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2023 | Buch

Corporate Social Responsibility in the Health Sector

CSR and COVID-19 in Global Health Service Institutions


Über dieses Buch

The pandemic that struck in late 2019 - the coronavirus, commonly referred to as COVID-19 - affected every country in the world. This book examines how the pandemic has impacted healthcare institutions worldwide, and focuses on the international experience of COVID-19 in terms of healthcare delivery since 2019 and today. It highlights how healthcare facilities around the world have managed and continue to manage their obligations to their citizens. The book’s goal is to improve our understanding of the many negative and positive impacts of the pandemic on various aspects of our lives, including the health aspect, and how healthcare institutions could expand their ability to manage similar pandemics in the future without seriously compromising their ability to address other, regular health issues. At the same time, it takes a closer look at CSR, sustainability, ethics, and governance issues related to the pandemic, as well as current CSR practices in each of the countries reviewed.

Given its scope, the book will be of interest to a broad readership including researchers, practitioners, and students concerned with the pandemic’s societal and public health implications.


Corporate Social Responsibility and COVID-19 Pandemic in Four Continents: An Introduction
The COVID-19 pandemic was a serious event that will never be forgotten on planet Earth even if another more serious event of this nature were to once again besiege planet Earth (we sincerely hope not). It was a war on us all with no conventional weapons used. It took so many lives. In fact, it was noted on the website of the Worldometer of Coronavirus that 6,531,169 people worldwide had died as a result of the virus. In the UK where these three editors live, every health service institution across the four countries—England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales—faced unprecedented pressures. The UK government coronavirus website at the time of writing this piece notes that 177,977 people had died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for the virus. A total of 204,015 people died with coronavirus cited on their death certificates as one of the causes of death as at the time of writing this introductory piece to the book. The havoc the virus caused in the UK as depicted above was similar to many countries globally, regardless of where those countries are based on planet Earth. In the USA, the disease took the lives of about 1,050,000 people. It was a never to be forgotten sad episode.
Samuel O. Idowu, Mary T. Idowu, Abigail O. Idowu

Part I

COVID-19 Pandemic Management from a Sustainability Viewpoint: An Analysis for Austria, the European Union, and the WHO
The most recent COVID-19 pandemic challenged the world in many respects. Having started as a global health crisis, the pandemic soon threatened the economy and societies, leading to many unpleasant side effects and even affecting democracies and human rights standards. Against this backdrop, global governance by the WHO will be examined, as well as leadership at European and national levels. The Austrian case is analyzed in more detail, also in relation to Switzerland and the Nordic countries.
Critical studies from OECD and others reveal huge shortcomings at WHO level with respect to strategic pandemic prevention and preparedness. The European Union falls short of seizing the opportunity to show leadership in global health guidance with a focus on effective prevention strategies and the protection of democracy and human rights. In Austria, the most recent report of the Court of Auditors detected major failures in the government’s strategic prevention and crisis management. Public health standards are investigated as well as consequences of pandemic management on human rights, respect for democracy and debate, freedom of citizens, and inclusiveness in decision-making processes. It seems as if the pandemic has relegated us backward toward growth of disparities and loss of democratic governance.
More and more studies question the worldwide vaccination exercise to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming that mass vaccination especially with mRNA vaccines could even impair human immune systems and thus the survival of the human race. In this respect, recommendations suggest an enhanced WHO global health governance system with a stronger focus on prevention, more cautious future policy decisions applying the precautionary principle, increased focus on the proportionality of measures, upgrading public health and nutrition standards, amongst others with alkaline or organic nutrition and healthier lifestyles, as well as exploring less controversial or harmful medical alternatives such as ozone therapy.
Ursula A. Vavrik
Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives and Programs in the Health System of Greece due to the Pandemic of COVID-19
Coronavirus consists of Scylla of health threat and the Charybdis of economic recession, which is comparable to the Spanish Flu of 1918 and the Great Depression of 1929, respectively. The current pandemic has caused more than 500 M cases and more than 6 M deaths globally up to April 2022 (John Hopkins University, 2022). In Greece, which has passed an over 10-year economic depression since 2009 in the wake of the international financial crisis of 2008–2009, the advent of coronavirus appears as its continuation with much more intense and complicated characteristics. A lot of firms have applied urgent corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to protect their employees and empower the national health system, and this necessity has marked the creation of a new universal urgent CSR type called critical CSR (Panagiotopoulos, International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility 6:10, 2021). Unequivocally, the biggest burden is laying on the health sector which must face a novel coronavirus which demands new medicines, new vaccines, and enormous capacity for hospitalized cases, especially in intensive care units (ICUs). If the previous economic crisis was about trust among people, firms, and governments (Lins et al., The Journal of the American Finance Association LXXII:1785–1824, 2017), this double financial and health crisis is the chance for corporations to build the trust needed for their sustainable development (Panagiotopoulos, International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility 6:10, 2021). Hospitals of public and private sectors as the main pylons of a health system are in the frontline of the pandemic and have been forced to outperform under these unprecedented conditions. Both private and public healthcare organizations, for-profit and not-for-profit, have operated with strict criteria concerning their core activities and have additionally made endeavors to respond to increased needs for healthcare services by any means. Part of their activities could be considered as urgent CSR initiatives due to the pandemic. These critical CSR programs whether they have an official CSR form or not have enhanced the sustainability of our world (Panagiotopoulos, International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility 6:10, 2021). The lessons learnt from the pandemic era and the experience aggregated in the design and implementation of critical CSR policies could raise higher the standards of accountability and responsibility in healthcare sector for the period aftermath the pandemic. Furthermore, the conclusions from this period could be useful for the design of modern CSR programs and the empowerment of health systems against future pandemics.
Φ. Ioannis Panagiotopoulos
CSR Manifestations in Health Care Facilities in Poland During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This chapter describes some aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility currently under discussion by both scientists and economic entities. CSR is a relatively new term in Poland, only recently introduced into the public discourse, brought into prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic, both in business enterprises and health care institutions. This chapter presents manners in which CSR is implemented in Polish health care institutions, influenced by the socioeconomic situation, by Polish history, by the actions of various social actors, and, recently, also by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic changed the world. Since March 2020, we live in constant uncertainty concerning, among other things, recurring infection surges. We are not currently able to predict how much longer this situation will persist and how it will influence the overall health of the populace. Health safety and care become an increasingly important value in society.
This chapter presents the actions undertaken by Polish health care institutions, particularly the family doctors (general practitioners) for their patients, specifically patients diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as preventative measures for society as a whole, such as vaccinations or promoting healthy living and so on.
Health care institutions are also a workplace for the doctors, nurses, and administrative staff. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work ran a seminar on the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility and health and safety at work. There can be no doubt that ensuring safe and hygienic working conditions and ensuring the employees are healthy part of social duties of companies and as such can be seen as an integral part of CSR. Using selected Polish health care institutions as examples, we will describe the methods for creating safe and healthy working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic in this context.
Anna Cierniak-Emerych, Ewa Mazur-Wierzbicka, Piotr Napora, Sylwia Szromba
Corporate Social Responsibility: A Solution for Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Romania
The chapter highlights the way companies and public institutions in Romania coped with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and afterward. Each country is different in the way it reacts to such a crisis, one without a recent precedent in the history. The main objective of the paper is to present the impact of the pandemic on both the employees and the organizations during this crisis from the beginning to the present moment when humanity has the solution of vaccination and also a hope to end this pandemic. People, companies, institutions, governments are not the same everywhere and the implications in the community for fighting against this pandemic are not at the same magnitude everywhere. The research methodology consists in applying PLS-SEM method based on the answers of 156 employees from different backgrounds, thus offering a wider perspective of the way corporate social responsibility helped in the fight against the pandemic. The results of the research are helpful for better understanding the way crises, health ones included, can be faced with more resilience.
Silvia Puiu
Responsiveness, Strategy and Health as Diplomacy: The Unlikely Case of Serbia
The virus had caught the world unawares. The term “the new normal” already became part of our everyday vocabulary. Its meaning changes and morphs, arguably it has already become a lot less prominent at the time of writing, some 20 months since the recorded emergence of COVID-19. Regardless, the sense of new norms and normative behaviours has overwhelmed the world.
It remains highly questionable whether the world will ever be truly comparable with the pre-2020 standards preceding the Event. Not that the world has not seen its fair share of plagues over the centuries. The latest such brutal infection that swept the globe killed more people than the Great War a century ago. What has changed since is that, once gladly built then mainly disappeared, the notion of a welfare state and its ethics mobilised governments and many national and supranational stakeholders into action.
Action which despite still being largely uncoordinated remains high on the agenda of international affairs. And although the world’s response to the covid pandemic has reinforced some global divides of wealth, development, regulation; equality, ethical distribution of medicine, intellectual property of its products; access to treatment; labour and skills needed etc—it also seems to have publicly enhanced the need for cooperation required for a meaningful and effective action against disease.
Serving as evidence that money is neither necessarily the prerequisite nor the answer, is the case of Serbia. Arguably, a state with very limited resources or influence on the world stage, in between powerful trading blocks and a customary portrayal in western press which seems less than flattering decades after the troubles, this small south European country responded rather better than many in the world’s far wealthiest countries per capita.
The teething problems with the pandemic response seem eerily commonplace: denial, then panic, blunt instruments and eventual realisation that a subtle strategy is the best tool against the invisible enemy. Not to underestimate the effects of covid on all levels of supply chains, on labour disruption, an increased sense of international distrust and blame-apportioning, it appears that often individual actors left to their own devices used such predicament as an opportunity.
What sets Serbia apart is (1) a brutally effective response in mid-March 2020 which created a hermetic curfew, especially on the over-65s, lasting for over 7 weeks; (2) the self-imposed national and international lockdown, then more limiting than the coinciding, widely reported one in Italy; (3) empirical data showing the causal impact of sudden loosening of restrictions over summer, leading to (4) a carefully coordinated strategy that included largely well-managed, less onerous partial restrictions and (5) an unprecedented effort aimed at mass-vaccination both of its own citizens and foreigners. The latter has a set of diplomatic characteristics: citizens of the region with even the loosest connection to Serbia felt invited to get vaccinated together with its own, by any number of jabs obtained by the country’s leadership from any and all brand actors, manufacturers and states willing to oblige.
Moreover, even though outside of any powerful trading blocs—or perhaps because of it—Serbia was able to rapidly obtain access to almost all the vaccines unburdened by ideological divides and state/corporate self-interests of global leaders. Further, it obtained the patent rights to produce first one, then two of the vaccines at its own self-managed immunological institutes. Immunological independence is becoming a new currency across levels of practice and discourse alike. Finally, despite its much diminished media image and a painfully transitioned economy, Serbia has long been donating some of its stock of vaccines to countries and states across the world, starting from its immediate neighbours and reaching farther afield than many, far wealthier ones.
The virus seems unique and the grim pandemic aftermath feels far from over. For a long time it flared up time and again, even where it was considered defeated; in places perceived as role models of success. There is no guarantee that horrific scenes of covid hospitals set up in sports venues will not return in some other guise and by some other agent. The image of the hazmat suit so darkly reminiscent of pictures of the plague immortalised in art and literature is inspiring a nightmarish narrative in many places. Finally, any astute social scientist will argue against judging of contemporary events without due caution.
The world’s organisations far surpassing in power any single state or individual urge caution and cooperation. This is just a snippet from the beginning of a new narrative of the care for the world’s health. Never seemingly more divided, it seems united in its goal towards healing.
Milan Todorovic
Corporate Social Responsibility and Profitability in Spanish Private Health Care During the COVID-19 Period
In recent decades, there has been a growing demand for companies to take responsibility for the adverse social and environmental effects caused by their activities. As a result, they are no longer only accountable for their economic performance but also their corporate social responsibility. An important pillar of corporate social responsibility is gender diversity in the company as a whole and on the board of directors in particular. The hospital sector, whose activity in itself requires social responsibility, was later than other sectors in its disclosure. This research aims to analyze the influence of corporate social responsibility, together with gender diversity on boards of directors and the COVID-19 pandemic, on the profitability of Spanish private hospitals. In addition, this research studies the dissemination of COVID-19 throughout the Spanish territory, relating wealth and risk. For this purpose, data corresponding to the period 2017–2020 were analyzed using multiple linear regression analysis, cluster analysis, and factor analysis. The results show that those socially responsible hospitals show higher profitability, but no causal relationship has been established. Gender diversity negatively influences the profitability of the private hospital sector, although it can be considered non-significant. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected the profitability of hospitals, causing a sharp drop. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic was mainly influenced by the population density of the territories but also by public health investment, showing a greater propensity to control the pandemic in those regions that allocate more funds to health care.
María del Carmen Valls Martínez, Rafael Soriano Román, Mayra Soledad Grasso, Pedro Antonio Martín-Cervantes
Saving Lives and Minds: Understanding Social Value and the Role of Anchor Institutions in Supporting Community and Public Health before and after COVID-19
There are great disparities in health between places in the UK. People living in poorer areas are dying on average 9 years earlier than in wealthy areas, largely due to regional economic differences, including high unemployment, low wages and social inequality, unrest and injustice that accompany economic disadvantage. Preston in the north-west of England has been developing a community wealth building project known as the Preston Model, which shows signs of successfully increasing and retaining local wealth. The anchor institutions—large local organisations that are ‘anchored’ in places, such as hospitals, universities, housing associations and local government—have developed social value policies and policies of cooperation with their communities that attend to a heightened awareness of corporate social responsibility and enhanced working relationships with local communities in order to turn around local fortunes in an allied economic and health initiative. Corporate social responsibility is the essence of cooperation and cooperatives and is a central feature of the Preston Model. Ultimately, CSR within the Preston Model is concerned with quality employment. The pandemic has highlighted the need for CSR and cooperation. This chapter brings together researchers from the University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University and stakeholders from two of the anchor institutions—the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Community Gateway Association—to combine an academic framework, including local responses to interviews and participatory community groups in Preston, with two major anchor institutions as case studies. The chapter will investigate a broad range of initiatives, from directly focussed health policies, such as social prescribing, to wider, ‘softer’ approaches, such as developing participation, cooperation and democracy within and between organisations, groups, teams and communities and the corresponding networking and mutual support systems that may affect greater agency, empowerment and enhanced mental health outcomes among people in Preston and Lancashire, ultimately transferable to other UK regions.
Julian Manley, Craig Garner, Emma Halliday, Julie Lee, Louise Mattinson, Mick Mckeown, Ioannis Prinos, Kate Smyth, Jonathan Wood
Corporate Social Responsibility and Coping with COVID-19 Pandemic in the Global Health Service Institutions: The United Kingdom
In the following chapter, the authors describe how the private sector, the third sector, and philanthropists have carried out their corporate social responsibility (CSR) in supporting the United Kingdom’s health service institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has created excess demand on the National Health Service’s (NHS) resources, particularly on its essential equipment, medicines, and workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted inequalities in health faced by poorer households from institutional services outside of the NHS. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the mentioned stakeholders have provided support to the NHS, as well as to disadvantaged communities, and wider society. Health inequalities have become more visible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as social determinants of health have disproportionately exacerbated COVID-19 mortality rates in a number of ethnic minority communities. Moreover, routine data on COVID-19 fatalities have found a correlation with age, with elderly people being more adversely affected. This chapter is divided into four main parts that focus on the four major aspects of CSR: philanthropic, legal, ethical, and economic responsibility. Using CSR and health system policies, practices, and cases, this approach is framed in the context of the NHS and health stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mentioned aspects of CSR in the United Kingdom are detailed using publicly available data. This overview is intended for researchers, health practitioners, students, policymakers, civic authorities, the private sector, and the third sector and is intended to aid CSR planning for future waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and for different future pandemics.
Mohammed Ali, Courtney Grant
Responsible Innovation During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study from Türkiye
Companies in almost all sectors and countries have faced the challenges of an urgent transition due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside day-to-day operational adjustments, many companies have also made great efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on society by taking a socially responsible stance. Companies with a high commitment to society and the environment have successfully embraced their notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with innovation. During the pandemic, responsible innovation (RI), as one of the most important tools of CSR, has become an important way of generating societal benefits. Above all, the health sector has experienced diverse versions of RI. Accordingly, this study discusses how RI in the Turkish healthcare system has assisted in coping with the pandemic. To do so, it focuses on the case of Abdi İbrahim, a pioneering Turkish pharmaceutical company. The case provides useful insights into how health sector companies have handled the pandemic in responsible ways. The case also shows how responses could be made more rapid and effective in future pandemics and other global health crises. In particular, the case shows the importance of the inclusion component of the company’s RI in fighting COVID-19, implemented through collaborations and partnerships with national and international companies, the Turkish authorities, and universities.
Gizem Aras Beger, Gönenç Dalgıç Turhan, Gülen Rady

Part II

Grappling with COVID-19: The Implications for Ghana
The emergence of COVID-19 has had substantive economic, health and societal impacts across the world. It has created major disruptions in many economies, illuminated governments’ failures and exposed major vulnerabilities in our social settings. In Ghana, many interventions have been made substantially within the health, economic and social standings of the citizens following these challenges. The chapter brings to the fore the complex challenges the country faced and/or continues to face in the light of this. It details the supporting measures that the government took to protect the poor and the vulnerable. Aside from that, it explores the myths, misconceptions and responses associated with the pandemic, which to a large extent impacted how the pandemic was perceived. Another key issue that the chapter looks at includes the role played by business leaders in the fight against the pandemic.
Sam Sarpong
Corporate Social Responsibility and the Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Institutions in Nigeria
This chapter examines the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in the healthcare institutions in Nigeria, before and during the COVID-19 era. The extent to which the healthcare institutions are seen to be socially responsible and the CSR from profit-oriented companies to hospitals were examined. The paper reviewed annual reports of 20 listed companies from 2017 to 2020 and websites of 46 healthcare institutions. The results show that before the COVID-19 era, there was poor CSR from profit-oriented companies to healthcare institutions, but there was a huge change during the COVID-19 era, and most of the CSR activities reported by these business organisations were committed to the healthcare institutions. Majority of the healthcare institutions reported employee-related issues in the workplace. The level of ethical behaviour of healthcare institutions and their relationships with the community were also reported in the websites of the institutions but, not by the majority. Reports on management of toxic wastes and relationships with patients were scarcely found. The study concludes that CSR has not penetrated the healthcare institutions in Nigeria and proposes increased resource allocations to the healthcare system from both government and private companies. The study also encourages healthcare institutions to willingly report their socially responsible activities.
Gloria O. Okafor, Amaka E. Agbata, Innocent C. Nnubia, Sunday C. Okaro
The Private Sector’s Role in Strengthening Public Hospitals in Zambia During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: A Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Perspective
This chapter is based on a desktop research study that focused on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Zambia, which had and continues to have a negative impact on the country’s public hospitals. Indeed, after the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, many people were hospitalised for treatment and palliative care. Thus, a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases resulted in an unprecedented high demand for testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE) for both medical staff and patients, hospital beds, oxygen for COVID-19 patients and medicine, among other things. During this period, public hospitals were under tremendous strain. Even now, they are still struggling to meet the increased demand for hospital care. Despite the foregoing challenges, in the same period, a new approach known as COVID-19 Emergency Corporate Social Responsibility (ECSR) emerged in Zambia. This served as one way to strengthen public hospitals to cope with the increased number of patients. To this end, through COVID-19 ECSR, the private sector supported public hospitals by donating inter alia, money, PPE, oxygen concentrators, medicine and food. From the study, it was discovered that the private sector’s contributions during the pandemic helped to improve and maintain Zambians’ health after fortifying public health systems to cope with the increased demand for health services and other shocks. In this chapter, we explore how ECSR had assisted public hospitals in Zambia to deal with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. We base our analysis and discussion on the aforementioned study.
Isaac Kabelenga, Ndangwa Noyoo

Part III

Business Responses to COVID-19 Through CSR: A Study of Selected Companies in India
On the 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern. Such a global health crisis has resulted in restructuring of resources in terms of both speed and scale of mobilisation. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is playing a crucial role in the age of this pandemic COVID-19, where business is trying their best to cope with this tremendous challenging time. On 23 March 2020, the Indian government declared that all expenditures incurred on activities related to COVID-19 would be regarded to be CSR expenditure. Since the announcement of the PM CARES Fund and its inclusion in Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, through a subsequent amendment, a huge amount of funding has also been directed from corporates to the PM CARES Fund. In this chapter we have studied the business responses to COVID-19 through the lens of CSR of the top 50 companies ranked on the basis of market capitalization for the years 2019–2020 to 2020–2021 by constructing a Corporate Health Disclosure Index (CHDI). Our study showed that business response towards health during COVID-19 was average. Businesses have mostly concentrated on short-term plans, primarily supporting healthcare infrastructure, assisting in vaccination programmes and contributing to the PM CARES Fund.
Sumona Ghosh
The Rippling Effect of COVID-19 in Malaysia: Now and Then
In the last few years, COVID-19 has taken centre stage in the lives of Malaysians. Although the number of cases have gone down considerably, the severe impact it left in its trail has resulted in various changes in people’s lives as well as the operations of various institutions in the country. This chapter takes a holistic view of the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia. It documents the issues the country faced during the prolonged COVID-19 crisis. Particularly, it highlights the health, socio-economic and humanitarian crises that bedevilled Malaysia in the course of the pandemic. It also provides an insight into the interventions the government made in its response to the pandemic.
Sam Sarpong, Ali Saleh Alarussi

Part IV

Corporate Social Responsibility in Bolivia: Hospital Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had an impact on Bolivia’s state of health, economy, and social fabric. The world is grappling with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on firms, workers, consumers, communities, and each other. As a result of these consequences, people all over the world are committed to working together and supporting one another in all possible ways. Using stakeholder theory and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), this study explores hospital responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bolivia from the perspectives of hospital managers, hospital staff, and patients. This study used quantitative and qualitative analyses to understand CSR initiatives, operational challenges, and health-care quality services in Bolivian hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the results, different recommendations are suggested.
Boris Christian Herbas-Torrico, Carlos Alejandro Arandia-Tavera, Alessandra Villarroel-Vargas
Corporate Social Responsibility in the Health Sector
herausgegeben von
Samuel O. Idowu
Mary T. Idowu
Abigail O. Idowu
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