The paper "Benefits of Social Corporate Responsibility in Retail Industry" is a perfect example of a business research proposal. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has taken a centre stage within the highly competitive retail industry over the last decade. Luo and Bhattacharya (2013) established that the concept of CSR has gained traction over the last decade with a large number of corporations adopting the practice based on the assumption that it is a core part of the business. A growing body of researchers have reached a consensus that although adopting the practice can be a challenge because of the difficulty in putting a real figure to its value in a business, organizations can gain a competitive edge, specifically in highly competitive industries (Galbreath 2008; Luo and Bhattacharya 2013; Sweeney 2009 ).
As stated by Williams (2005), CSR refers to situations where a company engages in activities that promote “ social good” beyond its interest and specifications by the law. To this end, activities related to CSR have been opined to include integrating social feature, attribute or characteristics into a company’ s products and services, promoting the social and economic goals of a community, incorporating progressive human resource management activities and in some case attaining higher levels of environmental performance using a range of methods such as pollution abatement or recycling (Eupen n. d; Ionescu 2006). Research purpose, significance and rationale Although a large number of other definitions have been suggested, no clear definition exists, hence making measurement and theoretical development difficult.
Researchers have however moved beyond merely identifying and defining CSR practices to examining the strategic roles and benefits of CSR to organisations. At the same time, there is a growing interest among corporate leaders and managers in the consequences of adopting CRS practices, specifically for executives at multidivisional and multinational corporations. To assess the benefits of corporate responsibility in a highly competitive industry, research is proposed to investigate the benefits of CSR activities to Tesco. The significance of the study is based on the assumption that there is a lack of academic production in regards to the significance of CSR in highly competitive retail and manufacturing industries.
Hence, a study on such issues will generate new theories and paradigms on CSR benefits in ensuring the competitiveness of organisations.
This present study will seek to enrich discussion on CSR as well contribute to the current literature on CSR and competitive advantage. Research Questions The following research question is proposed: “ Do CSR strategies create the competitive advantage of businesses in a highly competitive industry? ” The key object analysis is that of a case study of Tesco and document analysis on how CSR contributes to competitive advantage. To achieve the key objective, several research questions are established. Is there a correlation between CSR programs and competitive advantage? Can CSR create a competitive advantage? Can CSR activities improve the value of a company in industries that have a high advertising intensity? Are CSR benefits are more significant in more competitive industries or less competitive ones? Are companies in more competitive industries more likely to participate in CSR activities? Literature Review Strategic implications of CSR Over the last one decade managers and scholars have placed greater focus on the strategic implications of having CSR (Sarvaes and Tamayo 2013; Roman et al.
1999). A large number of theoretical literature suggests that CSR activities can improve an organisation’ s profitability and therefore value to the company.
Berman et al. (1999) offered an excellent overview of the many elements of CSR and the ways in which they can increase the value of the firm by making it more competitive. However, the concern is that CSR activities are expensive. Indeed, some empirical studies that examined the correlation between the improved value of the company and the CSR activities reported mixed results. For instance, while Roman et al. (1999) reported a positive correlation, Griffin and Mahon (1997) reported a negative correlation.
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