Careers in Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR ) : : Corporate Social Responsibility Job Description
The post liberalized and globalised Indian Economy is witnessing shrinking role of state and growing role of corporate and business sectors in overall development of the country. Corporates with their wider reach, professionalism, innovation and resources have the ability to influence the pace of growth and development. In a recent survey by TERI it was found that the public expectations from corporate and business sectors are growing. Indians feel that business sector must play a wider and more expansive societal role. In addition to providing good quality products at reasonable – prices, companies should strive to make their operations environmentally sound, adhere to high labour standards, reduce human rights abuses and mitigate poverty.
Corporate Social Responsibility Definition :
Corporate Social responsibility in the past few decades has intrigued not only the scholars but the practitioners as well. It is ‘essentially a concept whereby companies decide voluntarily to contribute to a better society and a cleaner environment’ ( European Commission, 2001 ). Companies consider themselves as an integral part of the society and act in a socially responsible way ( European Commission, 2001 ). Till very recently it was viewed as philanthropic activity indulged into only when the firms were in jeopardy. But it is now viewed to be inclusive, broad and diverse. CSR is now viewed as integral part of business strategy to minimize the business risks linked to uncertainty. Though the critics are of the view that CSR is nothing but Corporate Conspiracy to Snatch Resources ( CSR ), in the name of CSR.
Corporate Social Responsibility Jobs :
Most of the multinational corporates have their CSR wing and Deptt exclusively dedicated for doing community development and CSR activities directly or indirectly in the vicinity of their operations. In other companies CSR is running under HR or Environment Department. They recruit professionals from social work, rural development and other developmental fields to undertake and manage the CSR activities of company. It is observed that companies whose operations directly impact the nature like mining, manufacturing, power generations etc have CSR wing quite active to tackle the grievances of nearby population and engage the stakeholders. In green field projects we have seen corporate giants and Government struggling hard to get the land acquisitions and Resettlement and Rehabilitation ( R & R ) issues solved, here also CSR professionals are in great demand. Due to the diversity of this career area, opportunities exist within the private, public and voluntary sectors. It is important to highlight that many CSR roles may not be titled as such but their job content may reflect CSR activities.
Private Sector : Larger companies may have CSR departments or have CSR functions located within particular areas including Marketing, Communications, Environmental Management, Public Affairs, Investor Relations, Finance, Operations and Human Resources. Opportunities are also opening up in the large accounting and consulting firms, many of which are trying to compete with the niche CSR consulting firms by offering their own CSR client services.
Public Sector : CSR career options can be found in national government agencies, PSUs and international organizations. Nonprofits and Research – There are a wide variety of nongovernmental organizations ( NGO’s ), industry associations, think tanks and academic institutions engaging in learning and / or advocacy within the CSR arena. Such groups promote and examine the use of CSR concepts within the private and public spheres. For example:
Corporate Social Responsibility Professionals :
There is no such thing as a typical career path in CSR and there is no single professional body at present that represents the needs and interests of all those working in the field. This is due to the diverse disciplines involved and also the complexity of the roles and responsibilities of a CSR practitioner. The process of establishing and responding to the CSR agenda within an organization will require specialists with specific CSR competencies.
Corporate Social Responsibility Qualifications :
There are no specific qualifications required for this field but there are an increasing number of qualifications becoming available at Masters Level and as part of MBA courses. The professional courses like Master of Social Works (MSW) MBA in rural development and Post Graduate Diploma in Rural development offered by different universities and reputed institution may be right option for career in CSR. This is hard to clarify due to the diverse roles and range of disciplines involved. Though the major skills required for successful CSR Professional are : Corporate Social Responsibility Communication Skills
- Business Skills ( including building Insight, Communication Skills, Decision Making, Commercial Awareness, IT, Innovation, Strategic Awareness, Leadership, Handling Complexity and Problem Solving ).
- Social Skills ( including Adaptability and Empathy, Influencing without Power, Open Minded, Integrity, Political Awareness, Self – development and Learning, Building Partnerships, Team Working and questioning “business as usual” ).
- Technical Skills ( including Technical Expertise, Understanding Impacts, Stakeholder Dialogue, Internal Consultancy, Selling the Business case, understanding human rights and understanding sustainability ).
From above three skills, following 6 core competencies are listed for managers involved with CSR in organizations :
- Understanding Society
- Building Capacity
- Questioning Business as usual
- Stakeholder Relations
- Strategic View
- Harnessing Diversity
About Corporate Social Responsibility :
- Browse relevant websites and job listings – build up knowledge of what skills, qualifications and experience are being asked for.
- Check out the following reference books.
Corporate Social Responsibility Ethical Careers Guide Business Ethics Section :Corporate Social Responsibility Sustainable Development :
- Consider joining a CSR network.
- Organize an internship, work experience or voluntary placement.