Full Project – Impact of social responsibility on businesses – case study of Unilever plc, Lagos
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the early 1930s, the mission of business was primary economic. But within the past four decades, here have been pronounced. Changes in the view of the many business managers and marketers about their social responsibilities, which have paralleled and reflected the changing priories and expectations of society about business society functions, this is because business relies on the society for its existence. In the view of this, the inter-relationship between organizations and their environment has become interestingly important. As a result, organizations especially in the business sectors are no longer viewed as private endeavors that are free to pursue their own ends as long as they do not break ant law. Instead, their actions are seen as having public consequences that go beyond serving the customers and paying returns to owners.
The outcome of this notion is raising public damour for social responsibilities on the part of the business as well as other social organizations. But the decision makers have the task of knowing what to do to meet the demands of various dormant of social responsibilities. All these claims have made the issue of social responsibilities a great concern to business. Social responsibilities are essentially concerned with public interest. It is the intelligent and objective concern for the welfare of the society which restraints individual and corporate bodies from ultimately destructive activities no matter how immediately profitable and which equally leads to direction of possible contributions towards human betterment. The idea of social responsibilities recognizes that person is attached to an extended social system in which he or she is part dependent. Consequently, certain obligations or social responsibility arise from this attachment. Business owners should also consider the needs and interest of others that might be affected by the actions.
Public needs have changes likewise their expectations from firms. Society gave business its charter to exist and the charter can be amended or resolved at any time if business fails to live up to the society expectations and needs.
The creation of better social environment benefits both society and business. The society gains through better neighborhoods and employment opportunities. Cleaner and safer neighborhoods on the other hand means a more stable community in which to operate fewer unemployed persons reduce the chance of social unrest. Educated members of the community provide a more attractive labour-pool from where to draw personnel. People live in societies because of they must be human being today who is part and parcel of the society organization and is utterly dependent on it. Human social makes possible the production and distribution of a goods and services. Business can only exist within an organized society when people are totally self sufficient, the concept of business organization of society than makes it possible for people to engage in the business activities. In return, those in business must make contribution in the society that sustains their existence, that is, business owners have obligation to the society in which they operate and responsibilities to other who live in society with them.
Drucker (1970:10) suggests to major ways by which the demand for social responsibilities arise. In the first place, it arises from the social impacts of business organization. In other words, the negative consequence of business like rapid urbanization and rural-urban drift, traffic hold-ups, environmental pollutions, deceptive advertising, defective products offered for sale, tax evasion and avoidance, all create disenchantment and demand for more socially responsible behavior.
Secondly, social responsibilities also arise from the problems of society itself including failing standard of living, illiteracy, poor infrastructures facilities and social amenities and the growing disenchantment with government and its inability to solve major social problems. Hence, the society has come to expect business with their successful operations to solve major part of these problems by developing effective social responsibility objectives and strategies. The business system is made up of internal and external components communities, the schools, the churches, customers, government, share holders and suppliers are all members of the external components and the business organization depends on all of them for survival. Hence, they owe some obligations in the way of discharging certain social responsibilities to them. Similarly within the internal components of the business system and found the employees, the management and other social organizations. They equally demand that they should reap from the surplus generated by the organization in which they have given their best.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study entitled “impact of social responsibility on business” attempts to determine how an organization such as Unilever Plc Lagos fulfils its obligations to the necessary stakeholders can serve as a strategy for carrying out effective business activity peaceably. Most times, all the claims made by the various stakeholders are too much on the organizations, in that the organizations cannot solve all society’s problems with their limited resources, yet they are expected to get actively involved in getting them solved. In trying to assuage the load, not most organizations indulged in some unethical acts which most times back fire at them. In the ease of organization’s social responsibilities to the government which include payment of taxes and other financial obligations, which seem to be costly to business and its flexibility in decision making. In trying to avoid the wrath of the regulations on them, most organizations give part of the accumulated financial obligations to some set of people as bribe which of curse, will not be recorded any where.
But in the long run, when there cords will be reviewed, those organization will still be seen as owing likewise in the community, most times organizations are given a particular areas or zone where they can site their organizations or firms. But most times, some organizations bribe their ways and site their firms in residential areas. Their waste products pollute the environment which can cause hostile actions from the community and which will of course affect the organization because the organization needs a conducive environment for its activities.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary purpose of this study is to determine and identify the impact of social responsibility on business such as the Unilever Plc Lagos.
In more specific terms, other purposes include:
- To find out whether fulfillment of social responsibility can contribute to business survival.
- To find out or study the modalities adopted by Unilever to its environment.
- To find out importance and advantages derived from the fulfillment of social responsibilities to the environment. Determine the various ways by which organization can carryout their social responsibilities to the environment.
- To find our adverse effects on non-fulfillment of social responsibilities.
- To proffer solution to problem area where deficiently in the fulfillment of social responsibilities dominates and also proffer ideas that will help Unilever Plc in fulfilling its social responsibilities to its various stakeholders.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Impact of social responsibility has really contributed greatly to the business survival of organizations especially for organization with long term plan. This is so because if an organization wind-up before the long or medium run because of a hostile environment caused by non-fulfillment of social responsibilities, all the efforts geared towards survival and the long run become fruitless. The research questions are:
- How does the organization utilize the usefulness of the impact of social responsibilities?
- To whom is the organization socially responsible?
- How does the organization and its environment expect from each others?
- How does the environment define social responsibilities?
- What particular responsibility should be given priority?
- What is the need of social responsibility in an organization?
- Why is social responsibilities regarded as a business survival strategy.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
In essence, research work is aimed at serving certain significance in relation to individual group of people or a particular event.
The significance lies in the fact that the success of an organization business survival in its environment is dependent to a large extent and organizations are conscious of the spirit of give and take existing between the business and its environment and demand strangely that the role of business should not only concentrate on rendering services to customers and paying dividends to shareholders. But also should focus attention to the needs and aspiration of factors within its environment as a result of the above, fulfillment of social responsibilities is very significant towards the business survival. UNILEVER PLC should be socially responsible to its stakeholders in order to enjoy business survival.
It will enable the organization after carrying out its social responsibility to boldly demand and enjoy the obligations of the environment to the organizations.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The main intention of the study is to focus on the implementation of social responsibility in business organizations.
The focus is to check the social responsibility of the organization to the customers and to the public and economy as well.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Notwithstanding the areas of the study covered during the research, the study was greatly affected by certain constraints which because unavoidable within the time limit.
- TIME CONSTRAINT: The researcher was constrained by the time limit. This posed a threat to the successful coverage intending in the course of this study.
- COST FACTOR: It is not unusual that the prevailing economic predicaments posed to great extent are problems in procuring the whole materials or information needed other than relevant statistical data. However, the researcher was above the scale through the hurdle in availing himself of the relevant data constraint herein.
In-spite of the foregoing limitation associated with this study, the project was well conceived and concluded to serve the purpose for which is intended.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: This is an obligation of decision makers such as marketers to take action which protect and improves the welfare of the society as a whole along with their own.
- STAKEHOLDERS: These are the various groups to which an organization is socially responsible.
- BACK FIRE: The organization later suffering the consequence of non-fulfillment of social responsibilities.
- UNETHICAL: Behavior that falls short or below the generally acceptable standard or expectations.
- HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT: An environment that is difficult for something to happen or be achieved.
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Full Project – Impact of social responsibility on businesses – case study of Unilever plc, Lagos