Corporate Social Responsibility During a Recession

Background of Research

The dissertation will focus on the impact of the global economic recession to businesses, specifically on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices. The economic recession presents challenges to businesses because it brought about a decline to available corporate resources. Overall, the economic recession affects the amount of available resources and expenditure in business organizations and leads to cutbacks in various areas of management, including CSR practices, because of low profitability (Shaikh 2010: 2.40). Because o recession, an organization’s CSR practices will drastically change, and therefore, lead to less satisfying outcomes in social responsibility, and therefore, questionable accountability and reputation. Moreover, an organization with limited resources will also find it difficult to contribute to social causes because it will harness its remaining capital to make sure that the business remains profitable (Gupta 1995: 3). However, organizations could also use the recession to its advantage by incorporating new strategies to CSR practices. Since CSR also concerns the establishment and implementation of cost-effective practices, an organization could adopt techniques and strategies that would help the business save and limit its expenses (Horrigan 2010: 120). Therefore, the impact of the economic recession could go both ways for an organization’s CSR practices, such that limited resources could result to weak CSR practices or recession could be a means for businesses to implement new CSR practices that are aligned with saving on cost and limiting expenditure.

Research Questions and Objectives

Considering the two different outcomes of the global economic recession on CSR practices, the dissertation will focus on identifying how businesses deal with the global phenomenon. The dissertation will seek to address the following research questions: (1) How does global economic recession affect businesses in various aspects and areas of the organization?; (2) How does global economic recession affect corporate social responsibility practices?; (3) Does global economic recession limit CSR capabilities in the organization?; (4) Does global economic recession provide opportunities for new CSR practices?; and (5) How does global economic recession affect CSR practices, strategies, and techniques in organizations? The dissertation will focus on addressing the research questions and determining whether global economic recession positively or negatively affect CSR practices in various businesses.

Research Techniques

To accomplish research objectives and address research questions, a mixed method approach will be used to guide the research process. Three organizations will be selected to participate in the study. CSR managers from each organization will have to answer survey questionnaires and participate in an interview. Secondary sources will be used to support primary data that will be obtained through the mixed method approach. The studies conducted by Yelkikalan and Kose (2012) and Charitoudi, Giannarakis, and Lazarides (2011) on the impact of the financial crisis on CSR practices and performances, as well as similar studies, will be used to support primary data.

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