CSR Practices by Canon India

Abstract

Nowadays, CSR has become an essential part of many businesses. CSR practices are usually treated as a way of quality improvement. Canon India is a responsible business that stays focused on a variety of sustained CSR projects. CSR activities are considered to be an inevitable part of the company’s vision. The study investigates the implementation of CSR practices by Canon India. Primary and secondary data analysis will represent research data.

 

Primary data will be received from interviews. A case study will provide information about the CSR activities of the Canon company in India. It was revealed that the latter is engaged in a number of CSR initiatives focusing on the local community. CSR practices of the company address the issues of blood donation, education, eye care, blood donation, social welfare, environment conservation, art, culture, sports, disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and others.

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Introduction

Nowadays, companies play an important role in the development of the environment and society since there is a high demand for product marketing. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an integral part of many businesses. More and more companies seek activities that keep their business and activities sound. CSR is often treated as a way to improve the quality of products and services provided to customers. The new tendency is a consequence of the fact that stakeholders demand transparency in organizational communication and expect companies to highlight their influence on their surroundings.

These expectations make companies direct their activities to their external and internal environments (Waller & Conaway 2011). Hence, CSR has become an important part of many companies and organizations. It deals with the company’s attempts to be beneficial to its stakeholder groups. Moreover, if companies want to be trusted by their employees and customers, they should be more socially responsible.

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Canon India is considered to be a responsible business. The company takes pride in being socially inclined and stays focused on effective and sustained CSR projects. Canon India supports the three core areas including Education, Eye Care, and Environment. The company’s CSR policy means working and living together for the common good. Canon India also encourages employees to share and contribute their skills and time towards the causes of their interest, and do their best to improve the quality of people’s lives in the communities the company operates (Canon India Official Website 2010). However, the company faced some difficulties entering the Indian market.

CSR has become a very essential part of the company’s vision. The company uses CSR as its foundation for making socially responsible products, making a commitment to the community, and engaging in socially responsible relations among employees. Therefore, the research will examine the incorporation of CSR by Canon India. The research will also define the CSR and identify the management issues of management and important CSR activities in the Indian context.

The aim of the study will be to investigate the implementation of CSR strategies by Canon India. The main objectives of the paper will be to investigate the incorporation of CSR in Canon India and its impact on the Indian economy and the social well-being of the community. In addition, the research will identify whether the CSR strategy has made any significant impact on the local communities, particularly in the context of their economic, social and environmental well-being.

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Research Questions

  1. What CSR strategies have been adopted by Canon India?
  2. What is the importance of using CSR in India?
  3. What does the company do to improve the lives of local people?
  4. What are the best and the most effective ways for CSR integration into business strategies and practice?

Literature Review

Since the 1990s, the CSR concept has become extremely popular among businesses. In spite of the fact that a lot of big companies had to face CSR strategies, the CSR concept remained confusing for many. Although various companies tried to place CSR at their core strategies. However, the CSR concept formally emerged in the middle of the 20th century and has been used by researchers during the past 60 years. In 2008, the concept of CSR began to serve as the basis for other related initiatives which mostly adopted CSR principles (Carroll 2008).

In the 21st century, the researchers started to focus on the implementation of CSR practices and their impact on business. Hence, the CSR concept was redefined and treated as a way of assessing the impact of enterprises’ operations on society. The CSR principles have been integrated into internal processes and business interactions with stakeholders on a voluntary basis. The European Commission (2011) simplified the definition of CSR. It suggested the meaning of the business responsibility for the impacts on society. This treatment indicated that businesses should integrate the CSR agenda into their core strategies and operations in close stakeholder corporations.

Werther and Chandler (2005) found that CSR added to the creation of brand value. Reputation and brand value are two of the most valuable business assets. Modern consumers are becoming more informed about the CSR values of companies making it the next major element of product branding. It was investigated that the adoption of sustainable business practices led to the ability to attract a better quality workforce (Greening & Turban, 2000) as well as decreased turnover rates, increased commitments among employees, and reduced misconduct.

India has been involved in CSR practices since ancient times. CSR has been known as a charity and social duty. However, its nature has been constantly changing. Traditionally, CSR activities were discharged into society through benefactions for education, medical facilities, and scientific research. At the end of the 20th century, there was a move from traditional and charitable philanthropy towards a more direct business engagement in mainstream development and concern for disadvantaged groups in the society (Gautam & Singh 2010, p. 46). In India, it is widely believed that a business cannot succeed and prosper in a failing society. An ideal CSR, in India in particular, has both philosophical and ethical dimensions as they face an existing gap between groups of people in terms of their income, living standards, and socioeconomic status (Bajpai 2001).

Thus, CSR practices result in productivity increases and enhanced relations with the government and community in general. This leads to long-term relations between the business and its stakeholders (Anderson & Bieniaszewska 2005). In India, the CSR spectrum includes a number of areas as human rights, work safety, consumer protection, environment protection, and sustainable management of natural resources. CSR practices in India focus on poverty alleviation, environment protection, and sustained development. Current CSR practices in the country still have their own characteristics and adopt only some aspects of global CSR practice.

Methodology

A detailed survey of the literature related to the CSR concept and its implementation in India will serve as theoretical underpinnings on the research subject. The research strategy and research approach will be used to explain the way the research questions are addressed. The research objectives will be met with the help of qualitative research.

The research will represent primary and secondary data analysis. Primary data will be collected from interviews and different reports provided by Canon India and previous studies. Secondary data will be received from articles published in textbooks, international journals, e-books, and Internet resources. A case study will provide information about CSR practices of the company and will provide better insight into the researched issues. Collected information will be relevant to the incorporation of CSR by Canon India.

Qualitative interviewing is considered to be a flexible method of data collection as it adjusts to the research, making an emphasis on the most important issues. It also provides a greater interest in the interviewee’s ideas and beliefs. Participants feel free to answer the questions having an opportunity to mention detailed and provide additional information. The participants of the interviews will be anonymous as it will contribute to the honesty and accuracy of answers as well as empirical data trustworthiness. The research will be focused on clarifying the understanding of CSR and getting a better insight into CSR practices as well as their implementation by Canon.

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Discussion

In the modern business environment, companies try to involve activities that may keep the business and social environment sound. Companies cannot be profitable for a long time in case they have poor relations with their stakeholders. They also cannot meet all the needs and demands of their stakeholders and remain profitable. For this reason, more and more companies implement CSR practices in their business. CSR is considered to improve product quality and customer service. In addition, CSR is a helpful tool that can build a competitive advantage over competitors. Hence, companies find it inevitable to have clearly defined business practices that focus on public interest.

Organizations around the world treat CSR as an important factor that creates employee motivation and attracts top-quality employees. It is widely believed that a positive CSR strategy enhances innovation, creativity, learning and, intellectual capital. CSR initiatives help build strong relationships with other stakeholders, host governments, and local communities enhancing a company’s reputation and credibility. They also positively influence decisions related to future investments (Ghose 2012, p. 23).

Companies that operate in India have no choice but to implement CSR strategies. However, they should take into consideration that CSR activities do not give immediate results. The implementation of CSR practices might only help get into a more sustainable environment, add brand value, increase employment of the local population, or meet up to the existing laws. In India, the Canon Company is engaged in a number of CSR initiatives making a focus on the local community. CSR practices of the company address the issues of education eye care, blood donation, social welfare, environment conservation, art, culture and sports, disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and others. The company also supported UNESCO’s initiative called My Country’s World Heritage aiming to create awareness and sensitize the masses about the relevance and importance of the world heritage. It also wanted to interest students in their heritage and history, using photography as a communication medium.

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The company co-worked with Beyond Sight Foundation to support a six months training program to conduct photography classes for visually impaired people in Goa, Mumbai, Goa, Ahmedabad, Mt. Abu, Surat, and Bangalore. On completion of their classes, the best pictures were showcased during the Foundation Days. In addition, Canon participated in the memory walk that was organized by “Alzheimer and Related Disorders Society – Hyderabad Deccan Chapter.” The main objective was to show solidarity for people suffering from dementia. The idea of taking part in different marathons aimed at creating awareness of AIDS. The company’s CSR policy follows the corporate philosophy of Kyosei. It means ‘living and working together for common good’ (Canon India Official Website 2010). Analysis of Canon’s CSR practices has shown that they have a positive influence on the company resulting in increased sales.

The research will focus on the CSR activities of Canon India restricting one’s knowledge of CSR activities of the company in other countries. Only one company will be investigated and general conclusions concerning the implementation of CSR practices in India should be done with great caution. Since the project is limited in time and resources, it will be difficult to perform an in-depth investigation of all CSR practiced implemented by the company and provide a deep analysis of all CSR aspects.

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