Last updated on 3 April 2019 at 12:13 pm
CSR In Malaysia
Corporate social responsibility is relatively new in the capitalist system – but it is a necessary step as well.
What is corporate social responsibility? It is a concept referring to the fact that corporations should devote at least a tiny part (usually around 10%) of their capital, time and energy to improving the social and economical conditions in the communities they serve.
This is a measure society has grown fond of more and more due to the fact that corporations have started having an increasing influence (sometimes disproportional) on how people behave and live. Thus, to avoid a disproportionate accumulation of power (where power, in this context, means financial means or social influence), corporate social responsibility emerged as a partial solution.
How is corporate social responsibility being implemented in a pragmatic way? Well, the corporations’ resources can be invested in funding community based programs to increase the quality of life of its employees and customers beyond the point of making more profits for the corporations’ shareholders.
It can also mean that the corporations invest their allocated resources into scientific research, serving under-privileged communities or increasing the quality of education and living in the communities they activate in.
Like any other new concept, corporate social responsibility takes time to grow and be implemented. There is still great room for improvement – but we are witnessing unparalleled collaboration between corporations and the social communities they sell to.
Ultimately, corporations depend on their customers to survive – so if their customers (and employees as well) have a higher standard of living, they are much more likely to consume more and spend more money on that corporations’ products.
Malaysia has enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years, both social and economical – hence corporate social responsibility has become a more and more important topic in the business community. With the economic growth comes a growth in corporate social responsibility as well.
Society and corporations
It is all about transparency, trust and collaboration between all parts – both society and corporations as well. The sooner we all realize that we are all into “this” together (meaning that we are all living on the same planet with limited resources trying to improve the quality of life of all beings on it), the sooner we will enjoy more sustainable growth and unparalleled progress in all areas concerning quality of life.
Corporate social responsibility also means that the value system of a corporation is life-proactive and respectful of everyone involved in the consumption and production process. It means treating the employees fairly, it means setting fair prices and it means giving back to the community they are selling to as well.
With time and energy, corporate social responsibility will become a normal and healthy part of the economy. Until then, awareness needs to be raised and friction will still be present between corporate financial interests and social interests.
Fortunately, there are humanitarian organizations lobbying for a more thorough implementation of this concept as well as increasing awareness on the topic. SOLS is one of the leading humanitarian organization in Malaysia – and they are investing their resources in improving the application of this topic.