within Saudi Arabia for a significant positive impact.

References

Blas J. (2019). Saudi Arabia’s biggest Oil field is fading faster than anyone guessed. [online] financialpost.com. Available at

Isaac O. M., Babakatun A. M. and Hassan A. U. (2016). Impact of corporate social responsibility on community development in Akwa Ibom state: A study of Julius Berger company PLC in Nigeria. International Journal of Recent Research in Commerce, Economics and Management. 3(2). Pp 11-21

Izraeli, D. (1997). Business ethics in the Middle East. Journal of Business Ethics, 16(14), 1555

Khan S. A., Maimani K. and Al-Yafi W. (2013). Exploring Corporate Social Responsibility in Saudi Arabia: The Challenges Ahead. Journal of leadership Accountability and Ethics. 10(3) pp. 65-78

Newman, C., Rand, J., Tarp, F. and Trifkovic, N., 2020. Corporate Social Responsibility in a Competitive Business Environment. The Journal of Development Studies, 2(1), pp.1-18.

Tilt, C., 2016. Corporate social responsibility research: the importance of context. International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility, 1(1).

Wang, Y. and Berens, G., 2014. The Impact of Four Types of Corporate Social Performance on Reputation and Financial Performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 131(2), pp.337-359.

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