ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF CSR IN SMALL BUSINESS OPERATIONS

We can’t ignore the negative impact of our industries on earth’s climate. International corporations face criticism for contributing to air pollution and global warming. People point out that these corporations are also guilty of inhumane labor practices. People of this century are becoming vigilant about sensitive issues such as racism, gender discrimination, and labor rights. They don’t like wearing shoes that were made by underpaid African children. They don’t want to buy laptops put together by overworked Chinese employees.

Consumers are ready to expose industries that are self-interested and socially-irresponsible. That’s why CSR (corporate social responsibility) has become an essential factor in commercial success. CSR refers to socially-conscious business initiatives. It teaches that corporations don’t exist just to enhance their financial achievements. Business is not always about making a profit out of people’s miseries. A corporation should also concern itself with humanitarian and philanthropic causes.

These causes include rehabilitation of the environment and elimination of poverty and hunger; the industry must pay close attention to reducing its carbon emissions. They can’t violate the fundamental human rights of their workers. They cannot use materials that are harmful to the climate and contribute to pollution. People expect corporations to care about gender equality and ethnic diversity.  CSR makes a company accountable before its stakeholders. In the 21st century, an enterprise’s progress depends upon its CSR strategy.

MBA IN CSR

As enterprises need effective CSR strategies, they require people to develop them. These people should be well-versed in business management concerning social changes. They can improve the corporation’s association with its stakeholders and its environmental footprint. Therefore, business people seek the assistance of MBA degree-holders with expertise in CSR and sustainability. Even smaller corporates are also interested in hiring CSR professionals to maintain public approval. Let’s talk about the motivation behind completing an MBA degree. Here are a few benefits of an MBA that should convince you to pursue a career in CSR:

  • MBA graduates receive better monetary compensation than the pursuant of other degrees.
  • There’s a variety of career opportunities for MBA graduates. They can make a fortune working in HR, economics, or technology.
  • The study of business management polishes one’s social, communication, and presentation skills. MBA graduates must have the skills to deal with conflict resolution and risk management abilities.
  • An MBA degree broadens your perspective and enhances your worldview. So, you get a better understanding of the effect your employers’ activities have on the planet.
  • MBA graduates have outstanding personalities. They never get low on confidence and can think of their feet. They create smarter strategies and develop more efficient business plans. These talents come in handy when you’re supposed to make a corporate socially responsible yet highly profitable.
  • You have the option to study business management online. Online degrees have become popular since the emergence of coronavirus.
  • An MBA degree – and especially in CSR – is gaining international recognition. A 2014 report saw a 30% rise in the popularity of CSR during the past four years. So, this career is a promising opportunity for the younger generation.

HOW CSR IMPACTS SMALL BUSINESS?

CSR has become as essential for small businesses as it was for multinational industries. Non-compliance with CSR can lead to mistrust among a company’s stakeholders. Small companies can’t tolerate enraging their investors and consumers. They can go “out of business” if they fall victim to the canceled culture. Higher the risk, more particular small companies are about being socially responsible. It’s because a small company solely depends upon the cooperation of its stakeholders. If it doesn’t show concerns for its social impact, its customers will simply take their business elsewhere.

There have been instances of people boycotting a specific brand for environmental reasons. A recent survey showed that 61% of customers were less likely to buy from a socially-irresponsible company. A 2015 Nielsen survey observed that 66% of consumers were ready to pay more to sustainable enterprises. It shows that good CSR scores can be financially beneficial for smaller businesses. People tend to be sympathetic to (a) small corporates and (b) eco-friendly companies.

Similarly, if an enterprise performs poorly in CSR, it can lose its business. An enterprise must inquire about all bad corporate social responsibility examples to avoid public backlash and disapproval in their case.

How does CSR impact the business of little industries? Let’s talk about the effective wage theory for a moment. This theory states that employees are more productive when they get paid more. The basic premise says that money motivates a laborer. If a corporate increases its workers’ salaries, they will be more motivated to do their jobs. This enhanced motivation results in better performance hence improved productivity. So, companies can gain more by paying more. It is just one example of how CSR tries to benefit industries. Further impacts are something like:

 

  • JOB SATISFACTION:

 

 Nowadays, people prefer working for economically-conscious corporations. Being part of a socially-responsible enterprise makes their lives meaningful. Everybody wants to contribute to the environment. Therefore, there’s a secure connection between CSR and job satisfaction. A 2015 study showed that employee-centered CSR affects job satisfaction the most. Satisfied employees make a good company. According to a survey, 47% of millennials believed business must be for social/environmental benefit. 84% of them were ready to leave their jobs for a company with a better CSR reputation. It takes us to our next heading.

 

  • JOB ATTRACTION:

 

Consumers want to do business with eco-friendly and socially-active enterprises. Similarly, the younger generation prefers working with a company that cares about society. The millennials dislike the idea of working for a corporation that’s known for its inhumane practices. An industry that harms wildlife to make leather bags is less likely to attract potential employees. Demonstrating a sense of social responsibility attracts the top, fresh talent. If your company monetarily contributes to saving forests, people would like working for you. CSR helps to enhance the reputation of a small enterprise.

 

  • ENHANCED REPUTATION: 

 

A good reputation makes the company successful. For small businesses, a negative reputation means a commercial downfall. Fostering a positive image is vital for your industry. Social media has the power to alter public opinion. That compels small businesses to maintain a good reputation.

 

  • LEGAL OBLIGATION: 

 

In the First World, CSR is a legal obligation. You can call it a form of soft law as people expect the industry to reduce its carbon emissions. They want enterprises to engage in charitable works, local development, and volunteer efforts. Small businesses can suffer if they ignore CSR.

 

  • DIFFERENT CSR STRATEGY: 

 

Small businesses don’t need to adopt the exact CSR strategy developed by multinational corporations. It’s better if they create their CSR policies to suit their commercial needs. The factors include available resources, local community problems, and financial priorities of the enterprise.

CONCLUSION

Sincerity is what makes people trust enterprises. Greenwashing is never the correct approach to CSR. If people think you’re making an appeal to CSR for brand popularity, it will lose you your customers. Just pretending to be eco-friendly is called “greenwashing,” which is a harmful business policy. Some brands spend a lot on marketing themselves as socially-responsible. But when consumers learn that these brands are still contributing to global warming, it results in a PR shift. Small businesses should sincerely adopt an effective CSR strategy. It provides your company job attraction, job satisfaction, customer appreciation, and a strong reputation. Corporate social responsibility is the backbone of financial stability in the 21st century.

Adam Hansen