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    Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility


    1 Overview

    Corporate social responsibility is the crucial issue in retail industry because of considerable investment of money and others resources as well as time. Importance of corporate social responsibility is keep on increasing because of satisfying need of customers in an effectual manner. Corporate social responsibility has been considered as the most important function in today's organizations. Generally organization that act in socially responsible way tend to perceive positively by customers (Andersen and Skjoett-Larsen, 2009). All the society members as well as other stakeholders holders have different expectations from retail industry that aid to create goodwill of companies in the marketplace. However, couple of years ago, corporate social responsibility considered something that was desirable but at present it is the necessity of business without which corporation cannot target its customers. By embracing corporate social responsibilities, retail industry depicts that it values for people like customers, employees and general communities (Branco and Rodrigues, 2006). It assist management of retail companies to enhance brand reputation, customers loyalty and increased productivity. Sustainable development of any organization depend on its capability to satisfy need of stakeholders and for the sake of the same, companies act in the direction of growth by addressing issues of general communities in an effectual manner. This way organization can secure its position in the marketplace.

    Customers expects from companies to run business in ways where management respect for employees and put efforts to contribute towards well being of society. It is the right way to deliver good quality of services to large number of buyers and ensuring sustainable development of business for long run. However, negligence of management towards the corporate social responsibilities is like inviting the business risk that hampers overall performance (Wallace, Mike and Wray, A., 2006). Owing to this, management have to take into account the increasing awareness of buyers and need to take action in the same direction. It enables management to cater need of customers that aid to deliver good quality of services to large number of customers. Further, generally, CSR activities require huge investment by the organizations but is depends on the capability of management that how to manage this activities in order to involve corporation in CSR activities (Bryman and et. al., 2011).

    The retail industry of United Kingdom is the great sources of employment among five countries that aid to increase gross domestic product of UK. Also it is the highest EU value added in the retail sector (20.8%). It depicts that retail industry of UK contributes huge amount on CSR activities and likewise it is able to cater need of general communities. This way retail corporations value for the money of potential buyers and meet their expectations in an effectual manner. It direct towards sustainable growth along with increased rate of return. Present dissertation is based on understanding Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development in retail industry of UK (Evans and Lindsay, 2005). It mainly focuses on the CSR activities for the sustainable development of the retail corporations. It enables management to satisfy need of customers and make them able to take quick purchase decisions that leads to deliver good quality of services to large number of buyers. The UK retail industry has top players such as ASDA, Waitrose and Morrisons. Along with that, Tesco, Marks & Spencer. These organization are keep on expanding their outlet across different counties with specified objectives. It enables management to enhance the sales turnover and enrich the rate of return. For example, recently new food outlet has been opened by Tesco for fulfilling long as well as short term objectives of firm (Heslin and Ochoa, 2008). With this, risk can be minimized and productivity can be enhanced to a great extent. In addition to this organizations take several measures for well being of society as well as all stakeholders. It aid to value for people that generate positive attitude of customers towards retail companies (Simmons and et. al., 2006).

    The retail sector of UK employs large number of people which facilitates to increase overall rate of return. These corporations take appropriate actions to address issues of society. In this regards, employment is the most important factor which provides evidence that social responsibility is effectively fulfilled by UK retain industry. It enables corporation to carry out all important functions and meet expectations of customers in an effectual manner. Apart from this, appropriate strategies are adopted by the retail companies for ensuring sustainable development. With this, companies can be able to create goodwill and ensure its long run survival in the marketplace (Maon, Lindgreen and Swaen, 2009). Furthermore, corporate social responsibilities are fulfilled by retail corporations in the light of customer awareness, competitive environment and rate of return. It assists management to deliver good quality of services and also retain customers for longer span of time. In addition to this, present dissertation takes into account the ethical and environmental issues that affect sustainable growth of company. Similarly, social responsibilities is planned with the presence of expert who can be make budget fro specified time span.

    CSR activities tend to put an impact on performance of business in both positive and negative manner that increases concern of management. Owing to this, present research in done to ensure sustainable development of companies by the help of investing in CSR activities. There are several retail companies like Tesco, Morrissons and Sainsbury that have been complying social obligations in the light of organizational objectives that helps to carry out all business activities with pre-defined manner. It is also the effective way to ensure certainty about future business activities and expand business over the globe. Furthermore, CSR is directly associated with customer awareness and their exceptions, owing to this it is prime responsibility of management towards different stakeholders (Porter and Kramer, 2006). In this regards, different types of strategies are adopted by the firms in accordance with prevailing conditions so management can be able to involve corporation in socially obligated environment (Yoon, Yeosun, Gürhan-Canli Z. and Schwarz, 2006). It provides evidence about the ethical conduct of business and attitude of customers towards the firm. This way CSR activities play vital role at present and ensure certainty of businesses in the marketplace. It is also the effective means to formulate competitive strategies and increase attention of customers towards offering of retail organizations (Isabelle, 2001).

    2 Research questions

    The research questions on understanding corporate social responsibility and sustainable development have been formulated as follows. It assists scholars to develop alternative solution for the study and collect all the information in an effectual manner.

    • How activities of CRS aid to achieve organizational aims and objectives?
    • What is the importance of CSR activities for the growth of retail industry of UK?
    • What is the impact CSR activities on sustainable aspect of business?

    3 Research objectives

    Aim: Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development in retail industry of UK.

    The research objectives for the study has been developed in accordance with research questions that enables researchers to gather in-depth knowledge for the same. Objectives are stated as follows-

    • To assess up to what extent, CSR activities aids in achieving organizational aims and objectives
    • To critically examine the importance of CSR activities for growth of retail sector
    • To assess the impact of CSR activities on sustainability aspects of business

    The aforementioned objectives are the most significant way to collect information on corporate social responsibility. With this, analysis has been done on overall retail industry of UK for ensuring its sustainable development in the marketplace. By this, importance of CSR on sustainability of business has been assessed in the light of organizational aim as well as objectives. Further, research objectives serve as the path of present dissertation thereby data can be collected and analyzed in the light of research aim.

    4 Rationale behind the study

    The rationale behind current dissertation is increasing awareness of customers and specific requirement of different stakeholders. Owing to this, corporate social responsibility has become the necessity of all industry that aid to develop positive attitude of customers. In case of non-compliance of corporate social responsibility, company may not be able to gain attraction of customers and its sustainable development cannot be ensured. It depicts that, understanding Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development in retail industry of UK is very important in order the increase number of buyers. Further, CSR activities are the ways to again attraction of buyers and create goodwill of firm in the marketplace. It is also one of the important factor to determine long term growth of company and increase overall rate of return. In order to fulfill expectations of customers, companies need to ensure sustainable contribution to society where they operates their business. Furthermore, present dissertation is going to help scholars who are doing thesis in the same field. In addition to this, embracing CSR activities is the effective way to create competitive edge of the firms and valuing customers in the marketplace. Therefore, it is important to conduct the study on understanding Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development in retail industry of UK so as to ensure sustainable development of retail companies and resolve related issues of the same.

    5 Significance of research

    The current research is significant in the ground of competitive environment and long run survival of business. The current research on understanding Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development in retail industry of UK is helpful to determine long run growth of industry. On completion of this dissertation, many of the organization will be able to know importance of CSR activities and sustainable development which leads to put them into action for growth and success. It will also be helpful to know the potential causes behind non-compliance of CSR activities and its consequences on overall performance of business. Further, it will be explained that how CSR activities determine long term growth of corporation in achieving their aim. Other than this, impact of CSR activities on sustainability aspects of business will be assessed thereby researcher will be able to develop different alternative solution for the industry. On assessing such types of advantages and disadvantages of CSR activities, researchers will be able to propose the recommendation that facilitates to improve the performance of retail industry. Furthermore, the current research will be helpful for different individuals in several ways. It has been explained as follows-

    • For researchers or experts, this research will serve as source of income
    • For thinkers it will serve as the sources of learning and enhance their in-depth knowledge
    • It will prove to fruitful for those people who belong to field of literature. It assists them, to adopt creative approaches in the order to carry out their studies.
    • The current study on understanding is beneficial for academician and those who are doing their Ph.D. With this, in-depth knowledge will be gathered so as to conduct their studies in an effectual manner.

    6 Framework and analysis

    Framework and analysis is the part of research methodology that facilitates to provide information related to data collection sources and tools and analysis of collected data. For the current research on understanding Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development in retail industry of UK different tools and techniques have been used. Here, deductive approach has been used for collecting data that facilitates to generalize the content to get information related to specific reason behind the business problem. Further, simple random sampling has been used to collect data form 6-8 managers of retail industry that aid to provide in-depth information related to corporate social responsibilities. In addition to this, qualitative research has been used to analyze the collected data. It enables scholar to draw the valid conclusion from the collected data and present the same in the light of research aim. Other hand this, interpretivism research philosophy has been used for gathering data. With this data has been collected in the an effectual manner so as to fulfill proposed research objectives. In addition to this, descriptive research design has been used to describe the characteristics of elected population in the study. With this, scholar can be able to find the alternative solution for prevailing research problem. It leads to create competitive edge of retail corporation because researchers can be able to provide recommendations in the same direction.

    7 Structure of dissertation

    The structure of any dissertation is very important because it is the right way to conduct the study along with appropriate format. It enables scholar to collect data and then analyze the same in an effectual manner. Further, presentation of analyzed data is the significant aspect that has been done with the help of below mentioned structures-

    Chapter 1: Introduction-It is the foremost chapter of present dissertation wherein general information related to corporate social responsibilities has been incorporated. Further, introduction chapter consists of all important information such as research objectives, questions that assist scholars to conduct the study effectively. Furthermore, detailed overview has been given for sustainable development in the light of corporate social responsibility. In addition to this, basic information for retail industry of UK has also been given so as to clarify the scenario in the mind of reader and assist them to conduct their study.

    Chapter 2: Literature Review- The literature review is followed by introduction as it is done on the basis of research objectives. It includes data from the different studies that have been done on corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. Further, different tools and techniques have also incorporated in the light of research objectives that aid to fulfill aim of the current study.

    Chapter 3: Research Methodology-The research methodology is the most important chapter of any dissertation that provides detail information related to tools and techniques that are used for collecting and analyzing the data. Further for the present dissertation on understanding Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development in retail industry of UK different tools and techniques have used that aid to researchers to present the findings in proper manner.

    Chapter 4: Data findings and analysis-The chapter following the research methodology is data analysis and findings wherein collected data has been analyzed in context of research aim and objectives. Further, this chapter consists of findings and presentations of the same in appropriate way. It leads to draw valid conclusion from the collected data and reach at the aim of the study. Furthermore, data analysis is the crucial aspect for the study so it has been done in detailed manner by using appropriate research tool.

    Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations-It is the last chapter of dissertation wherein conclusion has drawn on the basis of findings and analysis of collected data,. It enables scholars to provide evidence about the role of corporate social responsibility in ensuring sustainable development. Further, recommendations have also been given for retail organizations for carrying out CSR activities that aid to create goodwill of firm the marketplace. It assist readers to know the findings of present study and helps to conduct their research in an effectual manner.


    • Andersen, M. and Skjoett-Larsen, T., 2009. Corporate social responsibility in global supply chains. Supply chain management: an international journal.
    • Branco, M. C. and Rodrigues, L. L., 2006. Corporate social responsibility and resource-based perspectives. Journal of Business Ethics.
    • Bryman, Alan and Bell, Emma., 2011.  Business Research Methods.  Oxford University Press, 3rd edition.  
    • Evans, J. R. and Lindsay, W. M., 2005. The management and control of quality(pp. pp-687). Mason, OH: South-Western.
    • Heslin, P. A. and Ochoa, J. D., 2008. Understanding and developing strategic corporate social responsibility. Organizational Dynamics.

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