THE IMPACT OF COOPERATIVE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ON IMAGE OF A FIRM A STUDY OF SELECTED TELECOMMUNICATION FIRMS IN PORT HARCOURT.
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THE IMPACT OF COOPERATIVE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ON IMAGE OF A FIRM
A STUDY OF SELECTED TELECOMMUNICATION FIRMS IN PORT HARCOURT.
The study examined the impact of cooperate social responsibilities on image of telecommunication firms in Port Harcourt. The quasi-experimental research design was utilized. The sample size of the study is 80 obtained from five telecommunication firm in Port Harcourt, and the chi-square (X2) statistical tool was used to test the postulated hypotheses. The study found that there is no positive association between increased customers loyalty, and CSR practices, and also that there is no positive and significant association between firms image/reputation and practice of corporate social responsibility. The study concludes that other factors like the importance services being rendered to the customers, and the aggressive marketing tactics of the telecommunication firms may have made people accept them irrespective of the fact that many of them are lagging behind in what the society is expecting of them as responsibilities. It is recommended that telecommunication firms adopt measures that make it easy for the society to notice the CSR activities, which will make them obtain competitive advantage by attracting and retaining skillful and qualified manpower’s. Also to attract customers they should improve on their service and reduce their tariff charges to present customers switching loyalty.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents vii
List of Table x
1.1 Overview of the study 1
1.2 Statement of the problem 6
1.3 Objectives of study 7
1.4 Research questions 7
1.5 Research hypotheses 8
1.6 Significant of the study 8
1.7 Limitations of the study 9
1.8 Definition of terms 9
1.9 Organization of the study 10
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction 13
2.2 the need for social responsibility 13
2.2.1 cases for social responsibility 15
2.2.2 cases against social responsibility 17
2.4 corporate social responsibility disclosure 17
2.5 rationale for social responsibility 19
2.6 dimension of social responsibility 20
2.7 social responsibility of management 21
2.8 role government in social responsibility 22
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Introduction 28
3.2 Research design 28
3.3 Population of the study 29
3.4 Sample size determination/sampling techniques 29
3.5 Test of validity 29
3.6 Data collection techniques 30
3.7 Data analysis techniques 31
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1 Introduction 32
4.2 data presentation and analysis 32
4.3 statistical testing of hypotheses 40
4.3.1 Introduction 40
4.3.2 testing of hypotheses one 40
4.4 decision of findings 44
4.4.2 major corporate social responsibility classifications 44
4.4.3 extent to which practice of CSR increase customers
loyalty to firms brand/products 46
4.4.4 extent to which practice of CSR practices has on a firm
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Introduction 48
5.2 Summary of findings 48
5.3 Conclusion 48
5.4 Recommendations 49
LIST OF TABLES
Table 4.1: administration and collection of data
Questionnaire for the study 32
Table 4.2: education qualification of respondents 33
Table 4.3: social responsibility activities of firm 34
Table 4.4: extent to which practice of social responsibility
Increase customers loyalty to firms brands/products 34
Table4.5: extent to which CSR practices increases telecommunication firms reputation/image in the eye
of the society 35
Table 4.6: extent to which practice of corporate social responsibility
of telecommunication firms 36
Table 4.7: extent which the practice of CSR among telecommunication firms will help attract and retain qualified and skilled manpower among respondents 37
Table 4.8: obstacles to practice of CSR activities in Nigeria as seen by respondent 39
Table 4.9: X2 computation table from table 4.4 41
Table 4.10: X3computation table from table 4.5 43
1.1 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY
The competition for customers among telecommunication service providers in Nigeria is very stiff. In this highly competitive marketing environment, the existing customers as well as potential customers are heavily expose to various advertising massages from the competing firms through all sorts of media communication. The practice of corporate social responsibility becomes therefore important to boost the images of the telecommunication firm in their quest to be seen as community and society friendly organizations as to encourage patronages and god will from the general and immediate business environment. Perhaps the most important influence on the formation of business policy is the concept of social responsibility and business ethics. The relationship between business society, business and its environment, and business and its participants, is very complex, yet dynamic. The notion of social responsibility and ethics of business has emerged out of dynamism (frequent changes) of the relationship between these parties. Corporate enterprises have growth in size, the level of education has significantly increased and people now ask a lot of questions about their rights, their privilege and their responsibilities. Related to this is the fact that the awareness of the social impact of business activities on the society as a whole is enormous, both overtly and covertly, directly and indirectly. Aluko et al (2004) observed that the outer environment of business has remain relevant in management writings, and one of the most publicized aspects of the outer environment is the issue of social responsibility and related codes of ethical conduct.
For as long as the business system remains a subsystem of the organized society, business firms has no choice other than to be concerned with societal expectation, that is, to be socially responsible. Business firms of recent have discovered the effect of corporate social responsibility on the image of their firm. Realizing that no matter whatsoever they may have gained from the society in the past that they stand to lose all at the long run if they fail to be socially responsible to their business environment, since it has been discovered that corporate reputation has some indirect impact on competitive advantage through perceived value and quality of the service.
Beside the use of various incentives and several advertising campaigns to get customers loyalty by telecommunication firms in Nigeria, social responsibility activities has become a major means by which these firms has used to project their images as very good organizations. For instance, Glo-Mobile is sponsoring Nigeria premier football league and other sporting activities, likewise, MTN communication is also partnering with CAF and some national sporting bodies to sponsor the African cup of Nations and some other athletic and field championship. Others like Zain Network is involved in sponsoring of AMTV Award and African University Challenge, an Academic Quiz Competition for Top African Universities. At the same time various persuasive massages are being made to encourage customers to switch their services to the competing firm by offering services, and attractive package.
Certainly, there are service providers which would feet threatened that their customer’s base could be affected by the persuasive offer and social responsibility activities of the other firms. These firms, in turn, would design their own social responsibility programs in order to project their images and retain their customer base at bay and at the same time their own CSR programme to attract society good wills and customers of other service providers into their service. In the end, the society is being exposed to various offers of corporate social responsibility activities.
Coinciding with some major corporate social responsibility an ethical disasters, many organizations have been communicating information on their corporate governance, ethical practices, and social responsibility. Companies can sue their website or the annual report as communication tools for voluntary disclosure of some information, such as ethical behaviour, and social responsibility activities to their various stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, media and the government, and to develop a particular brand image for the organization.
(Berkey 1990; Hopwood 1996; Judd and Tims 1991, New, war-same and Pod-well 1998; Stanton and Stanton 2002). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure, in particular, has been of increasing interest as organizations recognized that their actions have consequences that affect all their stakeholders. As a research topic CSR has been the subject of great academic accounting research (Gray, Owen and Mannudens 1987; Farook and Lanis 2005), and a growing topic in marketing research (Luo and Bhattacharya 2006), and as reflected by special issues in the journal of marketing communication journal of advertising, and the journal of business ethics. Companies with a heavy use of marketing activities like the telecommunication firms can particularly benefit from undertaking and disclosing their CSR activities. Telecommunication organizations, for example, are often criticized for unethical practices, including exorbitant tariff charges and its effects on the more vulnerable section of the society, such as poor and middleclass. Therefore, it is important to see how these communication firms view their social responsibility activities with regard to the image of their organizations.
It makes sense therefore for all business concerns to respond to their stakeholders and satisfy their needs by being socially responsible. In the economic system as is practice in Nigeria, communication companies must try to balance the needs of the various groups that have stake in the system. It is in doing this that they will build a good corporate reputation and generates good will from the society.
Business literature define corporate reputation as the stakeholders overall impression of an organization over time (Bailey, 2009), and it reflects the organizations relative standing, internally with its employee, and externally with its other stakeholders (Fombrum et al, 2000).
Some sectors in the service industry, especially banks, hotels, hospitals, consulting firms, and educational institutions rely heavily on their corporate image to attract and retain their customers (Nguyen and Leblanc, 2001). It is expected and important that organizations are committed to fulfilling expectations and moral obligations at the level of society. This means that right conducts takes into account the welfare of the large society (Papasolomou-Doukakis et al).
Social corporate responsibility activities of business firms have increasing become the focus of research in recent years. It is quite clear that there has been significant number of studies on social corporate responsibility, yet review of work done on CSR reveal that there has been no significant effort to study the impact of corporate social responsibility on image of telecommunication impart in Port Harcourt. To fill this gap, this study aim to fill this need by presenting a study of effect of CSR on image of communication Industry in Port Harcourt.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has emerged as a very ‘hot’ issue in the last ten years. The last few decades have seen an increase in awareness on the part of corporate entities that they are morally obliged to offer back to society. The corporate social responsibility reports which have now become an annual report in addition to the traditions annual financial reports is one of the vehicles used to demonstrate how caring they have been over the financial period that has just ended and how they intend to continue even more so in future periods (Idowu & Towler, 2004) Advocates of CSR reports have put forward some perceived benefits, which an organization may derive from its provision.
Example are increased customer loyalty, more supportive communities, the recruitment and retention of more talented employees, improved productivity and avoidance of potential risks related to reputation or image which may arise from environmental incidents. Nevertheless, practice of CSR is easily imagined then done because of the over whelming importance place on profit taking, unethical practices, and lack of concern for the general business community by some communication firms in Port Harcourt.
Therefore, it becomes imperative to evaluate these following issues of concern. Why has some communication firms not actively involved in corporate social responsibility activities? And what action or direction of CSR activities of these firms could enhance their public image and help minimize potential risks related to reputation among telecommunication firms in Port Harcourt? This research will therefore investigate the effect corporate social responsibility on image on Communication Industry in Port Harcourt.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objectives of this study are therefore to determine the influence of corporate social responsibility on the image of telecommunication service providers in term of customers’ intention to subscribe for their services. The specific objectives are therefore namely:
1. To assess the direct effect of firms corporate social responsibility of a firm on its competitive advantage in term of customers intention to subscribe its services.
2. To assess the indirect influence of CSR of a firm on its competitive advantage through customers perceive value and firms acceptance.
3. To show how the practice of CSR by telecommunication firms in Port Harcourt can increase customers’ loyalty and also help the firm achieve organization goal.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In the light of the stated problems above this research will be carried out through a broad framework of research questions that will guide the focus of the research in the proposed investigation.
1. What are the major CSR activities that are available for telecommunication firms to undertake?
2. To what extent will the practice of social responsibility affect the increase customer’s loyalty to the firm?
3. To what extent will the practice of corporate social responsibility has on enhanced of the firm social reputation/image?
4. What are the roles of government in ensuring that business organizations are socially responsible?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research will be of great contribution to the understanding of the effect of corporate social responsibility practice on the perceived image of telecommunication firms in Port Harcourt. It will also help the communication firms know how their practice of CSR will enhance the acceptability of their firms by their host communities and environment and help enhance profitability, because good reputation would attract customers to products, attract investors to securities and attract employees to do their jobs properly.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
There are some limitations that were observed during the writing of this research. Time prove to be a major limitation because this work was carried out simultaneously with other academic work leading to the award of B.Sc. Degree. It was also difficult to get some employees of some communication firm release information about their feeling on the CSR practice of their organization. Some top rank officers also felt that their opinion will get into the hands of their competitors who will use it to strategies against then. Finance also proves to be a great limitation. It is well known that a research of this nature cannot be carried out successfully if the researcher did not involve much money that will be used for purchase of books, journals transportation and printing of questionnaire etc.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Business Environment: according to Baridan (2003), defined as a the total environment in which business must function consistently with the goals, 12 convictions, and aspiration of the society as a whole i.e. social cultural environment, economic environment, legal and political environment technological and moral environment.
Corporate social responsibility, according to Bowen (1953) is defined as “the obligation to pursue those policies, or to take those lines of actions which have economic value to the society.
Telecommunication industry are “industry whose function is to provide use technology to send signals, images, and massages over long distance” by radio, telephone television, satellite e.t.c
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
Chapter one of this work deals what the overview (context of the problem), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study limitation of the study, obligation of the study and definition of terms. Chapter two, deals with the review of related and relevant literature.
Chapter three is concerned with the research methodology. Chapter four involves data presentation, analysis and discussion of findings.
While chapter five, present the discussion, recommendation and conclusion of the research findings, and direction for further studies or research.