Corporate Social Responsibility is a business approach whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interactions with stakeholders on voluntary basis. It helps business entity to contribute towards sustainable development of economy by contributing social and environmental benefits.
2.1. Vodafone: Company Background
Vodafone UK is a provider of telecommunication services in United Kingdom and it is a part of Vodafone Group, which is the worldorganizations second-largest mobile phone company. It enters into telecommunication market in the year 1982 by launching first ever-cellular telephone calls.
Company operates through 480 stores located across UK which is engaged in sellinghome and business landlines, broadband, mobile phone handsets and SIM offers, etc. Vodafone has rebranded its networks and image with slogan: "The future is exciting. Ready?"
3. Theoretical concepts in CSR.
3.1. Core Characteristic of Corporate Social Responsibility is a business approach whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interactions with stakeholders on voluntary basis.:
There are certain theories that governs Corporate Social Responsibility some of them are as follows:
- Voluntarily: CSR is deeply connected with values and not with laws. They can be promoted, taught or awaken and cannot be forced on any organization. It implies that senior management team along with Board of Directors actively guides CSR programs implemented by firm. Company where senior managers are more involved in Corporate Social Responsibility result is better as they know the connection between profitability and CSR (Bauman and Skitka, 2012).
Vodafone views Corporate Social responsibility as an integral part of its business operations. Company has launched The Vodafone Wayto enrich the lives of people. This refers to enriching lives of their potential and existing consumers. Firm emphasis on removing Gender pay gap system and work on promoting gender equality.
- Managing Externalities: The term externalities refers tp positive or negative impact of consuming or producing for the third party that do not relates to the product. For instance, if consumption of goods is proved beneficial to third party then it means positive externality and vice versa. Increasing Pollution in environment is the example of externality.
The company internally and externally aspires to be the best in their respective sector/ industry through sustainable development, ethical business practice, working on areas of governance and environmental stewardship. Vodafone is exploring the potential of communications technology to reduce CO2 emissions and create a Low carbon future for the world (Blindheim, 2015).
- MultipleStakeholder-Orientations: This concept defines as those group or individuals who can affect the achievements of company's objectives. This group includes distributors, shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers. Companies needs to evaluate viewpoints and criticism of stakeholders and clients served by them. Stakeholdersorganization opinions help company, by providing direction and innovative perspectives that results in forming of stronger corporation.
Vodafone has developed multiple channels to engage its stakeholders. Company works to provide effective network , great value products and excellent services to consumers across UK, It has set high standard for their suppliers through Code of Ethical Purchasing (CEP). It covers important issues including human rights, Child and forced labour, freedom of association and environmental management (Bondy, Moon and Matten, 2012).
Vodafone implies their Corporate Responsibility by reviewing the views and thoughts of their customers, employees and other stakeholders of firm.
- Practices andValues: It refers to the ideals that group of people embraces, Values and Practices can be both negative and positive. These are the ideals and beliefs shared by members of particular culture and have major impact on behaviour of people.
Vodafone emphasis on conducting a sustainable development, in a such way which will be beneficial for both organizations as well society as whole. Firm creates an environment of employee engagement and advocacy, so that each staff member can succeed and flourish.
- Social and Economic Alignment: Corporate Social Responsibility acts as marketplace driver and a risk mitigation strategy. The company internally and externally aspires to be the bestin their respective sector through sustainable development, ethical business practice, working on areas of governance and environmental stewardship. The strategy formulated by firm should embrace corporate responsibility and considers it as an important factor for future viability. Vodafone aim is to provide funding and skills to help vulnerable people lead safer, fuller and healthier lives. Employees within organization support this vision and mission of company by raising funds, volunteering and lending their skills. Vodafone is building communication technology by improving lives and advancing business across the globe.
- Philanthropy: The term refers to desire of promoting the welfare of others, especially through generous donation of money to good cause. Vodafone has reached beyond Philanthropy as the firm not only contribute in growth and welfare of society but it believes that growth will be there by engaging their Employees, Resources and operations.
Vodafone is trying to build low carbon future and save energy through their network by reusing old equipments where possible cutting down of usage of paper is done.
The future trends in CSR are;
- Shared Value: It refers to Management strategy that focuses on companies creating measurable business value by identifying and addressing social problems related to their business. Vodafone is trying to build a low carbon environment and reduces carbon footprint of telecommunication industry (Korschun, Bhattacharya and Swain, 2014).
- Human Social Responsibility: This implies that organization took help of employees and human social contacts to fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibility. Vodafone takes help of employees and other stakeholders to fund their charity work and help vulnerable people live better life with access to basic amenities.
- Employee Engagement: This term refers to increase engagement of employees within organization. It results committed and passionate employees who are loyal to company and put discretionary efforts in their work. Vodafone has built an environment to retain their competent and skilled employees by increasing their engagement in fulfilling CSR.
- Impact measurement: It refers to the process of finding out what is outcome and effect on people, firm and external environment of performing particular activity . Vodafone has evaluated the impact of various Corporate Social Responsibility programmes conducted by them (Bravo, Matute and Pina, 2012)
3.2. Theories of CSR:
Stakeholders implies to those individual or group through which the organization interacts at every level or any individual who is affected by the actions of business entity. This theory helps firm to look out the ethical obligations within the organization and to maximise their profits and revenue, firms must consider their stakeholders. Stakeholder theory act as part of motivation to companies to be responsible and accountable for their actions. Get Do my assignment Help by Australian Writers.
Vodafone has build an effective stakeholder system and it communicates it vision to their stakeholders including 84,990 employees. It analyse key stakeholders on assessment of their interest and the ways in which these needs and demands affect the project viability (Ma, 2012).
Further, company runs on model of IMMC which means to Identify the needs of Stakeholders. Measure the impact of those needs over organization operation. Manage the needs and interest of stakeholders effectively. Change their system of Stakeholders Analysis in order to be effective and meet current needs.
Carroll's Pyramid of CSR:
It refers to the framework that helps on how and why organizations should meet their social responsibilities. It builds on the basis that the need for a business to ensure it complies with all laws and regulations and the foundation of Carroll's Pyramid is profit must come first”.
It includes four dimensions i.e.:
- Economic Responsibilities: Vodafone has made effective Marketing Strategies to attract more consumers to use their services and products. Company achieve their targets by optimising their cost.
- Legal: Vodafone oblige to all the laws and regulation that governs telecommunication network in UK. It follows the Health and Safety Regulation Act, further, firm is comply to new General Data Protection Regulation.
- Ethical: Company has set high standards for Vodafone suppliers by implementing Code of Ethical Purchasing. Further, the training and briefing packs help our employees monitor suppliers performance. Vodafone help their partners and suppliers to create greener products and services (Carroll's CSR Pyramid.2018).
- Philanthropic: Vodafone donates on developing vulnerable communities of the world through different foundations like; The Vodafone Foundation, World is Different, etc. Further, Company motivates their employees to be the part of their CSR programme.
Three-Domain Model of CSR:
The model contains three issues which are; Legal, Ethical and Economical. The intersecting circles model of Corporate Social Responsibility contrasts with shortcomings of Carroll's pyramid model on two basis which are:
- It recognises the possibility of interrelationship among CSR domains.
- Secondly, it rejects the hierarchical order of importance (Osloviti, 2015).
This model incorporate philanthropic under the Ethical domain. It draws manager attention to the overlapping nature of the CSR domains and sets out the interrelationships among them as the central issues of the Corporate Social Responsibility management agenda. This model helps to recognise the anticipated points of tension among the different domains.
3.3. Strategic approaches used in fulfilling their community responsibilities.
Strategic planning of Corporate Social Responsibility is a essential step for any organization, irrespective of the size of business and geographical location. Adopting a Strategic approach not only help to meet social and environmental expectations of society but helps firms to discover and penetrate into new markets, expand their products and service offering along with this build competitive edge for company. Strategic approach adopted by Vodafone is :
Vodafone is working hard to reduce down their carbon footprint through cutting down their energy use. Company choose renewable energy sources for their operations. It has implemented a new system that uses air cooling: a series of small fans that carry heat out of the base station cabin. This brings a positive result as 90% less energy is been used in compare to traditional air conditioning. Company has build an Environment management system that provides a framework to manage their environment responsibilities efficiently and meet targets and goals set by them. Further, it takes comprehensive review of Environment Management System and it shows that it is fully comply to ISO 14001.
It has engaged their employees in meeting their Environment goals by launching Make Pledge, a campaign to help employees make simple changes to reduce their carbon footprint. Company has launched Climate Change Team Room for consumers to advice on energy saving and share ideas (Cheng, Ioannou and Serafeim, 2014).
Company resold the used handsets to lower-income countries and reusable equipment is sold to developing countries, improving access to telecommunication. Further, paper is a major source of waste, firm is working with HP to reduce and monitor their printer use. Customers of Vodafone are encouraged to sign for Paperless billing and almost 600000 consumers have made the switch.
To build a competent team Vodafone has launched ergonomics” which includes three things i.e. Effective communication network within Organization, Focusing on Training and development of Employees. Internationalisation.
People at all levels of company can benefits from training and education. It invested sum of 3 million on training of employee this year. Around 300 employees at contact centres received support in basic literary, numeracy and IT skills.
Vodafone is building physical activities to motivate employees to be healthy and fit. It has build a method to evaluate causes of accidents within campus and outside so to prevent them in future. Further, to assure job safety of each employee company has set up occupational safety” for staff members at all levels. More over, Vodafone has emphasis on building a diversify culture by encouraging disabled people to join organization and get equal opportunities like others (Farooq and et. al., 2014)
To help community across the globe to flourish and enjoy equal human rights company has established different programmes like; World Difference Programmes, where each employee is paid to work for charity of their own choice. It has developed a Life-tracks, new initiative to empower and equip young people to achieve their ambitions. The aim of programme is to get half million people back into work in the next three years through online and offline initiatives and support (Kim and et. al., 2016).
The Vodafone Foundation is a registered charity organization which is funded by Vodafone Group. Every employee at Vodafone UK can take paid time off each year for volunteer purpose. Vodafone employees at Newbury can take a chance to explore and help children to brighten their future through Take Chance.
Developed sustainable CSR strategy.
This part of report includes recommendations based on analysis of Vodafone Corporate Social Responsibility Strategies. These are:
Vodafone need to use more renewable energy in order to cut down carbon emission. Company should developed and build a renewable energy sources like; Solar Panel, wind Power and Hydroelectricity energy. This will help to reduce dependency on government provided energy fuels. Further, it will help company to reduce down their electricity bills and create Low maintenance Costs.
Company should build a strong network to collect old handsets from their users and consumers. It should work on making services like FREEPOST Vodafone Recycling accessible to all customers across the globe so that more handsets can be re used. The customers of Vodafone should be encouraged to be the part of this initiative by offering discounts on bill payment and other initiative.
Vodafone should pay more emphasis on Employee training to waste management and reducing electricity consumption. Further, it should provide guidance to their employees on reducing the energy consumption of their network infrastructure and achieve their target set for the same (.Skudiene and Auruskeviciene, 2012).
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Vodafone faces many issues concerning difficulties at their workplace. In the current research for Vodafone reveals that 23% of UK employees feel unproductive at work which accounts to seven million of the nation's total population. In order, to drive up productivity Vodafone needs to create a digital workplace with upgraded technology to encourage employees to be motivated and work efficiently.
Company should work more over retaining, hiring and maintaining a competent and skilled labour force to build a competitive advantage over their existing rivalries. Vodafone needs to build a better environment and network for employees to enhance their productivity (Tai and Chuang, 2014.).
To build a better world for poor and needy people Vodafone needs to create strong network for raising funds for such people. It must evaluate the money spend by them should make bigger impact on lives of people. Further, Vodafone must work to serve more effectively to their users and bring down the complaint rates against them. Company must provide all required information in their user manual on how to operate the product and must show prevention measures related to health issues.
Vodafone should encourage Impaired and Women employees to join Company and received equal opportunities within organization. This would help to provide global platform to empower women by gaining new perspectives and facilitating a connecting relationship with Women.
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This report concludes that it is important for company to fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibility as part of there function. Vodafone has revealed itself as a brand that cares about the environment, community and its workforce. It has successfully incorporated all the six core characteristics of CSR approach which are; Voluntarily, Managing externalities and Philanthropic. Further, Vodafone has set as an excellent example of using Stakeholder Theory of Corporate Social Responsibility by implementing Stakeholders Analysis and evaluating their needs and interest.
- Bauman, C. W. and Skitka, L. J., 2012. Corporate social responsibility as a source of employee satisfaction. Research in Organizational Behavior. 32. pp.63-86.
- Blindheim, B. T., 2015. Institutional models of corporate social responsibility: A proposed refinement of the explicit-implicit framework. Business & society. 54(1). pp.52-88.
- Bondy, K., Moon, J. and Matten, D., 2012. An institution of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in multi-national corporations (MNCs): Form and implications. Journal of business ethics. 111(2). pp.281-299.
- Bravo, R., Matute, J. and Pina, J. M., 2012. Corporate social responsibility as a vehicle to reveal the corporate identity: A study focused on the websites of Spanish financial entities. Journal of Business Ethics. 107(2). pp.129-146.
- Cheng, B., Ioannou, I. and Serafeim, G., 2014. Corporate social responsibility and access to finance. Strategic management journal. 35(1). pp.1-23.