Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Development

Lead Research Organisation: Middlesex University
Department Name: Business School


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Jenkins R (2013) csr , Tax and Development in Third World Quarterly

Description · The vast majority of CSR and development initiatives focus on very small-scale health or education or entrepreneurial schemes and are not integrated into a larger development plan, hence even useful CSR-development initiatives may have limited impact. For instance, successful micro-credit schemes in some African countries may help farmers or fishermen to become more successful farmers or fishermen, but - without education or better infrastructure - they will not necessarily help to upskill and upgrade their businesses.

· The business community puts little emphasis on and lacks the capacity for impact measurement of development-related initiatives. In contrast to environmental indicators, the use of social impact indicators among businesses is in its infancy while CSR or sustainability reports focus on "CSR stories" and financial inputs (how much was spent on CSR development initiatives), instead of tangible outputs (for instance, improvements in literacy or health as a direct result of CSR initiatives).

· The business community, by and large, lacks the capacity for addressing key macro-level human challenges such as fair taxation and social inequality. Business approaches are patchy and private sector expertise to address these issues is limited, but the keen interest in the seminar series among businesses and consultants suggests that the private sector is willing to learn and address some of these challenges.

· Given the enormity of the urgent challenges such as climate change and social inequality, a genuine transformation of the way business operates is required in order to address wider international development goals. Speakers generally agreed that business must go much beyond "social" or "developmental" initiatives, and must address day-to-day operations (core business operations and payment of tax to governments) in order to contribute meaningfully to society - this is understood under the term "Transformation" in South Africa, rather than CSR.

· There is a need for more education. First, there is a need for better education of the citizen/consumer with regards to the finite limitations of consumption and other aspects of human challenges. Second, there is a need for business schools to become leaders in business-society debates and improve their efforts in preparing future business leaders for reinventing business. Finally, there is a need for education to spread to those who are underprivileged in society order to help increase social equality.
Exploitation Route The lessons from the seminar series could help to increase the positive impact of CSR development initiatives. The seminar series points to key lessons that businesses can learn with regards to maximising positive impact (see project findings). see below
Sectors Education,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Other

Description • New networks. The seminar series has created new networks bringing together individuals from the business community and development studies. We have created several e-mail distribution lists, through which we communicate with past participants, and a website. Examples of new linkages created by the ESRC seminar series include the new linkages with the social enterprise "These Young Minds" and Leo Johnson, consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. • New research capacity. The seminar series has helped to train junior academics and research students in terms of improving their understanding of CSR-development interactions, the business impacts on development and issues of measurability. Our South Africa capacity-building workshop has had an impact on research students working in this area in South Africa. • New educational activities. Ideas from the seminar series have directly led to invitations to give lectures on CSR and development by the seminar series organizers and a follow-up seminar series at the University of Oxford. Dr. Jonathan Pinkse, who was one of the invited speakers, developed a written case of M-Pesa (a poverty alleviating innovation by Vodafone in Kenya) that was published in the textbook Corporate Responsibility by Michael Blowfield and Alan Murray (Oxford University Press, 2011).
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Education,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy
Impact Types Economic