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This book examines the Indian mandate for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its implementations in various individual organizations. Although the mandate is applicable only to certain large and stable companies, many believe that India is poised to become the birthplace of social, economic and environmental transformation, given the immense size of the Indian population and its challenging socio-economic index. The book explores the various facets of CSR investigation and places special emphasis on the Schedule VII of the Indian Companies Act of 2013, which defines specific areas of intervention for these companies. In addition, it provides a wealth of first-hand case studies that exemplify the ongoing developments and the fundamental challenges and opportunities of mandated CSR.



Five Years of Mandated Corporate Social Responsibility in India (2014–2019)

India became one of the first countries to mandate their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for certain large, stable companies; as a result, it also became the hotspot for research on mandated CSR. To study this transformation is important, as mandated CSR is not just a research on CSR, but on behavior change of institutions; which in effect, influences individual attitudes. This chapter introduces the CSR mandate in short; documents some of the subjective observations on various transformations noticed in the last five years; and most importantly, introduces the structure of this book.
Nayan Mitra, René Schmidpeter

Five Years of Mandated CSR in India—Observations and Learnings


India and Its Corporate Social Responsibility Mandate

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mandate in India under the Companies Act, 2013, has been a historical event not only in India, but also to the world at large, when one is debating about the ideas and concepts of responsible leadership, corporate citizenship and the like. However, after the initial resistance, in the last five years since its inception, the mandate has passed the test of time, as more and more corporations are spending greater than the statutory two per cent of their profit after tax on CSR. This chapter speaks about the various tenets of the CSR statute under the law as well as the effects of such intervention and involvement that has influenced India’s socio-economic dynamics; and going a step forward, in bringing out some constructive criticisms, which, when followed will lead to a more robust statute, bringing in more holistic impact.
Nayan Mitra, Bhaskar Chatterjee

The Five Strategic Building Blocks of Mandated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The integration of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with business strategy has been identified as a central theme of the CSR concept. With India mandating CSR, it is important to understand the key drivers and building blocks that is integral to this phenomenon and which will impact the civil society at large. If the Indian government and private companies are serious about meeting the sustainable development goals, mandated CSR (mCSR) has to be used as a strategic vehicle not only to reduce the substantial financial shortfall but also to align CSR as an integral part of a company’s strategy, to help companies achieve competitive advantage. The paper lists down five strategic building blocks of mandated CSR namely—shared vision, key drivers, dialogue, measuring impact, and governance which provide a mental framework to think about mCSR in a novel way. The paper emphasizes the importance of shared vision, problem identification, utilizing board’s expertise, innovation, building network, best practice sharing, managing failure risk, shareholder’s activism, government’s intention, and capacity building.
Rohit Kumar

Narrative Analysis of Annual Reports—A Study of Corporate Social Disclosure in the Pre- and Post-Mandate Period

Narrative analysis of annual reports has been of interest, especially with the emergence of corporate governance and disclosure norms across the world and with the emergence of International Integrated Reporting. There are five genres of narrative analyses around annual report texts: subjective analyst ratings, disclosure index studies, thematic content analysis, readability studies, and linguistic studies. For this study, we used a constructed disclosure index to analyze and compare the level of annual report disclosure with respect to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities for selected companies in India before and after the legal mandate. Four sections of the annual reports, namely Chairman’s Message, Separate section for CSR, Director’s report, and Management discussion and analysis of the 102 most valuable companies were analyzed. The study revealed the segment on “Chairman’s Message” was the least popular location for CSR disclosure and the segment “Director’s report” was the most popular location for CSR disclosure. Environment appeared to be the most popular CSR activity disclosed by the companies in their annual reports and “others” was the least popular CSR activity disclosed by the companies in their annual reports taking all the segments together. The study revealed an average CSR Disclosure Index (CSRDI) of 54% for the six years under consideration. For 96.08% of the companies under consideration, average CSRDI had shown a significant increase in the post-mandate period (2014–15 to 2016–17) as compared to the pre-mandate period (2011–12 to 2013–14).
Sumona Ghosh

A Study of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Practices of the States in India

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) had been practiced by Indian companies even before 2013. However, after the amendment of Section 135 of the Companies Act, the efforts in this direction have got systematic. Through this research, the contribution of the corporations toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is mapped according to their contribution as per the activities listed in schedule VII. The states and union territories are divided into six zones as per the Indian geography. The analysis brings out that the amount spent on CSR by the selected Indian corporates is highest in the west zone and lowest in the northeast zone. The south zone has CSR projects pertaining to the highest number of SDGs and the central zone has the least. Possible opportunities related to projects that can be undertaken by the corporate have been suggested at the end.
Anushree Poddar, Sapna A. Narula

CSR Implementation in India—Case Studies


CSR Mandate Versus Implementation: Case Study of Odisha Power Generation Corporation Limited (OPGC)

This single, unique, revelatory case study uses multiple sources of evidence to document the corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, planning and intervention approaches of Odisha Power Generation Corporation of India (OPGC) Limited, post passing of the CSR mandate under the Companies Act, 2013 in India; outlines its various efforts for alignment with the provisions of law; analyses the relevance of OPGC’s efforts with respect to the CSR Rules and Schedule VII; and recommends a way forward. However, this research is limited to Section 135, the CSR Rules and Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 in India, and their applicability within India with reference to OPGC.
Nayan Mitra, Manoj K. Dash

The CSR Practices of a Mining PSU: Implementation Challenges

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in public sector undertakings (PSUs) in India have become an important game changer for environment and community development initiatives over the years due to mandatory CSR regime since 2010. The stakeholder engagement approach mandated by the Government of India has been helpful for contributing toward development of the communities and environment which get affected due to their operations. As socially responsible stakeholders, these PSUs also get an opportunity to create more sustainable existence by focusing attention on the triple bottom line—profit, people, and planet. However, most companies suffer from problems related to CSR Agenda building and implementation of the same. For a mining company, there are additional challenges of addressing the social and environmental impacts of their activities on society. In such cases, these companies face many more additional challenges and obstacles to initiate and implement their CSR policy. The current case study aims to capture the efforts of a mining PSU for CSR projects and how this company has turned its challenges into opportunities by applying CSR interventions to bridge the gap between the community and company through stakeholder engagement approach. This is a qualitative study involving in-depth interviews and focused group discussions of various stakeholders like company officers involved in CSR, partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local panchayat members, and beneficiaries. The study was conducted in three units of the mining PSU in three different regions. A gap analysis was conducted on the company’s CSR agenda formulation and implementation, and ways to bridge these gaps have been suggested. The study shows three different models of CSR being used by this mining PSU, from which the factors for successful CSR implementation are duly identified.
Tanuja Sharma, Rupamanjari Sinha Ray, Madhushree Agarwal, S. K. Tapasvi

Institutionalization of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India and Its Effects on CSR Reporting: A Case Study of the Petroleum and Gas Industry

The institutionalization of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India attracts significant interest and discussion at the political, policy and practitioner level. It also highlights the importance of CSR within and beyond the Indian context. Section 135 of the Companies Act of 2013, mandated CSR spending in large companies that propelled companies from the old charitable and philanthropic model of ‘social giving’ to establishing CSR as a ‘convention or norm’, with companies remaining committed to the institutionalization of CSR. While, domestic companies in the petroleum and gas industry have often been engulfed with numerous criticisms due to oil spills and irresponsible behaviour towards stakeholders, they are also the top companies in terms of embracing mandatory CSR spending and explicitly reporting about their CSR practices and spending. Companies have increasingly developed sophisticated reporting methods to communicate with their stakeholders about their CSR and its alignment to Schedule VII of the Act. This chapter discusses all these elements, aiming to capture the changing Indian CSR landscape, by analysing the CSR reporting of four leading petroleum and gas companies and also examines the effects of mandatory CSR spending on CSR reporting in these companies. The theoretical lens of institutional theory leads to a clearer understanding of how isomorphisms (coercive, normative and mimetic) have shaped the CSR reporting of companies in the last few years and the extent to which the reports are driven by institutional pressures, for seeking legitimacy.
Shilpi Banerjee

Emerging Concepts from the CSR Mandate in India


Inclusive Business for Sustainable Growth

Inclusive business is a business that provides goods, services and livelihood on a commercially viable basis on the scale to people living in the base of the pyramid by integrating them in the business value chain. It focuses on the poor as business partners rather than just as potential producers or consumers. There is concentration of global wealth in the hands of a few and inclusive businesses may help in de-concentration and enable rational distribution of wealth among all. The mandated CSR in India is not necessarily promoting inclusive business. The relevant provisions in the Indian Companies Act 2013 do not explicitly mention inclusive business, but the spirit is towards inclusive development of the society by utilising the resources of the business organisation. innovation is the key to inclusive business and it helps companies stay relevant. The corporates in India have huge opportunities to innovate and get into inclusive business in various fields crucial to the common man’s needs.
Ajit Pattnaik

Corporate Social Responsibility as an Antecedent of Brand Valuation

This chapter looks at the evolution of corporate social responsibility in the Indian context and explores the conceptualization of brand valuation in an attempt to correlate the two. The chapter looks at the pre and post-mandate era of corporate social responsibility as practiced in India and identifies how and why the regulator’s outlook changed over time. The chapter deduces the implications of corporate social responsibility for brands and branding as a managerial process and what constitutes responsible brand. It looks at some of the major brand valuation methodologies prevalent and identifies the gaps therein; specifically how the aspect of corporate social responsibility which intuitively looks relevant to branding has largely remained untouched. The chapter presents the case for including social responsibility as an antecedent for brand valuation.
Umashankar Venkatesh, Jones Mathew, Anirban Chaudhuri

Corporate Environmentalism, Epistemological Review & Ontological Position

Since recent past, a good number of organizations have voluntarily started accepting green practices to make contributions to the environmental well-being by reducing wastes, developing green products, constructing their buildings in the most efficient greener way, recycling their wastes into marketable products and many other ways to make themselves green. Consumers have started demanding for green products and companies are more than happy to satisfy their demand by producing environmentally friendly products. A quest to reduce cost had led to environmentally friendly innovation that has led to a “win-win situation” for all the stakeholders. By going green, companies are attracting more investors to fund them, which would have remained stagnant otherwise without any funds for expansion. In this article, we have examined the main drivers of Corporate Environmentalism (CE) on a global level such as market forces, government and civil regulations. The article discusses the relation between Corporate Environmentalism with stakeholder satisfaction and employee retention and found positive relations among them. Green firms also pressurize their suppliers and other stakeholders to engage in acts of corporate environmentalism to avoid the criticism of green wash. Corporate eco-efficiency brings the benefits of both economic prosperity and environmental protection and states that “A clean environment is actually good for business, for it connotes happy and healthy workers, profits for companies, developing conservation technologies, selling green product and efficiency in material usage”. The article also explains the environmentalism scenario in Indian subcontinent.
Shekhar Suman, Satyasiba Das

Employee Volunteering Programs: An Emerging Dimension of Modern Workplaces

Globally, companies are considering community and social work as an important part of their business agenda and are framing business objectives and policies that integrate social cause. It is no longer a “nice thing to do” but is becoming critical to spell out business strategy that includes sustainability aspect to maximize business and social benefits. This new thought leadership is no longer confined just to the boardrooms and leadership teams but is being executed through a strong arm of corporate volunteering, i.e., business supporting and encouraging staff involvement directly in the community. In India, specifically the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) statute under the Companies Act 2013 made the companies relook at their philanthropic and community initiatives. This chapter reviews this worldwide trend and the nuances therein specifically in the context of India. It also discusses various aspects of corporate volunteering programs of modern workplaces.
Sukanya Patwardhan


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