Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the buzzword in the corporate world across the globe and it is no different in New Zealand. The CSR is also known by names such as corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, corporate conscience, and responsible business. In fact CSR is management tool used in business where the business entity promotes activities aimed at contributing to society and environment positively (Blowfield, & Murray, 2014). In the simplest form a company can promote CSR activity by making donation to charity. The other way in which a company can undertake CSR activity is implementing waste recycling and reducing the carbon footprint that helps to protect the environment. Many companies undertake community projects like hospitals for the needy and funding schools that exhibit the social responsibility aspect of CSR. It is also represented in the way staffs are treated in the workplace and the management approach of the company (Blowfield, & Murray, 2014).
New Zealand is a country that is known in the world as being clean and green. This is owing to the fact that the country has limited population though in terms of land mass it is comparable to UK and Japan. But despite the image and adoption of public service and economic reforms in the 1980s radically, the initial uptake of CSR in the country is slow with no existence of legislator or investor imperatives (Newzealand.com. 2010). Corporate aiming to include CSR is found to be at various levels low sustainability that gives poor image in the international businesses and it is not clear how the uptake of CSR activities can be increased.
The research would be conducted by the researcher to understand the future of New Zealand corporate social responsibility in International business. As the global warming is the main concern for business community across the world, it is equally important for countries like NZ to include CSR to promote sustainable business in the country and position NZ as responsible corporate in international business.
The aims and objective of the research would be to understand the significance of corporate social responsibility in New Zealand and how the country makes policy for the company to promote sustainable business and make a positive image in the international business.
- What is the role of CSR in protecting the environment of New Zealand?
- What is the future of CSR in International business in New Zealand?
- How can CSR be integrated into corporate to benefit the society in New Zealand?
The significance of CSR in New Zealand is reviewed with the available literature with special focus on the development of the CSR within two set of organization. The first one is the redesigning resource group (RRG) and it was established in 2000 with the objective of fetching the concept of natural capitalism as integral part of the operation process. The second one is the sustainable development reporting (SDR) that operated individually in association with New Zealand business council for sustainable development (Kelsey, 2015). Based on the experience of literature review a framework model is developed that ranked the corporate as facilitator, practitioner and champion, considering the progress made to date. Though it is stated by the organization that they are in the initial phase of a long term initiative, it is found the CSR philosophy is gradually getting implanted with the corporate culture in New Zealand.
The New Zealand and CSR
New Zealand is considered to be small country with a population of 4 million and density of population is low. The main contribution to GDP is made by export from two sectors namely agriculture and tourism products with 20% and 9% share respectively and both depict robust connection to natural environment. The country has highest supply of renewable energy in the developed countries sourced from hydro and geothermal (Kelsey, 2015). It stands at 30
% of consumer energy contributing to 63% of electricity generation compared to 6% of consumer energy in the case of Australia and USA But the argument is to what extent the clean and green image associated with the country has implication the corporate social responsibility.
It is evident from the review of literature that legislation has no role in driving the corporate social responsibility. On the other hand New Zealand is known as the pioneer of the policy of deregulation and the public service & economic reforms undertaken by the country was followed and monitored internationally. An argument made by corporate entity is the purpose of business is doing business so the environmental concern is not the responsibility of business and it is look out of government and legislation (Kelsey, 2015). Nevertheless, the current argument have criticized the corporate and their economic orientation and debated that the corporate social responsibility is the way to promote sustainable development and future of New Zealand in international business.
It is also observed from the literature that New Zealand is dominated by the small to medium scale companies and 66% of the people in the country are employed in business enterprises with less than 50 staffs (stats.government.nz, 2002)). Such enterprises operating under resource constraint have no consideration for natural environment or social responsibility and merely operate to meet the legal compliance only (Blackman, Kennedy, & Quazi, 2013). It is evident from the review of literature that corporate in the country are not in a hurry to adopt the recent global reforms of CSR that is followed by international business. There is also criticism from various sources that most of the CSR activity is tokenism or misguided till date with little effort towards sustainability in the true sense.
But on the positive side, New Zealand is considered by the international business as country with lack of bureaucratic inertia, flexibility and innovation culture. The corruption at the level of governance in the country is low Thus taking the assumption that concept is implicit and accepted, the above mentioned attributes support the uptake of CSR philosophy in a better way in the future (Milne, & Gray, 2013). The momentum is gaining wide support as the level of awareness related with the environmental hazard, social and cultural problems is growing and nature of complexity of governance responses adequately is understood better. To a great extent this support is the result of the healthy corporate governance model though traditional that came into force during the economic reforms that took place in the 80s that responded quickly to the deregulated environment (Milne, & Gray, 2013). The response of New Zealand to the corporate social responsibility trend globally and the prospect of gaining shift in the paradigm owing to the adaptation to the change with relative ease should offer rich experience with better relevancy.
New Zealand companies – Case Study
With partnership from government and corporate and supported by working group have undertaken research with the triple bottom line reporting related with the corporate social responsibility (Tregidga, & Milne, 2006). As observed from the literature the framework of facilitator, practitioner and champion within the two groups explained above namely redesigning resource group (RRG) and the sustainable development reporting (SDR) in association with New Zealand business council for sustainable development is entrusted with the responsibility to decide both the process and drivers to promote the uptake of CSR in the corporate sector in a strongly deregulated environment with small and medium companies dominating in the country.
The RRG designed a program where a group of companies in New Zealand work with the objective of improving the economy while taking care of the environment. The group operates with self funding to a great extent though some support is provided by the government and it involves five business entity that are forming part of this research and there are three more. They represent a broad spectrum of economy with cross section corporate from manufacturing, utilities, retail and professional services (Tregidga, & Milne, 2006).. In the initial stage the companies were motivated by the principles of natural capitalism to restructure their products, services and organization. Some of the company also identified the natural step to be the agent for change with value. As the company participated in the program they were supported by the well articulated statements of buy in from the top management. This acted as the major factors in the change process. Apart from this there was also market advantage prospect available nationally owing to the early adopter on the part of the company.
On the other hand New Zealand business council for sustainable development is alliance consisting of 40 major corporate working with common goal to promoting sustainable business and member of the World business council for sustainable development (WBCFSD). In 2001 to 2002 its SDR project was required to design a guide for business related with the sustainable development reporting for the 10 companies who are members (Sweeney, 2009). The companies represented a wide range and included Telecom, the largest listed company of New Zealand and oil sector BP Oil to agencies providing interface, a small business with eight staff only.
In the context of the private sector companies related with the two groups, four of them namely the Warehouse, Snowy Peak/Untouched world, Hubbard Foods and Macpac has organization structure defined by director-owned and owner operated business and the change process in these companies were easy adopted to the management from the board level. For example the warehouse has become the fourth largest listed company publicly in New Zealand (Blowfield, & Murray, 2014). The sustainability approach in the company has resulted in significant success. The energy management program of the company reported annual saving of US$1.5 million and it helped the control the carbon footprint in terms of emission. Hubbard foods another owner –Director Company related with the breakfast cereals has adopted sustainability approach with niche marketing of homemade wholesome product and the company released its first sustainability report in 2001 (triple bottom line) by taking full page in the major daily.
Thus from the review of literature related with the New Zealand, it is evident that the country is adopting to the corporate social responsibility in a slow way as corporate are not in hurry to implement the global wave of corporate social responsibility (Blowfield, & Murray, 2014). But the lack of bureaucratic inertia, flexibility and innovation culture along with low corruption act as positive factor and with the awareness of environmental hazard and global warming, the uptake of CSR is improving. Thus the future of New Zealand corporate social in international business is toward a favourable trend.
The researcher aim towards using appropriate tools for identifying techniques to understand the objective and aims in efficient and effective manner. It is an important part in the research process as it helps in using different methods for collecting data. It helps in getting insight on the data collection method that would be used by the researcher, sampling method, research approach and design and also ethical issues (Panneerselvam, 2014).
Research philosophy is stated to be the belief a phenomenon that helps in analysing and gathering information by using it (Kumar, 2014). The three types of research philosophy are realism, positivism and interpretivism where the researcher chooses positivism philosophy. Positivism philosophy is believed to be stable in reality by describing and observing it from objective viewpoint. It is based on factual knowledge by gathering it from observation that is inclusive of measurement and trustworthy. The researcher would be having an independent study by having human interest in the present study.
Research approach helps in enhancing and improving knowledge and skills level for having better understanding for achieving objectives and aim. The approach that will be used in the research study is undertaken in appropriate manner by working on specific study (Flick, 2015). The researcher would aim to work on the desired objective by making use of inductive approach. Inductive approach refers to using the research questions and exploring the phenomena from different perspective. It would be working from specific observations to theories and generalizations and it is also refereed as bottom up approach.
There are two types of data collection method and they are primary data collection and secondary data collection. In this research it would be secondary data collection used to gather the required information (Panneerselvam, 2014). The researcher would search for the available literature from the journals, magazines, newspapers, books, websites and peer reviewed article both from online and offline material published on the subject. In this research the future of New Zealand corporate social responsibility in international business is the subject of research.
The keyword is tool used to filter the search process during the research and it plays a significant role in secondary research to seek the relevant information related with the subject of research. In this research the key word would be corporate social responsibility, CSR in New Zealand, future of New Zeeland CSR, New Zealand CSR in International business (Liu, et al., 2006). The Boolean operator namely AND, OR NOT is used along with keywords to narrow down the search criteria. The articles collected from the search are further refined by using the inclusion and exclusion criteria so that more relevant articles are selected for the final literature review in the secondary research.
The research needs to be conducted in an ethical way to make the findings of the research free from ethical issues. The researcher would consider the codes of ethics and laws applicable to secondary research. In context to secondary research the proper citation of the articles used in the literature is one of the major ethical considerations that need to be followed by the researcher (Sachdeva, 2009). The copyright issues and quoting any definition without proper reference can also result is ethical issues on the part of the researcher. The manipulation and misrepresentation of the information from the articles published would also would against the ethics of the research. Thus the researcher would follow the ethical consideration to make the research ethical.
The corporate social responsibility is essential for New Zealand to improve the image of the country in international business. It will help New Zealand to understand the significance of CSR in achieving the sustainability and make the business entity to conduct the business by taking into account the social and environmental impact of the activities (Warhurst, 2011). The country is making a slow progress in the CSR philosophy and this research will create the awareness and thus it has potential to contribute to the knowledge in the area of CSR and sustainability.
The potential problem faced by the researcher in this research is the limited knowledge to make the accurate interpretation from the collected data. The time factor is another major limitation that force the number of articles reviewed for the purpose of achieving the aims and objective of the research (Sachdeva, 2009). The lack of proper literature related with the subject also impacts the findings of the research. The researcher would complete the research within stipulated time and it acts as limitation on the part of the researcher to collect more data for better results.
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