Corporate Social Responsibility as an Integrative and Communicative Change Management Strategy

Corporate social responsibility is based on the overall assertion that organizations are connected and dependent on each other (Windsor, 2001). The interaction between an organization and the society often involves people; the members of the society and the company’s employees.

Therefore, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an effective tool for people management, and is in this regard necessary for the integration and communication of change within an organization and to the society.

This role of CSR as a change management tool provides that organizations should use it in its control and planning implementation process in matters that deal with social and environmental impact of business activities. As a business organization carries out its activities, changes are likely to occur which affect the relationship and engagement of the business with the society within which it operates.

CSR is therefore an important tool in integrating and communicating change within an organization so as to enhance effective business management and development.

Corporate Social Responsibility may be viewed as a business strategy that communicates and integrates change in an organization through regulation of people, leadership and organizational structure.

This communicative and integrative process is composed of four communication levels – awareness, understanding, commitment and change. These levels of communication may be engaged in CSR using an effective flow of information throughout the system of an organization as well as involvement and dialogue among individuals within the organization.

Corporate Social responsibility policy may be used by an organization to create awareness concerning its operations and to foster an understanding of the company by its employees and other stakeholders. It also leads to organizational commitment and change towards sustainability.

Change within an organization may be enhanced by creating CSR interest through shared value model whereby the social welfare of the society is considered by a company in its business. In order to thrive, a company needs a healthy and educated workforce, an enabling environment, and a functional government. Corporate Social responsibility can be used to that effect. This enables the firm to compete effectively in the market and enhance organizational and change management.

Social accounting is also a CSR practice which can be used by companies to account for its actions. As a result, the company can be able to make relevant changes to its actions.

According to Sirkin, Keenan and Jackso (2005), change management involves such key stages as identifying the changes needed, establishing key issues, assessing key stakeholders, seeking support from key players, identifying the bottlenecks, determining the level of risks involved and understanding resistance to change and how to overcome it.

These change management steps require the use of CSR in order to attain a sustainable change management strategy. Through social accounting, for instance, a company can be able to communicate the social and environmental effects of its economic actions to relevant stakeholders in the society at large. As a result, the company will able to assess key stakeholders as part of its change management process.

This practice is an emphasis of the element of corporate accountability. Crowther (2000) suggests that “Some companies produce audited annual reports which address sustainable development and CSR issues (Triple Bottom Line).

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