Antoni Seuren, a student at the University of Leiden (NL), has done the research for his major and degree in Governance, Economics and Development: "what motivates CSR? This article briefly describes his most important findings of the investigation for Rompa.
What is the reason for the thesis?
Some industries are studied more often than others within the CSR discourse, like the petroleum or financial industries. One industry that is studied less in comparison is the plastics industry. This is because the plastics industry does not deal with essential customer needs as much as these other industries. As a result, it has presented a gap in the existing literature. It is important to observe CSR actions in the plastics industry as it is a crucial good needed by many industries. The plastics industry is influential and demands further study on what motivates CSR within this industry. The need for change beckons haste as the dangers of the modern world - social injustice, environmental degradation, economic inequality - become more real. One initiative that tackles these issues is known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR can be defined as the actions taken by a corporation that hold both employees and corporations socially accountable under the dimensions of economic, social, and environmental concern. The point of CSR is that it is the responsibility and choice of corporations to address these modern-day challenges. Similarly, CSR is shown to legitimize corporations in the eyes of the public.
What are the results of the study?
CSR is when companies are conscious of the kind of impact they have on all aspects of society, including economic, social and environmental concerns.
CSR and the values it grants society is highly important in my opinion and I wanted to better understand how CSR can be improved and become more instilled as a business practice.
I thought Rompa would be a great case study to answer this question and build my theses. To my joy, I can wholeheartedly say that Rompa has proven to be heavily engaged in CSR. More so, the Rompa team welcomed me and my project with open arms and did all they could to help me get the data I needed.
I modelled my research to find proof of the so-called ‘CSR driver-chain’. This model examines how incentives that are personal to the decision-maker, in this case, are managers of Rompa, engage managers to participate in CSR. The model also examines how pressures from external stakeholders, like consumers, affect a manager’s engagement in CSR. The model acts to recognize the importance of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, as well as determine which one is found to be more influential in motivating CSR. Considering the role of economic, political, social and ethical incentives, I also looked at the role of consumers, home nation and industry pressures that may influence managers to engage in CSR.
My research finds that evidence for both incentives and external pressures are present in managers decision-making to engage in CSR, proving that the ‘CSR driver chain’ is visible at Rompa. What this means is that it is the combined effect of engaged individuals, like managers, as well as the community of stakeholders that surround Rompa that drive CSR. It is great to see that CSR is such an important and actively considered part of the business at Rompa.
Rompa group values and focuses on achieving CSR goals. They uniquely balance the needs of both internal and external stakeholders to achieve the best results – a result that benefits many. Rompa does not stop there, as even now they continue to improve existing CSR behaviour and develop new CSR initiatives.