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Corporate Social Responsibility in a Manufacturing Company: a Case Study of Flour Mills of Nigeria (fmn) Plc

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Corporate Social Responsibility in a Manufacturing Company:

A Case Study of Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc

Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been defined as a managerial obligation to take action that protects and improves both the welfare of the society as a whole and the interest of the organization (Certo, & Certo, 2009). It has however been opined that that there is no single accepted definition of Corporate Social Responsibility but have been identified with two main objectives; benefiting business and society (Malnight, Keys, & van der Graaf, 2009). These two objectives and range of their potential benefits are depicted in the following figure:

Adapted from December 2009 McKinsey Quarterly Journal

Many organizations have been mandated by relevant organizations to implement this aspect of managerial obligation but its compliance has been limited to host nation's relevant business operation rules, awareness, organizational policy and the incumbent management policy or the viability of the business of the organization. While many argue the importance or relevance of CSR in business organizations, Richard Daft is quoted to have been assertive in its importance and this is shown in his diagram representation below:

Adapted from Richard Daft's Managing in Turbulent Times

The manufacturing sector, a sector that focuses on producing goods that are necessary for modern life from raw materials, is often a profit oriented business enterprise that finds footing in most societies of the world today (Brooklein, 2009). It therefore has a lot of importance in further awareness and the implementation of social responsibility programs. A careful study of the adoption of this program is therefore worthwhile to the field of management.

Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc is an established conglomerate that specializes in food manufacturing. What started as a small company in September 29, 1960 has grown into a highly diversified group with a comprehensive portfolio of quality products focused on food production, agro-allied, cement, packaging, logistics and infrastructural support services. FMN Plc has recently instituted a unit for Corporate Social Responsibility. This unit is responsible for suggesting and implementing management approved social responsibility programmes. A successful review of the activities of FMN Plc's initiative with regards to CSR may help her improve the CSR unit and showcase the hard and soft benefits of social responsibility.

Scope Definition

The scope of this study is to identify the adoption and a preliminary review of CSR in FMN Plc in terms of concept, structure and existing projects; completed and on-going.

Bounds Definition

This study does not include the detailed analysis, critique and recommendation of FMN Plc's adoption of CSR.

Brief Global History of CSR

CSR can arguably be said to be a concept that developed from the consequences of industrial revolution. It has been reported that as economic activities in many communities moved from agriculture to manufacturing, production shifted from its traditional locations in the home and the small workshop to factories (Porta, 2009). Activities of industries has since affected the lives of people, and more relevantly, in adverse ways. This prompted governments and international organizations like UN initiate institutions and policies to promote this. While CSR is supposed to have broadly stemmed out of the need for sustainable development, the blueprint was set out at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro (the first Earth Summit) (Noyer, 2008). Looking back though, there are evidences that suggest the widespread agitation and usage of the concept of CSR as far back as the 1960s with the scope changing ever since (Corporate Social Responsibility, 2011).

History of CSR in Nigeria

The public outcries and associated social disturbances in some regions of Nigeria are not unconnected to the adverse effects of operations of public and/or business organizations (Aderemi, 2010). A prominent example is the Niger Delta youth civil unrest that has been closely associated to the activities of the oil companies in that region of Nigeria and verbal, socio-political and legal protests on the infamous Pfizer Inc. drug test scandal where Trovan antibiotics experiment were administered on children during a meningitis outbreak in Kano in North Western region of Nigeria.

Nigeria has been suggested as perhaps the first country in the world to legislate

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