1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Towards the end of 1800’s to the early 1990’s the mission of business firms was exclusively economic. During this period, the cardinal purpose of business owners is to make as much profit as possible. To underscore the above assertion, Milton Friedman (1972:88) had contended that the only responsibility of the business is to make as much profit as it can for the owners. Today, partly due to the interdependence of many groups in our society, the values, goals and attitudes of the society changed significantly. This accounts for the complexity in the society in the area of social, economic as well as environmental problems which have been experienced. This situation is in consonance with the view of Ackerman (1973:89), when he opined that the people increased awareness has brought some expectation and demand to bear on companies to be socially responsible to the society in which they operate. Thus we often talk about the social responsibility and social responsiveness of all organizations although the focus of this study shall be on corporate organizations. There is a question as to what the social responsibility of business really means.
The concept of social responsibility is not new, although the idea was already considered in the early part of the twentieth century. The modern discussions of social responsibility got a major impetus with the book “social responsibility of business men” by Howard .R. Bowen, who suggested that business actors should consider the social implications of their decisions, society being awakened with respect to the urgency of social problems is asking managers and owners of business what they are doing to discharge their social responsibility to the society in which they operate given negative social impacts of their business on the society such as pollutions of all kinds air, water, solid waste noise to mention but a few.
The concept of social responsibility refers to the firm’s consideration of and responses to the issues beyond narrow economic, technical and legal requirement of the firm. It is the firm’s obligation to evaluate in its decision making process the effects of its decision on the external social system in a manner that should accomplish social benefits along with the traditional economic gains which the firm seeks for. However, Harper D. (1976) a classical economist consistently argued against the need to do anything that negates profit maximization. He sees business social responsibility as an aberration Harper, (1976).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Oil spillage in some of the oil producing state is alarming and some pollution caused by industries in our country is on the high rate. The problems of the communities where the oil companies operate bring these problems constructively to the attention of the companies with which they have developed regular form for meetings. These companies have created ecological disaster, gas flowing in the communities. Therefore, the problem to be looked into in this research is that a corporate organisation does not bother about their social responsibility to the environment where they operate. Furthermore, poverty, lack of essential facilities and unemployment are increasing is alarming proportion. As a result the needs and expectation of the society are not met by the business organisation.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The corporate organizations naturally have its own mix and different emphasis. The overall objectives of every organisation are survival growth, profit, economic contribution and social obligation. It is known fact that firms in Nigeria usually lay more emphasis on profit maximization. The objective of this research work includes the following:
i. To examine the general attitude of ANAMMCO towards social responsibility.
ii. To examine the consequences of the company ignoring its social responsibilities.
iii. To evaluate the problems which hinder the performance of social responsibility practice by ANAMMCO.
iv. To recommend possible solutions for the identified problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To ensure an in-depth research work with a view to providing best solutions to problems identified, the study will make us of the following four (4) research questions:
i. Could business organisation carryout a successful social responsibility practice?
ii. Should social responsibility be legalized?
iii. In what form should social responsibility be performed?
iv. Where should funds for carrying out these social responsibility programmes come from?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Based on the four research questions already mentioned, the following hypotheses were formulated:
Ho: Business organizations can not carryout a successful social responsibility practice.
Hi: Business organizations can significantly carry out a successful social responsibility practice.
Ho: Business social responsibility should not be legalized.
Hi: Business social responsibility practices should be significantly legalized.
Ho: Social responsibility practices cannot be achieved in any form.
Hi: Social responsibility practice can reasonably be achieved in different form.
Ho: There is no place to source funds for carrying out social responsibility practice.
Hi: There are sources of fund, for financing social responsibility practice.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of the study cannot be over-emphasized given the interdependencies of many groups in our society. The study is therefore important because, it will not only examine the attitude of business organisation towards the issue of social responsibility but will go a long way to help these organisation on policy making decision in order to eliminate the negative effects and consequences of these attitudes in the discharge of social responsibility practices. The study will be of immense benefit to researchers and students looking for more information on this topic.
Another significance of this research is that, it will help in finding ways to improve relationship between the company and the town in which it operates. It enables manager of different organizations to know actually what social responsibility is all about and it will also help them to know the difference between social problem and economic performance. The study will equally be beneficial to private and public sector organizations.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY.
The study, as earlier specified, aims at appraising the social responsibility practice by corporate organizations in Enugu using Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO) as case study. The study is
therefore restricted to the study of the ANAMMCO as a corporate organization in Emene, Enugu.
It is, however, expected that the study of ANAMMCO, Emene, Enugu would give enough information on how business social responsibility can successfully be rendered by other categories of business firms
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In the course of carrying out this research work, some difficulties were encountered. The constraints were however managed; among these were time, materials and financial constraints.
Time factor was one of the constraints faced by the researcher; however, the researcher took time management seriously, as the study was successful. So many useful times was involved to make the study as the researcher had to combine full time employment with the collection of data for the work.
It is not easy for the materials to be collected or obtained due to limited books, journals and other reference materials, particularly obtaining information from the case organization was a tedious exercise, as some
information was termed “vital confidential, or classified” and are out of reach despite the purpose and intentions to which they were requested for, though some management staff and senior supervisors were very helpful as they assisted in providing necessary data that formed the basis for this project write-up, conclusion and recommendations.
Financial problem was also encountered by the researcher in the course of the work. This constraint informed the study of only one corporate organization. Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO). Notwithstanding the above constraints, the quality of the research work could not be impaired.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERM
ANAMMCO: Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company
Ackerman, R. and Bauer, W. (1973). Corporate Social Responsibility; The
Modern Dilema, New York: Preston Publishing Company Inc.
Harper, D. (1976). A View of the Corporate Role in the Society, Houston: Carriage Melon University Press
Milton Friedman, (1972). Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Enudu, T.O. (2005). Corporate Planning in Modern Organizations: A
Fundamental Approach, Lagos: Johnkens and Willy Publications Ltd.