Educational Research (ISSN: 2141-5161) Vol. 4(9) pp. 642-653, September, 2013 DOI: http:/dx.doi.org/10.14303/er.2013.206 Available [email protected] http://www.interesjournals.org/ER Copyright © 2013 International Research Journals Full Length Research Paper Quo vadis corporate social responsibility in an age dominated by millenials Angelo Nicolaides Vaal University of Technology E-mail: [email protected] Accepted 11 September, 2013 The article discusses the concepts of business ethics and corporate social responsibility which should be core foundations of what an organization does, as they exist in the emerging new South African economy. The intent is to delineate a framework upon which to construct and facilitate a better understanding of the contribution organizations should make to society in terms of the moral imperative facing them with regard to CSR. Globalization clearly has a huge impact on ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR). How we should think about these issues is important and this should be done within the context of job creation. What are the kinds of issues we should be thinking about since the neo-classical revolution of the 1970s which supported the notion that ethics and CSR was the exclusive domain of philosophers? In the current global scenario, economic power is increasingly eroding political power and present-day information and communication technologies are emphatically empowering customers and other stakeholders. If organizations are to effectively respond to millennial customers and stakeholders who are very aware of and sensitive to business and social responsibility issues, they need to meet any moral obligation they have to society in general and not simply offer a façade of caring for stakeholders. Business and ethics should be redundant to each other since organizations should concurrently consider profits and societal support initiatives. Keywords: Ethics, corporate social responsibility, millenials, accountability, sustainability. INTRODUCTION "The ideals of human perfectibility and of achievement are authentic antidotes to the existential anxiety of guilt. What is true for an individual is also true for our institutions. This understanding of existential guilt will ultimately lead us to measure all institutions -such as business, the family education, the law, commerce and politics-by the degree to which they support the development of the human potential" (Koestenbaum and Block, 2001) From a moral and ethical perspective the raison d’etre for people and organizations should be the service of mankind. Prudence should go far beyond profit maximisation. Surely the entire point of business is to be of service to someone else? The reward of service will be more service in which organizations must be induced to take a more holistic look at CSR. Organizational sustainability is impossible without considering the sustainability of society and environmental sustainability. If organizations wish to survive they must be correct and responsible in society and invest socially and become true corporate citizens. There must be respect for the rights and legitimate interests of all stakeholders and the world financial crisis certainly demands that organizations become truly active and effective CSR role-players. What is a corporation and what is its purpose? In a nutshell, it is a very privileged and dominant social institution linked to the external environment. It is goal oriented and designed as an amalgam of deliberately structured and coordinated activity systems (Daft, 2001, p. 12).Its purpose is to serve stakeholders, provide services or satisfy needs. It allow its executives to take risks on its behalf stakeholders and is a limited liability institution that has huge responsibility to engage with the greater good and it supports innovation and entrepreneurship which are necessary to allow society to develop. How they prioritise demand issues for stakeholders is critical to their sustainability. Corporations are responsible to shareholders and stakeholders. CSR Nicolaides 643 refers to satisfying the responsibilities as well as obligations that an organization has toward all of its stakeholders. When we however scrutinize certain corporate practices, such as profits versus environmental protection, CSR assists us in differentiating between stakeholder expectations and corporate obligations. One of the main issues is whether organizations are in fact bound to provide environmental protection no matter what cost or are they obligated to maximize profits for shareholders’ at the expense of the natural environment? What is the moral imperative? In terms of the Nobel-Prize recipient Milton Friedman’s 1970 view, their function is primarily to increase value for shareholders. He argued that it is only individual people who have moral obligation for their actions and managers are responsible for acting only in the interests of shareholders. He also stated that social issues are the responsibility of the state and not corporations. He was of course not the only one thinking in these lines. Organizations should however create value for all stakeholders and not exist in isolation. Business ethics may well be an oxymoron to many, but stakeholders are living people and so organizations should think of the economic and social impacts of their products and seek out the intersection between their interests and those of stakeholders. While the stakeholder philosophy is common knowledge, it remains in many ways subordinate to the shareholder philosophy but new values and beliefs are surfacing in a wide stratum of society and these play a part in influencing how organizations operate. It was however corporations that came up with the notion of CSR since they would benefit from a voluntary move towards CSR. It would be in their interest to do something for society voluntarily rather than be regulated to do something. Consequently, global society has established norms and guiding principles or standards of conduct which are both legal and implied which are intended to guide businesses in their endeavours to increase their ‘bottom-line’ and make profits without in any way impairing society as a whole. Corporations are legally ‘artificial persons’ and thus have rights and responsibilities. They are owned by shareholders but subsist independently of them. Their CEOs, directors and managers have a fiduciary obligation to protect the investments of shareholders. In South Africa there are no special laws that standardize CSR activities but there are a string of laws that speak about the responsibility of organizations towards society in general. Research Question Review articles generally summarize the current state of knowledge of a topic. They create an understanding of the topic for the reader by discussing finding presented from reading a wide range of literature on the topic. The article was systematically designed to address very straightforward questions including: What CSR is, what are organizations doing in this regard and how can millenials impact what an organization does? The goal was to critically evaluate and explore CSR, millenials and related topics in the literature in a systematic and comprehensive way by examining a cross-section of relevant literature. It examined and synthesized the finding of selected research contributions published by other authors and allowed the researcher to make conclusions. The primary purpose was to examine the current state of thinking on CSR initiatives and the role of millenials and to produce a coherent argument for CSR. METHODOLOGY The basic methodological approach selected for this study was the content analysis of full text articles, websites and other publications provisionally identified as relevant to CSR globally and in South Africa as well as the millennial generation. It was clear from what was sourced that the nature of scholarship on CSR is continuing to evolve in a seemingly new direction in which it is regarded as a necessary part of an organizations operating procedure. Ethics and CSR The notions of business ethics and CSR are often used interchangeably even though each has a distinctive meaning. We speak of business ethics, but what is this precisely? Business implies "any organization whose objective is to provide goods or services for profit" (Velasquez, 1998, p.14). Business corporations are open systems which are able to make profits and survive if they balance their micro-environmental needs with those of the broader society or macro-environment in which they operate. The word ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos denoting "character or custom" (Shaw and Barry, 1995). Ferrell and Fraedrich (1997) have defined it as "inquiry into the nature and grounds of morality where the term morality is taken to mean moral judgments, standards and rules of conduct". Daft (2001) defines it as "the code of moral principles and values that governs the behaviours of a person or group with respect to what is right or wrong". Given that corporations are legally responsible for their actions they are obliged to work within legal frameworks and should of course do so with a sense of moral responsibility to society. Business ethics refers to "the moral principles and standards that guide behaviour in the world of business" (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 1997). The same authors explain that corporate social responsibility is "an organization's 644 Educ. Res. obligation to maximize its positive impact, and minimize its negative impact, on society" (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 1997). CSR should be addressing socio-economic imbalance and contribute to meaningful transformation in South Africa as it seeks to empower historically disadvantaged communities to become self-sufficient. It should also encourage employee participation in social projects as this would serve to reinforce their corporate value. Organizations cannot claim that social issues are the domain of only government and argue that social issues are not their problem. What is required by organizations is a spirit of pro-activity where they go beyond industry norms and essentially anticipate what society may need. Globalization, Liberalization and the increasing deregulation of markets since the 1980s has given organizations additional power in society and we thus require a new outline of business ethics and CSR. Modern organizations are now, due to their increasing power in society, political actors governing the citizenship of individual stakeholders, and they need to tackle CSR issues in a transparent manner and meet their corporate accountability responsibilities (Crane & Matten, 2010). Haberberg and Rieple (2008) state that CSR is an umbrella term for corporate policies to ensure ethical behaviour and address social problems, both inside and outside an organization. Furthermore this is done to win the hearts of all the participating stakeholders and this also gives the organization a competitive advantage. If organizations are committed to CSR they must regard it as an integral part of the decision-making process and highlight it in their core mission, vision, as well as values documents and their code-of-conduct. Ideally there should be an ethics compliance officer who should promote CSR. Organizations should include statements which succinctly state their goals and objectives. They should also provide insights into the values they espouse, their culture, and strategies for achieving their long-term strategic objectives. The vision and mission of many socially responsible businesses often make references to a purpose beyond simply the bottom line or “being the best,” and stipulate that they will employ only ethical businesses practices and seek to create value for all the stakeholders, which includes the principal, shareholders, employees, customers, vendors, government, local communities, as well as the natural environment (Townley, 2004). The level of integrity of any organization is affected by what leaders say and do. This implies that ethics indicators are required which measure the capacity of organizations to act ethically. The balanced scorecard approach can determine to an extent if CSR results have been achieved and if an ethical climate indeed exists which promotes CSR. Ideally organizations should have ethics officers who should serve as ‘gatekeepers’. In most organizations the ‘gatekeepers’ are the CEOs. Is this enough? Boards of companies should also be responsible in terms of the amended Companies Act of 2008. Corporate social responsibility is essentially a multidimensional construct incorporating economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic duties (Carroll, 1989) but it essentially refers to how organizations manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society and consider the stakeholders. Profitbility must be balanced with doing good. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication Making Good Business Sense by Lord Holme and Richard Watts makes use of the following definition: “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”http://www.sdchronos.org/ImmChronos/english/corp orate_social_responsibilty.html The Millenials The millennial generation born between 1980 and 2000 are entering the world of work in large numbers and will play a huge role in the workplace for many years to come. Their attitudes to work will impact drastically on the culture which will pervade the 21st century workplace. It will not be long before the Generation X workforce are replaced. Howe and Strauss (2000), define the millenials as a generation born roughly the same length as the passage from youth to adulthood, who collectively possess a common person, i.e. attitudes about family life, gender roles, politics, religion, culture, lifestyle and the future. In fact by 2020, they will comprise 50% of the global workforce. The millenials are in an advantaged position compared to the Baby Boomer generation (X), vis-à-vis their older managers, since the former have an affinity with the digital world and thus have additional skills with regards to broadband, smart-phones, iPads, social media and laptops. Millenials are generally well educated and surrounded by technology such as computers and digital media and expect instant information on many issues including CSR (Myers and Sadaghiani, 2010). They are also increasingly coming into contact with social issues and needs, including the importance of the worker as opposed to the organization in which he or she is employed, the financial economic crisis plaguing the world and the values and social responsibility of their employer. Schwitzer and Lyons (2010) explain that the millenials take into consideration the environment and poverty as well as number of global issues. They all want to ‘save’ the world and thus have very high expectations of CSR and ethics in organizations. Wendover (2012) states that millenials believe that CSR plays a vital role in altering the lives of Nicolaides 645 people globally as well as protecting the environment and actively seek out employers who have a good track record in this regard. They are quickly becoming a force for the social good of society and are very optimistic about the ability of organizations to effect positive change (Cargas, 2013). In 2008, some 88% of millenials in the workplace were seeking employers who espoused values that matched their own and 86% would consider leaving their employer if they were considered to be only self-seeking and had no notion of responsibility towards other stakeholders. The CSR stance of an organization undoubtedly attracts millennial employees to a particular type of socially tuned-in workplace (https://www.pwc.com/en_GR/gr/surveys/assets/millenial s-at-work-dec-2011.pdf). Their social mind-set is a significant and important factor in society and they are very environmentally conscious (Evans, 2103). The role of public opinion in shaping corporate behaviour is not new but the empowerment of the customer in the new economy is not since the IT revolution has informed millenials and others about what organizations are doing or failing to do. Millennials also approve of corporate social responsibility and often allude to sustainability and conservation and they also tend to actively look for brands that they consider to be morally socially responsible and that are acting responsibly. Millenials feel obligated to defend their neighbours and take responsibility for their actions and many believe that companies have a responsibility to them, society, and the global community and should be giving back some of what they earn(Ibid). Organizations should also be transparent in their reporting and adopt sustainable business practices. Money is important to Millennials but they do not consider money to be the only source of contentment. As in the case of Generation X workers, they feel compensated by work arrangements that offer them greater flexibility and th prospect of using the latest technology (Martin, 2005). They also tend to investigate brands and especially the contribution they make with regard to CSR strategies and are not easily duped by organizations that offer only facades of CSR activity. Social media sites are extensively used to discuss CSR activities of organizations so that millenials are well informed. Millenial employees demand that their company be socially responsible and they as consumers also tend expect better business practices in terms of CSR since this is a moral imperative. It encourages accountability and also encourages employees who become more committed when they are employed in organizations that are perceived to be socially responsible (Greening and Turban, 2000). CSR also creates competitive invulnerability and makes an organization more sustainable in the long term so that while committing to social actions this may in fact forestall legislation and allow organizations to retain more independence from government (Moon and Vogel, 2008). The distinct attributes and beliefs of millenials are likely to affect the development of workplace relationships with both team and organizational members from other generations such as baby boomers, and these have also become crucial issues (Gursoy et al., 2008) There is thus the contention that certain characteristics of the Millennials’ value system could actually work in their favour, as well as in their employers’ favour, especially during economic slumps (George, 2008). As society's perception of corporate social responsibility undergoes a phase of fundamental change a wide range of socioeconomic, demographic, technological and globalisation related forces influence the changing expectations of millenials concerning the CSR initiatives of organizations. Why CSR? There is a growing global realization that "problems are increasingly global and demand solutions that presuppose a framework of values acceptable everywhere" (Kidder and Cleveland, 1994). Core values, including: truthfulness; fairness; freedom; justice, a sense of community; tolerance; responsibility; and respect for life have thus been promoted globally (ibid). The prevalence of unethical behaviour in a number of local and international organizations illustrates the critical importance of ethics and the promotion of CSR.Porter and Kramer (2011) state that by supporting initiatives to address societal issues, organizations could increase the levels of company productivity, and this would have a positive spin-off in that profitability and share value could increase. Core target groups are aggressively challenging corporate behaviour and there is a marked increase in corporate double standards and hypocritical behaviour being exposed. This has led to a series of international principles being devised regarding the ethical responsibilities of organizations to society namely, the Caux Round Table (CRT) Principles of Business. These are sanctioned by the vast majority of the world's nations (Schwartz and Gibb, 1999).Sustainable development (SD) a working definition of which was created in 1987 with the publication of ‘Our Common Future’, also known as the “Brundtland Report” of the World Commission on Environment and Development, is now also aligned to CSR. The definition of SD put forward states: “Development as the means to satisfy the needs of present generations without compromising the resources of future generations”. Sustainability also includes a commitment to the needs of the poor and an unambiguous recognition of the physical limitations of our planet, and does not simply focus on economic and 646 Educ. Res. social development. Such globally accepted and recognised values have led to the establishing of codified global corporate codes of conduct based primarily on grounded on inter-alia the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); the European Convention on Human Rights (1950); the Helsinki Final Act (1975); the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (1976); the International Labour Office Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (1977); and the United Nations Code of Conduct on Transnational Corporations (1972). These consider a number of business areas including employee practices and policies, basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, consumer protection, environmental protection, and political involvements (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 1997). Consequently many large and multinational organizations conduct projects for social involvement as a part of their usual business endeavours and such contribution frequently exceeds the specifications of South Africa’s “Black Economic Empowerment” (BEE). CSR initiatives are thus strategically planned by some organizations, and they also measure their progress, and publish the outcomes of their CSR initiatives to entice customers and increase their competitive advantage. Whereas European CSR-practices are conducted with ‘people, profit and planet’ in mind, combined with a multistakeholder dialogue, in South Africa CSR is predominantly characterized by notions of philanthropy and enhanced corporate branding with sustainability in mind.CSR is thus essentially viewed as an organizations contribution to sustainable development and includes aspects such as how an organization addresses its economic, social and environmental impacts. Although CSR is a series of voluntary actions that an organization can take, over and above compliance with minimum legal requirements, it is critical to address not only its own strategic interests but also the interests of society in general. It is evident from practices observed in the market place that organizations have adopted a wide range of stances when it comes to CSR. These tend to range from a low to high degree of socially responsible organizational practices (Barney and Griffin, 1992). In South Africa, since the creation of the new Constitution in 1994 CSR programs developed from mainly philanthropic programs into mainly strategic investment and so many actions on the part of organizations are directed towards the social uplifting of the nation in general. Many organizations thus do consider their social and environmental impacts and how they may make a positive contribution in this regard. Such initiatives in fact began as early as 1976 when the“Urban Foundation,” (National Business Initiative, NBI) fixed as its primary objective the improvement of the quality of life of the black communities languishing under the scourge of Apartheid. The advent of the ‘rainbow nation’ in 1994 ushered in much required political changes and huge efforts were made to balance out the unequal distribution of wealth.The “Black Economic Empowerment Act” (BEE) of 2003, was passed by the South African government and stipulates the development of especially the historically-disadvantaged groups in the population as those in need of support. A number of “Corporate Social Investment” guidelines of the later Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) back the development of CSR programs. Organizational inputs Society has expectations that organizations, irrespective of whether they are small, micro, medium or large will be responsible corporate citizens and actively seek to assist the government to address a myriad of societal concern that plague South Africa inter-alia poverty alleviation, security, environmental protection and conservation, education and health. CSR paces many expectations on organizations including economic, ethical, philanthropic and legal expectations. Many South Africa organizations seemingly have had a positive reception of CSR. In fact many view it as having benefits for them directly such gaining shareholder and other stakeholder approval whilst also obtaining greater appeal as an employer of choice for especially the millenials coming into the workforce in large numbers. By investing in CSR initiative many companies find it easier to socially integrate into the community in which they are involved. However, not all CSR is conducted voluntarily(German Embassy, Pretoria /Stef Coetzee, 2012).Some organizations feel that they are obliged by BBBEE to comply, to an extent and do not always happily seek to assist to address the economic and social inequalities of all their stakeholders even in a small way. For example, they simply make small donations to welfare organizations and thus play a minor philanthropic role. Other smaller organizations have no social responsibility interest and many flout BBBEE initiatives. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which establishes standards in the CSR segment for all exchange-noted companies promotes CSR activities in organizations operating in South Africa. The “JSE Socially Responsible Investment Index," was generated borrowing from the FTSE4Good index and suitably modified to suit the South African scenario. The Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index measures companies’ policies, performance and reporting in relation to the three pillars of the triple bottom line (environmental, economic and social sustainability), as well as corporate governance practices in organizations (http://www.jse.co.za/InvestorRelations/Sustainability/Socially-Responsible-InvestmentIndex.aspx). The JSE established Criteria with which it measures the triple-bottom-line performance of companies listed in the FTSE/JSE All Share Index. The Nicolaides 647 purpose is to compile an Index which includes those companies that pass the Criteria requirements. The SRI Index also offers an ambitious sustainability benchmark which recognizes companies that incorporate sustainability principles into their everyday business practices. This also serves as a tool for investors to evaluate organizations on a much more extensive basis. Reviews take place annually during the second half of each year, with results usually announced at the end of November each year. CSR along with ethical and moral issues, have an important role to play in controlling the threats of unrestrained development, promoting conservation and sustainability and especially meeting the needs of the millennial generation. It is noteworthy that the findings of research conducted by the UK’s Institute of Business Ethics, in which a number of companies in the FTSE 250 were analyzed, provided overwhelming support for the notion that organizations which are dedicated to ethical behaviour achieve enhanced financial growth over the long term when compared to those that are deficient as such in CSR initiatives and which neglect their societal obligations.Organizations undoubtedly need to incorporate CSR initiatives into their everyday practice (Weaver, G. et al, 1999). South African companies do not do so well in CSR initiatives and very few have analyzed had CSR embedded in their corporate strategy. There are of course many that respond to stakeholders’ social and environmental apprehensions. Many more should be publishing CSR reports and inculcating positive notions about CSR while formally promoting CSR practices. A number of organizations have made concerted efforts addressed CSR and business ethics in a variety of ways. Some have introduced compliance programs, developed codes of conduct including CSR issues and increased the level of corporate governance. Ethical compliance officer courses are on the rise, as a number of organizations seek to become more involved in CSR. It is apparent that many captains of industry and other business leaders increasingly recognise that their organizations future success to a large extent depends on how well they address the challenge of supporting society. However, greater consideration should also be paid to the employees and the working environment and the main focus should be on the promotion of the sustainable character of CSR practices in South Africa. An integrated CSR strategy that is dissimilar to philanthropy is urgently required and an efficient connection between CSR and BBBEE needs to be made. In all these initiatives their must be greater partnership between the public and private sectors and organizations should not only comply to the bare minimum of legal CSR requirements but in fact voluntarily move ahead of these by for example, supporting initiatives to construct homes for the poor and .thwarting corruption by transparent reporting. The response of many organizations has been positive so that “In 2003, companies spent 2.35 billion RAND (approximately 193.4 million EUR) for social programs in South Africa. Companies’ expenditures in the CSR sector thus correspond to approximately half of what international donors gave for comparable activities, however only 1% of the total that the state invests in social projects each year. The trend indicates increasing expenditures in the CSR sector” (German Embassy, Pretoria /Stef Coetzee, (2012). There are however many organizations that do not embrace CSR and although operating within the legal framework of the country, are otherwise socially obstructive and apparently devoid of moral obligation. The stakeholder theory is not important to them and all that matter is the “bottom-line”. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development explains that "Corporate social responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large." (Watts and Holme, 2000).CSR or ‘Sustainability’ is thus not simply obeying the law and it is also not philanthropy. Organizations should be regarded as partners with all the stakeholders in their communities and they should not merely be supporting shareholder interests. CSR is tacitly viewed in terms of corporate responsibility, but with a larger stress on the obligations an organization towards the community. Philanthropy and environmental conservation are important aspects and the community allows business to operate within legal and moral frameworks and whilst making a profit is critical, stakeholders and the needs of society must be considered as well (Fritsch,2008). There are of course numerous benefits to the adoption of CSR policies by organizations such as greater competitiveness, much enhanced reputation and of course risk management. Societal and state expectations In South Africa there is an expectation on the part of society that organizations become socially immersed while for example benevolently supporting education or health. Political directives necessitate greater CSR initiatives are put in place and yet CSR is barely in the news and it seems that only the unions have some input as they work with organizations to promote CSR initiatives. Replies obtained from a 2005 survey by Trialogue in excess of 100 stock exchange-noted companies in South Africa, 73.5% of those surveyed said that they take corporate citizenship “very seriously,” 24.5% stated that they take it “seriously” (German Embassy, Pretoria /Stef Coetzee, (2012). The business world cannot remain in its ‘silo’ as the government battles to overcome the myriad of challenges that face the state 648 Educ. Res. especially poverty alleviation, health and education provision. Organizations have to become partners of the state. The government’s BBBEE scorecard necessitates that organizations guarantee previously excluded social groups preferred status when it comes to jobs access to jobs, especially managerial positions, and professional training actions. Organizations should align their personal values and societal concerns with their investment decisions in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) initiatives. This will allow consideration of the shareholders financial needs and an investment’s impact on society in general. In this way, they can earn money while simultaneously build a better future for the majority of South Africans and not only an eclectic group. The investment areas should include social, environmental as well as ethical criteria. Organizations could also pair with others to manage CSR policy and determine spending priorities within distinct strategic perspectives and thereby coordinate resources and their actions. Major stakeholders should be incorporated in the efforts to establish, implement and finally evaluate CSR initiatives. When a CSR projects is identified, funding should be adequate and integrated initiatives must be in place to benefit the targeted community/ies. It is an expectation of society that organizations in South Africa will at the very least fulfill the stipulations of "Black Economic Empowerment" in terms of legislation. The philanthropic stance adopted by many organizations needs to become a comprehensive concept encompassing social, economic, legal and ecological development. Only when organizations become serious about CSR will a macro-economic policy environment be ensured that is also stable. Organizations thus have many challenges and opportunities to work for the common good. National laws and international guiding principles of CSR South Africa corporate law does not explicitly compel businesses to engage in CSR initiatives but it has internationally celebrated procedures put into practice to guarantee that organizations are receptive to CSR as an ethical and moral obligation. South Africa increasingly considers CSR initiatives as being important and has developed and CSR-related policies and laws in the last couple of years. These formal laws represent a consensus on ethical standards and law is thus a basis for ethical discussion. It is the responsibility of organizations to abide by the laws of the country. Transparency and corporate accountability are emphasized far more than previously so that South Africa now has a number of laws which are pertinent to CSR and which have relevance to ILO regulations and standards as well as international human rights treaties and environmental protection accords. The South African government regulates the practice of CSR to a great degree and an emphasis is placed on entrenching CSR in the business core to acquire enhanced sustainability. Despite this, greater focus on operating the core business in a socially responsible way, which is complemented by an investment in communities for relatively good business reasons, is in need of acceleration. Many organizations are currently evaluated by consumers, especially the millenials, based on their ethics and CSR initiatives, brand, as well as financial consideration. Consequently, they deem it prudent to consider all stakeholders including any individual or group that is able to influence or is influenced by the organization’s behaviour and not merely shareholders.CSR is for some organizations a vehicle with which they seek to improve a dwindling reputation and use it to improve their image in society. Where there is effective auditing and reporting on CSR initiatives, this is deemed to exhibit superior business citizenship on the part of an organization. While organizations have economic responsibilities to their shareholders, and ethical responsibilities in terms of doing what is right and often involve themselves in philanthropic acts, they also have a legal responsibilities to satisfy when seeking to be socially responsible. There are thus a number of laws in place which apply to CSR and which must be adhered to. For the sake of clarity, some of these will be briefly explained. The South African Companies Act 61 of 1973 does not obligate organizations to participate in CSR initiatives. However the National Policy Document and the King II and King III reports clearly address the need and relevance of organizations to acknowledge all stakeholders in whatever they undertake. The King Committee on Corporate Governance issued three reports between 1994 and 2010. The King I Report 1994 or King I, was designed specifically to promote corporate governance and suggested suitable guidelines for standards for boards of directors of companies listed on the Stock Exchange, financial institutions and various public enterprises. This report also highlighted the need for organizations to display socially responsible behaviour in the communities in which they operate. The King II report on Corporate Governance was available in 2002 and succinctly documented and detailed good corporate governance facets that any organization implementing the report should concentrate on, namely discipline, transparency, fairness, social responsibility, independence, accountability and responsibility (Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, 2009).King III (2010) was revised version of the national Code of and Report on Governance Principles. King III highlighted sustainability and risk concerns as well the necessity of stakeholder consideration. Ethics, Nicolaides 649 corporate governance as well as CSR, inter - alia, were detailed aspects of the report. Many organizations are adhering to the King III report but there are some which are not yet adequately involved on CSR. In order to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, organizations are required to comply with the three King Reports. The organizations are obligated to report on an annual basis on the nature and extent of their social, transformation, ethical, safety, health, and environmental management policies and practices. Information is also required from them concerning potential and future CSR initiatives. Those organizations which do not invest in CSR initiatives need to elucidate on the absence of what is deemed to be ethically and morally correct. As early as 1993, the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 (1993) /Mine Health and Safety Act No. 29 (1996) were effected to provide greater health and safety management in the workplace and decrease the number of accidents and deaths in mining activity. These acts were followed by the Labour Relations Act No. 66 (1995) and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act No. 75 (1997). These laws stipulate the basic working conditions for employees and also encourage the signing of collective labour agreements. South Africa has a very liberal constitution (1996) that includes a comprehensive exposition of both citizens’ and human rights. The Employment Equity Act No. 55 (1998) prohibits the inequitable treatment of employees in the workplace and stipulates including special programs for particular groups such as blacks, women, and disabled people. This was followed by the Skills Development Act No. 97 (1998) which states that companies must pay a certain percentage of their expenditures for salaries and wages to the National Skill Fund Training which provides finance for skill development measures and programs. The conservation related act of interest is the National Environmental Management Act No. 107 (1998) which promotes sustainability as well as long-term development, access to natural resources such as for example, water. It also promotes the participation of the public in decision-making in the environmental sphere. It is this act which emphasizes that organizations can be held liable for environmental degradation and damage. The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act No. 4 (2000) targeted areas including inequitable treatment, equality and discrimination in all societal areas. In terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act No. 28 (2002) all mining rights reside with the state. Organizations need to apply for licenses to operate and must stick to the BEE specifications as a favoured modus operandi. They may also be made liable for any form of environmental degradation or damage. The National Black Economic Empowerment Act No. 53 (2003) launched the national basic conditions for the promotion of black economic empowerment. The National Black Economic Empowerment Act (BEE) places an obligation on South African-based companies to reflect on how what they do affects all stakeholders in terms of the eradication of historical social and economic inequalities that exist in society. If an organization does not comply with BEE requirements, they may find it increasingly difficult to operate in South Africa. BEE thus seeks to redress racial imbalances and promote socioeconomic development in an equitable and fair manner. Compliance with the BEE Actor its General Code of Conduct is not obligatory but rather morally and ethically right. A series of semi-obligatory and voluntary measures are incorporated that are implemented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (DTI). The DTI sets the standards, provides the guidelines for the implementation of CSR, and specifies that organizations must concentrate on BEE initiatives. Those which execute BEE criteria can be involved in public tenders, and obtain other benefits. Organizations can of course elect not to comply with the BEE Act without facing any legal consequence. Neither do they require a BEE plan in which the business' BEE strategy is described. The BEE framework does not thereby generate any mandatory compliance for the private sector. Consequently the latter is left with a costbenefit analysis where the cost of non-compliance is weighed up against the cost of complying with BEE. By non-complying an organization could face the prospect of losing business since they would have a lower BEE recognition level which could deter other businesses from dealing with them-in a sense ostracising them (Dekker and Esser, 2008). The New Companies Act 71 was ratified in 2008, and it fundamentally modernised the corporate legal background of South Africa. The act aims to restate the concept of organizations as a means of achieving economic and social benefits for previously disadvantaged groups. The more current King reports (SAICA,https://www.saica.co.za) mentioned earlier established accepted guides of best practices in CSR in South Africa. These focused on social, environmental and economic apprehensions. The King reports’ are also not obligatory, but they do however adopt an approach which obliges organizations to comply with notions of CSR or explain why these guidelines may be missing from their strategies (http://www.sustainabilitysa.org). The reform process of the company law has been clearly bolstered by the enactment of the new Companies Act, which came into effect on 1 May 201. This has substantially altered the course of corporate law. Public discontent with lack of adequate CSR initiatives is addressed more directly through section 72 of the Act which has endeavoured to certify that CSR permeates organizational governance structures. It empowers the Minister of Trade and Industry to recommend through the use of regulations that an organization which is described in terms of its annual turnover, number of employees as 650 Educ. Res. well as the nature and extent of their activities must ensure that social and ethics committees are in place (Cassim, 2008). In terms of the laws and reports stated above and other laws there is a need to comply with all pertinent regulations since a failure to do so will highlight that any offending organization is devoid of a moral compass and lacks suitable governance mechanisms and policies. It is evident that multinational corporations are more active in CSR initiatives, and this ‘compliance’ is now also permeating down to small, medium and micro enterprises across a variety of sectors. Where social programs are in operation, the organizations involved tend to spotlight what they are doing externally, and so increase awareness of the activities in such a way as to make them a marketing exercise aimed at bolstering their image in the marketplace and gaining the favour of government. Many organizations are below average when it comes to fulfilling their responsibilities to society. Research demonstrates that there is a gap between the existence of company ethics and CSR policies and the entrenching of its substance in the ‘blood stream’ of an organization (More & Webley, 2003). There is an enduring requirement for dependable indicators to measure the performance of organizationsin the CSR areas of a business and to link these to business success. Nonetheless notions such as integrity and fairness are customarily only measurable using secondary indicators (ibid). Two examples of positive CSR in South Africa Sony South Africa has an interesting and commendable Corporate Social Investment (CSI) program which they have termed the Sony C.U.P - standing for ‘Community Upliftment Program’. This program expects that 12 main sustainable projects to be conducted in a year, targeting the upliftment of a chosen community through six main areas for involvement namely arts and culture, health, science and technology, education, sport and the environment. Sony’s primary mission is to foster and develop a spirit of community participation in all Sony S.A employees - including permanent employees and contractors. The expected results are that a remarkable impact will be made to the community and a model CSR program will be developed from which other organizations can learn. All Sony S.A Employees are required to participate in a minimum of two projects during the course of the year. This forms part of official company policy that will hopefully contribute towards making C.S.R involvement a culture in Sony S.A - a company that is already a world leader in electronic products. Their chose community includes 2 schools in Alexandra - Emfundisweni Primary and Minerva High School. The township of Alexandra was chosen due to its proximity to the Sony S.A head office located in Midrand. Weekly liaison is conducted with the school and the implementation of projects is on track.(http://www.sony.co.za/article/213593/section/comm unity). SAB Miller is South Africa’s leading producer and distributor of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. They operate seven breweries and 40 depots in South Africa with annual sales exceeding 25-billion litres. SAB Miller also has a soft drinks division named Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), one of the largest producers and distributors of Coca-Cola brands in the southern hemisphere. In 2009, SAB tabled its broad-based black economic empowerment transaction (BBBEE), SAB Zenzele, which was then valued at R7.3-billion. A total of 8.45percent of the company’s shares has thus been placed under black ownership. It also has a number of CSR programs and actively invests in community partnerships and other socio-economic and enterprise development initiatives to help create a stronger South Africa. They have established 10 sustainable development priorities (including communities, HIV/AIDS, human rights, waste, packaging, responsible drinking, water, energy and carbon, enterprise development and, transparency end ethics) that pay special attention to and intermittently monitor. As a result of such initiatives they have made critical improvements in communities as well as transparency and ethics over the last few years. They are also promoting responsible drinking and, sustainable energy and carbon emissions concepts (SAB Miller, http://www.sabmiller.com). Results of ineffective CSR Many companies unlike Sony and SAB Miller do however try to depict themselves as beingsocially responsible as well as sustainable. What they say about their CSR initiatives is scant confirmation of what they actually do and while mining houses do place a measure of emphasis on CSR initiatives and support of communities, huge catastrophes such as that at Marikana clearly emphasize that many employees remain very unhappy with initiatives that are taken or not taken to support communities. What is required is behavioural change in organizations? The Bench Marks Foundation is a non-profit, faithbased organization owned by the churches in South Africa and is a unique organization in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR). It monitors corporate performance against an international measuring instrument, the Principles for Global Corporate Responsibility; Bench Marks for Measuring Business Performance. In 2007, it published a report on the socioeconomic conditions of mine workers and their Nicolaides 651 families. It concluded that workers across South Africa are still exploited and many suffer immense hardships. The report exposed that the mines in the Rustenburg mining belt are poisoning the land and the waters through unchecked polluting and doing very little about cleaning up their mess. Furthermore, toxic sulphur-dioxide leaks spill into the water sources that supply the communities. People are obliged to drink and wash from such water supplies. Mines are permitted to emit an enormous 18 tonnes of Co2 from each company into the air, forcing surrounding communities to breathe in a contaminated mixture of mercury loaded emissions and dust particles. These additions to the air are the source of various cancers and wide-ranging respiratory disease. Many toxic slime dams are also situated in close proximity to various settlements, and this also impacts negatively on the health of the inhabitants. It is understandable that many employees are less than satisfied with their employers due the latter’s lack of sensitivity to societal needs and wants (http://www.bench-marks.org.za/). Reality contradicts what some mining companies are proclaiming to their stakeholders in terms of what they are doing to promote CSR in the communities in which they operate. The naked truth is, that very little is ploughed back into communities and as such human rights are often violated. A barrage of social investment advertorials and green washing campaigns, distort the fact that people are viewed as expendable to organizations which pursue only huge profits.In many ways South Africa’s archetypal model of corporate law, as it affects CSR initiatives has led directly to a number of noteworthy social initiatives by the private sector but much more needs to be done. There is no doubt that CSR initiatives must be encapsulated in organizational policies (Galbreath, 2009). It is vital to organizational stability that the trust of society in what they be restored. When considering the huge social disparities and the obvious need to empower disadvantaged communities, the mining and other sectors of industry are well placed to assist government address societal needs because if nothing else, it makes sound business sense. From a conceptual perspective, good governance is evident when there is participation, accountability, equity, rule of law, effectiveness and transparency (UNDP, 1997).CSR has to an extent made a difference in the lives of many South Africans, although much still remains to be done. The expectations of all stakeholders, consumers, employees, investors and the general public and especially the millennial generation, with regard to CSR will in all probability intensify. Hopefully, more organizations will see the link between a good reputation and good sales and attach more importance to real CSR initiatives in the communities in which they operate. An increasing number of organizations have incorporated ethical guidelines into their operating policies, and CSR provisions are included. There are also CSR-related tools including CSR guidelines and checklists, and there is thus no justification for not using them. CSR strategies and social media messages to especially millenials In a world in which organizations seek to enhance their bottom-line, there is often a discrepancy between a CSR policy and what an organization actually does and this makes them less likely to be sustainable operations. Social media allows an organization or a brand a great opportunity to educate both existing and potential customers while it has opportunities online to engage with the stakeholders. Millenials will not hesitate to post a complaint on platforms such as Facebook or tweet about some or other aspect of service or expectation and they will not hesitate to reflect negatively on organizational reputation issues. In this environment, the millenials call on companies to exhibit genuine CSR and they and civil society in general hold organizations accountable for especially what they fail to do. Consequently, organizations should be more visible in their CSR endeavours. A number of objective indicators should be used to measure the CSR activities that are reported on by organizations. There are thus some basic questions that organizations should respond to in public and these could inter-alia include the following: 1. Is there an ethics or compliance officer in place or is it the CEOs role to monitor and implement CSR? 2. Does the organization have a Code of Conduct/Ethics which includes CSR? 3. Does CSR comprise a core principle of the organizations objectives? 4. Is there a CSR or sustainability report? 5. Is there an organizational risk assessment of human rights issues? 6. Do shareholders show interest in CSR or are they only interested in profits? 7. Are shareholders interested in the composition of the board of directors in terms of diversity, compensation, accountability in employment, ethics practices, environmental policies and sustainability? 8. When CSR is implemented is there sufficient communication of the results thereof in the media and in the organization? 9. Is there partnering with government initiatives to uplift society? 10. Is there due diligence in certain cases where the government may be part of a problem that is faced? 11. Is ethics integrated into the CSR investment decision processes? 12. Does the organization use a balanced scorecard methodology which is basically a shortlist of critical CSR indicators that an organization should be considering? 652 Educ. Res. 13. Is there long-term value creation from CSR initiatives? 14. Does the organization act in a responsible manner so as to maintain its social licence to operate? 14. Does the organization consider the governmental regulations and international instruments and national instruments such as the Guidance on Social Responsibility or the King Reports on Governance? 15. Is there a strong cultures and ethos of CSR pervading the organization? 16. Are employees proud to be employed in the organization? 17. Does the organization seek to form partnerships with non-profit organizations or with governmental agencies so as to expand the reach of its CSR activities? 18. Are their terms of reference for the ethics committee if one exists does it establish policies and standards based on the nationally and internally recognised instruments dealing with CSR? 19. Does the ethics committee reassess CSR issues which could potentially impinge on the organization? 20. Have ethics or compliance officers and their programs fallen short of respecting the ‘spirit of the law’ in favour of ‘the letter of the law’? Where there are compliance/ethics officers, employees must be aware of this as it is the compliance/ethics officer who manages the organizations ethics policies. They also ensure that employees are knowledgeable of the organizations values and ethical standards which are entrenched in a code-of-ethics. Where violations of the code –of– ethics exist, transgressors must be held accountable irrespective of rank. The current inappropriate CSR initiatives of many organizations must be rooted out and criteria should be developed for assessing if targets for CSR initiatives have been met within the time frames that organizations set. CONCLUSION A number of prominent conclusions may be drawn from the analysis of literature of CSR and the millenials that was conducted. The growing influence of human rights on CSR is a momentous development and it is especially important for large international organizations to be cognisant of. Such organizations need to be encouraged to not only generate economic growth but also societal development (Rossouw, 2005). Organizations should motivate their CSR initiatives publicly and provide sound reasons for what they propose to do, since this will enhance their reputations and gratify their stakeholders. Consequently, their CSR must be based on coordinated and coherent social responsibility ideas because this will enable them to mobilise support from others and ensure that they meet the practical requirements of their CSR drives. Clearly, an organization’s CSR policy and mechanism to use finances for the general good are crucial to its success. It is a huge incentive for any organization irrespective of size, to assist previously disadvantaged stakeholders to become active participants in the South African economy. In any event, CSR initiatives will also allow them to circumvent negative ratings that could prevent them from operating in South Africa. Organizations should set benchmarks for others to follow and while South Africa is heading in the right direction, greater support for effective CSR reforms is needed. Lofty CSR standards should be applicable from the very outset for organizations conducting business in South Africa. Challenges and opportunities abound but it is incumbent on the government, organizations and their various stakeholders to take a further lead and give great impetus to CSR. The millennial generation is closely monitoring what transpires in the realm of CSR and this is important for organizations to internalise. Organizations should be asking a collective question: What can we achieve together for the betterment of society? The very notion that organizations should exercise CSR as an entirely voluntary effort will increasingly be challenged as millenials promote their ideas on social media platforms. Respecting human rights must become a standard expectation of all organizations. While it is conceivable that certain areas of CSR will remain voluntary, many should be regulated. It is imperative that good governance remain a critical factor for move forward with CSR. Government must carefully scrutinize its role as a legislator and regulator. It should also should also serve as the protector of basic human rights and notify organizations of its role, their roles and the moral and ethical expectations for CSR initiatives. It is the economic duty of a business to generate goods and provide services that are affordable for customers while simultaneously satisfying its responsibility towards shareholders and other stakeholders. Given this an organization has legal as well social responsibilities. The legal obligation is to conform to the laws and regulations of the land while the social dimension has a number of areas of operation, including how an organization shares in the economy, and how it relate to competitors, shareholders, employees, consumers, the community in which it functions and how it treats the environment. Within these dimensions lies an ethical and moral duty to do the right thing and act philanthropically but also going beyond this by incorporating CSR initiatives as part and parcel of operating strategy since CSR will increasingly become a competitive factor for every organization (Utting, 2003). Exercising CSR will thus soon be mandatory and not simply be viewed as an “add-on” activity in which only prosperous organizations engage, reinforcing the local as well as international CSR frameworks as a part and parcel of the emerging global Nicolaides 653 standard. It is already a fact that some organizations are now legally required to include a social and ethics committee in their governance structures and this represents a welcome shift towards institutionalising and legitimising CSR initiatives. Mining houses in particular have a moral obligation to improve access to health care and education for their employees as well as for communities around their mining activities, while addressing environmental conservation issues. Marikana for example, emphasized that CSR needs to move from being a charitable essential to being a legal requirement that makes it obligatory for all organizations to contribute to the development of South Africa. Self –regulation on CSR would be a utopia for many organizations but they need to re-assess their CSR stances. Capitalism must be made far more responsive to the huge needs in society. There is also business case for organizations to take careful note of CSR, business ethics, reputation and corporate governance. 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