AN ANALYSIS OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PRACTICES OF GSM OPERATORS IN NIGERIA
Studies have revealed divergent views on corporate social responsibility (CSR), especially, with regard to its meaning and the way it is practiced by organisations around the globe. Meanwhile, while a lot of studies have been done to reveal how CSR is understood and practiced in the developed world, not much is known on how companies in the developing countries engage in CSR. It is in view of this fact that this study sought to find out how CSR is understood and practiced in the Nigerian GSM sector. The study went further to find out if GSM users in the South-Eastern part of the country are aware of CSR efforts of the GSM operators. This study met these twin purposes, using the exploratory mixed method design. The study was divided into two phases. Data for the first phase were collected through in-depth interviews of the CSR Managers of the four GSM operators, while questionnaire was used at the 2nd phase to collect data from GSM users (Sample size of 540). Data were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The research was based on one theory (Stakeholder Theory) and two models (Carroll’s Four Part CSR Conceptualization Model; and Wood’s CSP Model). The research revealed that GSM operators in Nigeria princlude the four aspects of CSR stipulated by Carroll – economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic – in their CSR practices. This revelation led the study to conclude that the operators practice a total, mature and interactive CSR in the country. It was also discovered that majority of the respondents have knowledge of the philanthropic and economic CSR initiatives of the operators but lack knowledge of other aspects of CSR they engage in. Meanwhile, the respondents indicated interest in knowing all the CSR efforts of the operators. The study also revealed that knowledge of CSR activities of organisations, positively influence the attitudes of these consumers towards the companies. In view of the findings, the study recommends that the GSM operators should adopt more sophisticated communication strategies that would not only keep all stakeholders informed of their entire CSR efforts but also engage them at the implementation process.