Corporate Social Responsibility: Environmental Problems in China

Corporate Social Responsibility: Environmental Problems in China

Liuxi Wang (Xi`an Jiaotong Liverpool University, Suzhou, China)
DOI: 10.4018/IJOCI.2018100104

Abstract

In recent decades, the study of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become one of the most popular research topics. In the markets of China, CSR has also attracted much attention from either local corporations or multi-national business. They have contributed many efforts to put CSR into effect, which helps CSR to be more practical and influential. By reviewing existing literature, this article mainly focuses on the environmental problems caused by lack of corporate social responsibility in China, which has led to the following research on CSR performance in China and customer view of CSR. The conditions of practicing CSR in China are researched first, and the attitudes of people towards CSR is tested empirically by a questionnaire using quantitative and qualitative research methods. Ultimately, the valid results collected were analyzed in detail along with a few suggestions. This article may help identify some surrounding problems of CSR and advance CSR practice slightly.
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1. Introduction

Bowen (1953), the founder of corporate social responsibility(CSR), firstly put forward that the obligation of corporates is to purse all activities which satisfy values and society. CSR is the social responsibility taken by corporates which beyond the narrow view on the responsibility of their shareholders, which means corporates are required to contribute to society and community. It is presently a developing trend for corporates to take social responsibility as a necessary part of the operation. However, as to the Chinese market, the practicing of CSR is not optimistic at all. To be more specific, most corporations in China lose sight of taking social responsibilities and enhancing the relationship between society and companies. Additionally, for these past few decades, environmental problems are increasingly raising the attention of scholars all around the world. They analyzed various inducement and came out with numerous constructive suggestions to help deal with them. In result, a growing number of conflicts and obstacles turned up due to the different understandings of CSR, which means only a few corporations and customers realize the significance of CSR, while most corporations in China do not take CSR as a part of their operations, and their customers do not take their practice of CSR as a part of checking standard either.

The CSR index for Top 100 corporates in China consists of responsibility management, market responsibility, social responsibility and environmental responsibility (Huang et al., 2009). According to the statistics given in the paper, market responsibility index is 37.6, which is highest among the four indexes, while the weakest part is the environmental responsibility index (Huang et al., 2009). Based on CSR reports, corporate annual reports and corporate official website, the index of corporate environmental responsibility for the top 100 corporations are an average of 27, containing 32 corporations who did not announce any information on their CSR (Huang et al., 2009). With regard to the variety of corporates, central enterprises and state-owned financial enterprises are in the lead, yet foreign-funded enterprises did not publish any information (Huang et al., 2009).

CSR is presently considered to be an efficient approach to harmonize the social contradiction. As a great number of charities are going through the same difficulties, including the shortage of funds, shortage of talents, lack of scale and lack of resources. However, these elements can all be offered by corporates. This is the reason why CSR is more effective than charities to solve social problems. In the process of carrying out CSR, environmental responsibility is the most important field, including environmental protecting management, energy and resources saving and pollution and emission reduction. Therefore, starting with people`s experience on the environmental problems, this paper will study how people understand CSR, which targets at studying current situations of CSR in China, and emphasize the significance of CSR along with a few of solutions. Based on the literature existing, five hypotheses will be discussed supported by the views of corporates found through official statements and views of customers coming from the questionnaire, which will be analyzed in a statistical approach.

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