BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Corporate Social Responsibility has been perceived and practiced differently by different groups. In time past companies were only responsible to shareholders because they believed that profit making was the sole aim of being in business, Todays companies are accountable to the shareholders and also owe an obligation to all those in the society who are affected directly or indirectly by their business activities. It is from this obligation to society that the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) emerged. CSR is fast spreading over the world and recently, various methods have been developed in the practices. These methods have given rise to the perception people have of CSR.
Over time, CSR has been viewed and practiced as corporate Philanthropy, Companies Partner with Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs to carry out little acts of corporate givings and donations, with the help of the media they propagate the gospel of their philanthropic act in a bid to show the world that they care about the people and the communities where they operate. These donations do not in any way alleviate the sufferings of the people as some of the donations are either not sustainable or gets into the hands of few people who enrich themselves at the detriment of the whole lot. In order for businesses to remain profitable and build the confidence people have in them they must practice CSR, any company that takes community needs into cognizance will create a better community for conducting business.
The purpose of this study is to examine the perception and practice of CSR in Nigeria.
This study aims to examine Corporate Social Responsibility in a broader perspective, looking CSR as it should be rather than the way it is practiced here in Nigeria.
This study will further examine various perception of CSR such as employees, Stakeholder, and Shareholders perception. It will take us a bit into how CSR is currently and how it has been practiced by some Multinational companies in Nigeria.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
CSR is defined as a companys obligation to exert a positive impact and minimize its negative impact on society (Pride and Ferrell 2006). Multinational companies make deliberate effort to ensure that their activities does not impact on their host community or stakeholders negatively but most often than ever, it is seldom acknowledged or appreciated due to various factors which will be examined and discussed extensively. This research work is aimed at critically examining the perception and practices of CSR activities carried out by Multinational companies in Nigeria siting cases from companies like chevron Nigeria plc which is among the big players in the oil and gas industry. Several scholars have carried out a good number of researches on stakeholders perception, the impact of CSR activities on stakeholders, and the standard practices but several questions remain unanswered. According Abefe-Balogun (2011), Corporate Social Responsibility focus has always been on the lowest socio-economic levels such as the less-privileged people because its has been perceived as to be more about philanthropy. The oil and gas industry have over the years have experienced astronomical boom since the discovery of oil in Oloibiri in Nigeria on Sunday 15th January 1956, arising from deregulation and liberalization of the economy in 2001, the Oil & Gas industry have been responsible for the employment of millions of Nigerian citizens. This sector has contributed immensely to the boost of the countrys economy. As the most active sector in the Nigeria, the corporate social responsibility role expected from the operators cannot be over-emphasized. In previous researches, many attempts have been made to x-ray the various perceptions and practices on the issue of CSR. According to Altschuller and Smith (2011), stakeholders expect companies to manage the social and environmental impacts of their operations, these environmental impacts are Oil spills on the river bed, fumes releasing greenhouse matters into the atmosphere that gives rise to ozone layer depletion there by resulting in climate change, emitting of toxins into the atmosphere and improper waste disposal . This gives rise to companies carrying out various CSR programmes, many of such programmes are not integrated into the organizations operations but are merely taken as philanthropic gestures, public reporting through newspaper and television media so as to give the notion that they are practicing CSR or buy their license to operate. Occasionally, some companies apply environmental and labour standards that suit them to satisfy basic requirements of regulatory authorities like the Department of Petroleum Resources and Nigerian Content Development Board.
Despite the roles played by multinational companies carrying out corporate social responsibility CSR, and the growing importance of social responsibility, the following issues have not been fully addressed.
Why should multinational companies be socially responsible to their environment?
What benefits do multinational companies get from performing its corporate social responsibility?
Why is social responsibility considered as a waste drain of business resources?
Are multinational companies in Nigeria socially responsible?
In view of the above, the researcher has taken up the issue of social responsibility in the multinational companies and used chevron Nigerian Plc as a case study to examine the extent of the companys involvement in corporate social responsibility.
OBJECTIVE OF RESEARCH
For organizations to successfully survive in business, it must recognize the importance of social responsibility to the society. The broad objective of this study is to examine the stakeholders perception and the practices of corporate social responsibility by Multinational companies in Nigeria. Specifically, the study is designed to:
To examine the argument for and against corporate social responsibility by multinationals like chevron plc in Nigeria.
Whether chevron Nigeria pls has been involved in social responsibility activities and if so, to what extent have they been involved in their corporate social responsibility to their environment?
To examine whether the immediate environments are taking into cognizance during planning and implementation of social responsibility
To know the factors that motivates the adoption of corporate social responsibility.
In-order to guide the study and achieve the objectives of the study, the following research questions was formulated.
Why is social responsibility necessary in multinational companies?
To what extent does an organization involvement in social responsibility have an effect on the company and its host community?
What factors motivates the company in carrying out corporate social responsibility activities?
Who do you think are the beneficiaries of the company social responsibility activities?
1. Ho: The organization involvement in social responsibility does not have an effect on the company and its host community.
Hi: The organizations in social responsibility activities have an effect on the company and its host community.
2. Ho: Cheveron corporate social responsibility programme does not enhance organization-societal relationship.
Hi: Cheveron corporate social responsibility programme enhances organization-societal relationship.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study of corporate social responsibility of a business organization is hoped to be of benefits not only to students businessmen, government, customers, community, stockholders, academics, but the whole society. The study also hopes to highlight the problem associated with social responsibility and to make use of the analysis to improve the working situations thereby minimizing the problems social responsibility conflict in that organization and its environment as well.
Finally, the study will inform all at large, the need for corporate social responsibility not only to the firm, but to the society at large.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research work focuses on the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, but with preference to chevron Nigeria.
This research was faced with a lot of problems and limitations. The major problem acting as a limitation was a problem of Nigerians attitude to the supply of Data to the researcher due to fear. Secondly, because of financial constraints, the scope and dimension of this study could not be extended beyond this limit.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
This will be provided in details in due course of the research work
Corporate Social Responsibility: Corporate Social responsibility as described in this study is a demonstration of a corporation or companys sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates.
Social Responsibility: This is the ability of an organization to relate its operations and policies to the environment in such ways that are mutually beneficial to the company and the society.
Social Audit: This is commitment to systematic assessment of reporting on some meaningful and definable domain of companys activities that have social impact.
Corporate Philanthropy: as a practical sympathy and benevolence shown by a business organization to various sectors of the society.
Share Holders: This include interest group that are tangible, visible and approachable groups or institutions which can exercise direct influence in the functioning or affairs of an organization
Stakeholder: as descrinbed in this study is anyone who can affect or is affected by an organizations business activity.
Perception: as described in this study is the way you think about or understand someone or something.
Practices: as described in this study is amethod, procedure, process, or rule of how things are carried out which are regarded as standard.
Multinational Companies: as described in this study is a business organization whose activities are located in more than two countries operating in the Oil and Gas Industry.