CSR in India – Steering Business towards Social Change
The concept of businesses giving back to society is as old as commerce, variously known as charity, philanthropy, social work, etc. With the advent of modern businesses, this giving back is more systematised and is variously known as CSR, sustainability, corporate citizenship or shared value.
Still, CSR is often unstructured, ambiguous and nebulous, in part because it deals with subjects that often defy precision and standardisation. Being an evolving discipline, CSR lacks a universally agreed theory to address issues of organisation, structure, strategy, culture, frameworks, etc. that are standard for other corporate disciplines.
The Companies Act, 2013 has added to the complexity by ‘mandating’ corporate spends on CSR, directing where such money is to be spent and requiring Board and senior management attention. For too long CSR in India had been left to non-directional, haphazard do-gooding; ‘Governance’ — the process through which decisions are taken — of CSR through the law is expected to inject greater professionalism in the full range of CSR operations.
This book is a contribution to the effort to reduce some of the nebulousness that characterises CSR and bridge the gap in systemic formality between CSR and other disciplines. It is expected to be a reference book for corporates, a handbook for practitioners including NGOs and implementing partners and a resource book for academicians.
The book draws on international and national best practices, academic theories and examples from ground-level work. It is designed as a go-to publication for all facets of sustainability, both operations and governance, to improve accountability and transparency of all constituents of CSR.
“The book combines philosophies, guiding principles and measurement frameworks of the diverse and qualitative subject of corporate social responsibilities. It looks at all intervening stakeholders and helps them understand and perform their respective roles. Additionally, it explores the symbiotic relationship of each participant in the ecosystem. This is a handbook for corporates, NGO partners, academics and everyone who wishes to immerse in the subject.”
Co-founder and former Chairman, NASSCOM“The book is a perfectionist’s work in letter and spirit. The CSR-concepts to cases, strategies, program impact, regulations as well as roadmap are well blended in the book. CSR may truly bring social sea-change as well as benchmark for corporate, if applied and the book lays out steps how to achieve this.”
Secretary General, ASSOCHAM”“The book traces the genesis of modern CSR in the context of a business and its journey from philanthropy to stakeholder responsibility to create a just society. This is especially important in a country like India with its large income and social inequalities. The book offers an alternative framework and guidance to help companies bring the CSR discourse to the boardroom, practitioners and citizens.”
Founder and CEO of Infoedge (India) Limited and Co-founder and Trustee of Ashoka University“The book provides a comprehensive discourse on the evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The authors narrate history of corporate greed and its scant regard for any social responsibility and thereby debate the usefulness, if any, of mandatory CSR spend by corporate.”
Professor (Finance & Control), Faculty-in-charge, Director, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP), Indian Institute of Management Calcutta“There are very few books on CSR. This book by Kshama Kaushik is a great addition to the involvement of business in the welfare and development of society. The spirit of giving has moved from charity to philanthropy and to citizenship and now global sustainability. The book opens your eyes to the development and evolution of CSR thought in India and globally. The non-profits involved in CSR must read this book and will find ittruly useful.”
CEO, HelpAge India and Member, NGO Task Force, Planning Commission of India“Kshama brings her recognizable style of blending concepts and practice to produce a book that covers both do what and do how of CSR. The book elegantly demonstrates why businesses need to be steered towards CSR and how.”
Professor, Management School, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand