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Downloaded by universiti teknologi malaysia at 2213

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developing nation of Bangladesh. Further, while some CSR studies have been conducted in Bangladesh, a study of the banks has not undertaken. This study then is the first to observe the CSR reporting practices in Bangladesh banks, and presents an insight into CSR reporting practices in this developing nation. The paper proceeds as follows: first, an overview of CSR is provided, incorporating the definition and SRA, historical development, benefits, and prior research in the Banking sector. This is followed by a brief summary of the Bangladesh economy, and the types of CSR studies undertaken in this nation. The aims and objectives of the study are then outlined. The paper then explains the methodology, and results, and concludes on the basis of the findings. Overview of CSR CSR has been defined as: [. . .] the integration of business operations and values whereby the interests of all stakeholders, including customer, employees, investors, and the environment are reflected in the organization’s policies and actions (Smith, 2002, p.42). Kok et al. (2001), add that CSR is: [. . .] the obligation of the firm to use its resources in ways to benefit society through committed participation as a member of society, taking into account the society at large, and improving welfare of society at large independently of direct gains of the company. In summary, CSR is the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development – working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve the quality of life, in ways that are both good for business and good for development (World Bank, 2005). The concept of SRA is tied with the ‘‘triple-bottom-line’’ accounting, and includes, information about the company’s financial well being, its employees’ and community well-being, and the environmental impacts of its operations (Adams, 1999). In relation to SRA, Bernhut (2002, p.18) stated that the objective of socio economic accounting is ‘‘to internalize the social costs and benefits to determine a more relevant and exhaustive result that represents the socio- economic profit of a firm’’. Abrol (2002) noted that SRA is the measurement and reporting of cost and benefits relating to socially responsible actions taken by business firms. It may be carried out through publication of a list together with disclosure of the cost of each activity. SRA includes aspects like control of pollution, energy, health and safety measures, employment, community involvement and donations to educational institutions and charities. Overall, SRA is an important vehicle to evaluate the accountability of business towards society (Habibullah, 1989) Origins of CSR reporting The origin of CSR reporting can be traced back to the early 1970s (Mathews, 1997). During this time the subject was relatively underdeveloped, and empirical studies were less sophisticated, mainly descriptive and the development of numbers of social accounting models (e.g. Estes, 1976; Linowes, 1972; Ramanathan, 1976), whereas philosophical discussions were limited (Mathews, 1997).
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