Corporate Social Responsiblity – The Human Edge

Goodness is the only investment that never fail — Henry David Thoreau

Here we take a re look at the Corporate Social Responsibility practised across the world. Dr. Wayne Visser author of nine books on CSR and think tank to various CSR leaders , explains that the philanthropic activities is the top most layer of the ice berg . It is more about how the organization contributes to create a difference to the  Socio – economic factors . Late Dr. C.K Prahalad advocated the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid ‘ principle ‘ which redefined rural marketing with premium product being sold in smaller packages. But it was differed by Md. Yunis  founder of Gramin Bank , with “Worm’s View ” . He shared that the lowest strata needs to be empowered to become Producers and not remain consumers which was supported by Dr . Prahalad theory of Co- Creation . In an organization , the CSR begins with deciding on activities to be done and factors to be audited in one financial year. This auditing is done as per the global standards . The reports are published and shared with the stakeholders.

The social responsibility on an individual segment is taken at a similar yet a very different level. The chief aim is to make an effort to generate economic benefits to the lowest segment by bringing a platform or gateway to the wider world . Two designers from Symbiosis Design Institute , Maneet Kaur and Ulka Bafna researched on the craftsmen from Nunnur in West Bengal to showcase the designer talent . They prepared designer outfit from the reusable quilt stitched by the craftsmen from the remote village and presented them on a global platform . This was their effort to design a sustainable yet sophisticated  garment and reinstate the economic viability of the artisans. They clearly noted their aim to get recognition and give the due to the artisans who are far below the poverty level.

In the area of social responsibility Dr. Visser explained the behaviour of such champions who bring in the change in four different quadrant . In clockwise direction he placed was Activist , Catalyst , Facilitator and Expert .  According to him an Expert is one who wants to see it till the end , a Facilitator believes in empowering people , a Catalyst comforts in influencing people  and an Activist is one wants to leave a legacy of actions behind him.

As a process he defined the development of CSR from its early days from Philanthropy to Sustainability , setting the path ahead with creativity, scalability , responsiveness, glocality and circularity. Finally when asked about what is the social responsibility of an HR Manager who has to restructure to ensure profitability to the organization, he replied, that the individual should find a mid way by restructuring salaries and roles to avoid unemployment or under-employement. Reflecting Thoreau’s word that goodness in action is the biggest social responsibility.