Integrating New Visions of Education Models and CSR 2.0 towards University Social Responsibility (USR)

Integrating New Visions of Education Models and CSR 2.0 towards University Social Responsibility (USR)

Catalina Soriana Sitnikov (University of Craiova, Romania), Claudiu Bocean (University of Craiova, Romania) and Sorin Tudor (University of Craiova, Romania)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1842-6.ch013
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Currently, the adoption of a specific approach to business activities that highlights the strategic importance of corporate social responsibility hereafter CSR is the most important element influencing the existence and continuity of an organization. Thus, there is not a surprise that universities shall identify, in terms of own activities, the possibility to lead their orientation beyond teaching-learning process, towards the operations and institutional activities. At the same time, recent decades have experienced the failure of CSR as a way of doing business, govern or provide solutions and evaluate ethical issues and, thus, of the need to apply and implement a new approach - CSR 2.0. The transition from the current CSR, or 1.0, to CSR 2.0 requires the adoption of five new principles—creativity, scalability, responsiveness, glocality, and circularity—and embedding them within organizations management and culture. The paper will unfold towards two steps: the first, dedicated to the correlation between education (Blessinger's models and frameworks elements) with business (based on higher education business models), and the second, represented by integrating the new built model with the concepts and principles of CSR 2.0 developed by Visser. The new framework can be used to manage the context and processes of a socially responsible university as part of a world influenced by CSR 2.0 principles.
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At present, at small scale, there have been both successes and numerous enhancements in the light of CSR practices and its application at the level of various projects and activities. However, internationally, the aggregate of elements that indicates social, environmental, ethical behaviour normality, is declining.

In 2011, Porter and Kramer admitted that during the last years, the companies have been seen often as the main cause of the social, environmental and economic issues. Increasingly, companies were perceived as flourishing at the expense and on behalf of the communities and, even worse, the more they have started to focus on and implement corporate responsibility, all the more they have been regarded as the main responsible for society failures.

The evolution of companies’ responsibility usually covered five overlapping eras - the era of greed, philanthropy, marketing, management and responsibility. An era may be regarded as a predominant and specific culture or context (Visser 2011).

The reason why the current CSR or CSR 1.0, through its defensive, charitable, promotional and strategic ways of showing itself, it is unable to solve some of the most visible and problematic challenges at the global level, is determined by the fact that it is characterized by three fundamental constraints:

CSR 1.0 tends to be

  • Peripheral,

  • Marginal, and

  • Uneconomical.

In 2013, Visser stated that although it should be recognized that the way in which CSR has been practiced in the past has led to its failure, this does not require, automatically, that a new type of CSR, which will recognize its limits and will reform itself, shall be submitted, in the future, to failure. Therefore, Visser has named the new approach to CSR, the transformative CSR, or systemic or, in short, CSR 2.0. The new approach to CSR is based on five principles, represented by

  • Creativity,

  • Scalability,

  • Responsiveness,

  • Glocality, and

  • Circularity.

In the new approach to CSR 2.0, actions will be carried out by both specialists and by each specific principle and dimension of CSR 2.0, which are an integral part of a company’s activities and processes.

In this new environment and context and founded on this new approach, universities do not and cannot survive as autarkical systems, without being clearly and directly connected to all areas of the society.

Reflecting and highlighting the roles played by universities this century, it is clear that they need to get involved and contribute to the evaluation and amendment of:

  • Policy (political power and restricting the possession thereof, the evolution of democracies, conflict resolution, a critical public and civic leadership),

  • Of economy (liberalization, globalization through economic development, a balanced distribution of income and wealth),

  • Of technologies (technological progress, sustainable development, social responsibility, as well as the limitations of dangerous technologies),

  • Of society (discussion of values, cultural progress, social development through value and civilization progress, individuality in solidarity, care given to common property of society),

  • Welfare and human development from the perspective of public health (disease prevention, medical treatment limitations, medical ethics and social responsibility),

  • Of social dimensions (eradication of poverty, hunger, social differences in terms of wealth-poverty connection),

  • Of education and research (reforming education plans, internationalisation of research and teaching, educational networks focused on the improvement of education in developing countries, participation and integration of the disabled, minorities in the educational activities, scientific progress and knowledge advance), and

  • Of ecology (the prevention and mitigation of global warming, climate change, natural disasters, water scarcity, pollution).

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