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Taking Responsibility for Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Leaders in Creating, Implementing, Sustaining, or Avoiding Socially Responsible Firm Behaviors

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TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: THE ROLE OF LEADERS IN CREATING, IMPLEMENTING, SUSTAINING, OR AVOIDING SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FIRM BEHAVIORS Article

Social Responsibility – individaul project

By: Ms. Sarah Balbahaith – 200007073

Faculty: Dr. Shamim Siddiqui

Summer Semester 2015, HBMSU

Main purpose of the article

The article is shedding light on the influence of the leaders on corporate social responsibility and corporate social irresponsibility. Both corporate social responsibility and corporate social irresponsibility activities try to combine scholarship on individual traits, behaviors, and shared leadership that is drawn from the leadership literature. As we can see from these combinations that it has a good impact on emerging work on servant leadership and it shows us the big benefit that will happen if the corporate social responsibility was merged with leadership literature, also it will provide new types of individual level questions to search when making such connections. Each one of them provides a benefit to the other and each one of them strengthen the other. Corporate social responsibility reserve and offers context and outcomes to leadership scholars, while leader literature provides models and explanatory mechanisms to corporate social responsibility.

The main purpose of the main article is to show the difference between corporate social responsibility and leadership literatures and what the benefit that will get if we merged them. Corporate social responsibility shows a growing organizational phenomenon with implications for practitioners, scholars, and society. It is an organizational phenomenon with a lot of unanswered questions that requires the researcher to dig and dig to find answers especially those ones which focus on whether a positive linkage between  corporate social responsibility and corporate financial performance ( CFP). The practitioners interested in understanding and promoting corporate social responsibility activities, as well as managers force to engage in corporate social responsibility because the organization need this activities to run the business in right, ethical and legal way. These needs are responded by turning organizational leadership scholarship to anatomize what it uncovers about corporate social responsibility. In the corporate it is the individuals who implement, sustain and create such policies for corporate social responsibility for the firm. So, by merging the corporate social responsibility and leadership literatures we are going to inform and benefit the both of them. The leadership literature provides an organizing framework that enables us to synthesize work in order to understand the link between leaders and corporate social responsibility.

Working in organization within a team or the organizational level it falls into three categories of theory:

  1. Theories about individuals as leader that include the traits, personality, skills, abilities, and charisma.
  2. Theories about processes that include the context of the interaction between leaders and followers.
  3. The third theory which is the most recent one, which is the theories about shared or distributed leadership.

The article contains two tables that talks about selected studies which link between corporate social responsibility and leaders. The tables contain the key terminology of the studies, the theoretical perspective, the explanatory variables and the outcome variables. The evaluation from this we can say that it is an important thing to emerge between corporate social responsibility and scholarship literature to use the benefits that might get from this merging to build the company with new policies and activities that are ethical. 

Main areas of discussion and arguments

One of the main areas that the article shed light on is the individual as a leader. In this point the article discusses that the firm or the company have to understand the top leader or manager characteristics           because these characteristics will affect the way that he will make the decision and choices for the firm. Working in a corporate will require using the strategic management theories instead of the implicit leadership theories and we use it to link leaders to the corporate social responsibility. Agle and his colleagues made a study to find what the relationship between leaders and CSR is; they used a lot of resources and references to help them and they found out that CEO have values and these values will affect their decision of the firm in way or another, but these decisions will be for the sake of the company. (1999)

The relationship and the effect between the both leadership and corporate social responsibility can occur in any firm and occur over the time. As we know that leaders are not like other people, leaders are people who can make a decision and select a choice with knowing the percentage of success and fail, also leaders can guide a group of people and motivate them to work with power, teach them about integrity, confidence and how to act and work in way that will benefit the firm. (Mann, 1959)

The leaders are using the five traits of personality to be right in taking actions and choices. Chatterjee and Hambrick say that corporate social responsibility will be impact the traits of the organization and the leader. (2007) the negative side from the leaders can lead the company to big trouble. So, the first point talks about the leader’s behavior and characteristics.

The second point talks about leader processes at work. It talks about the way that leaders work or do their job. They influence the organizational structures of the firm, they identify, analyze and response to the social and political environment. A new theory of leadership was discovered to explain corporate social responsibility behavior by using the transformational leadership. This theory shows that leaders have to activate the employees who are following them and aspire them in order to help them to perform beyond simple transactions and base expectations. (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009, p. 428)

Moving to the transformational leadership, they affect others behavior when leaders convince employees that they can achieve the level they want to achieve, when share values and when they help followers to think in a unique and innovation way ,and when they make a new relationship. Transformational leadership links the leader behavior to corporate social responsibility.

The third discussion in the article talks about Beyond Individual Effects. This effect shows that leader influence among individual in order to lead the whole group to the achievement of organizational goals. (Pearce & Conger, 2003, p. 1)

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