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A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE NEXUS BETWEEN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PRACTICES AND THE PERFORMANCE OF MANUFACTURING SECTOR OF CAMEROON

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A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE NEXUS BETWEEN CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PRACTICES AND THE PERFORMANCE OF MANUFACTURING SECTOR OF CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

In recent years, shifts in business practices, operational methods, and operating environments have posed numerous challenges to business organizations. These challenges include concerns regarding survival, social acceptance, and the attainment of predetermined organizational goals and objectives. However, management teams are preoccupied with determining the most effective strategies to address these challenges while meeting the expectations of business owners. In addition to these challenges, there are additional complexities arising from evolving customer preferences, escalating government regulations, and increasing demands from various stakeholders. Furthermore, the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which includes social or community support, has emerged as a crucial business strategy that forward-thinking organizations cannot afford to overlook if they aim to thrive and operate more efficiently in today's business landscape, where a firm's image and reputation significantly influence its acceptance by society. Although businesses and society have an intrinsic connection, it is necessary for enterprises to practice social responsibility. Business organizations are part of society and the society also rely on it for support and other forms of input. They also rely on society for patronage and other sorts of aid in order to survive. According to researchers like Aluko et al. (2020), in order for a business to survive in the current, intensely competitive market, it must show that it is making an effort to meet the needs of its immediate operating environment and project an image of being a socially conscious organization that cares about the welfare of its local community. 

Moreover, Ukpabi et al. (2018) stress that ensuring organizations meet the diverse needs of their host communities is essential for smooth and successful business operations. Baridam (2019) asserts that businesses failing to prioritize corporate social responsibility risk long-term viability, as societal perceptions of an organization's care factor significantly impact the acceptance of its brand within specific areas. On the other hand, Omodafe and Akparobi (2018) argue that a firm's competitive strength and public acceptance of its products influence overall performance and productivity. The significance of high-performance levels in business organizations stems from their greater likelihood of survival, quality service delivery, high customer satisfaction, and fulfillment of owners' expectations. Additionally, highly performing organizations positively contribute to economic development, improve society's standard of living, and aid in achieving owners' business objectives.

Nevertheless, Nwachukwu (2019) observes that poor performance by business organizations contributes to Nigeria's poor economic development, high unemployment rates, and heightened struggles for survival among businesses. One strategy for businesses to thrive and operate efficiently is through active involvement in and disclosure of their corporate social responsibility activities to attract new customers and cultivate a favorable public image, which significantly contributes to improved organizational performance. Similarly, Siddig and Javed (2021) argue that corporate social responsibility remains a potent business strategy, not only for outperforming competitors but also for facilitating organizational growth within society. In essence, by prioritizing both financial success and community welfare and development, organizations can enhance their performance in today's highly competitive business environment. Therefore, a survey will be conducted to critically assess the nexus between corporate social responsibility practices and the performance of manufacturing sector of Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

According to Gupta (2020), the rationale behind businesses engaging in social responsibility activities lies in their ability to enhance customer attraction and retention, thereby leading to increased product sales, improved market shares, and higher profitability for organizations. However, Dhaliwal (2019) argues that involvement in corporate social responsibility enables organizations to achieve relative superiority in performance and enjoy the benefits of reduced costs of owner's equity.

Additionally, despite the numerous benefits associated with corporate social responsibility, Boafa and Kokuma (2018) asserts that involvement in social responsibility activities does not necessarily result in positive impacts on the financial performance of organizations. Nevertheless, there is a notable absence of evidence regarding the connection between corporate social responsibility and organizational performance, encompassing both financial and non-financial metrics. While some literature exists on the impact of corporate social responsibility on environmental and societal aspects, there remains a significant gap in understanding how corporate social responsibility directly enhances organizational performance, largely due to a lack of documented evidence regarding its benefits.  Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to critically assess the nexus between corporate social responsibility practices and the performance of manufacturing sector of Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to critically assess the nexus between corporate social responsibility practices and the performance of manufacturing sector of Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Determine whether there is a significant relationship between corporate social responsibility and the performance of manufacturing firms in Cameroon

Ascertain the corporate social responsibility practices adopted by manufacturing firms in Cameroon.

Evaluate the impact of corporate social responsibility on the organizational performance of manufacturing firms in Cameroon.

Identify the challenges encountered by manufacturing firms in the implementation of corporate social responsibility in Cameroon

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

Is there a significant relationship between corporate social responsibility and the performance of manufacturing firms in Cameroon?

What corporate social responsibility practices are adopted by manufacturing firms in Cameroon?

How does corporate social responsibility impact the organizational performance of manufacturing firms in Cameroon?

What challenges do manufacturing firms encounter in the implementation of corporate social responsibility in Cameroon?

1.5  Research Hypotheses

H0: There is no significant relationship between corporate social responsibility and the performance of manufacturing firms in Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between corporate social responsibility and the performance of manufacturing firms in Cameroon.

1.6  Significance of the Study 

The outcomes of the research will provide advantages for potential private investors interested in Cameroon, as well as for future researchers exploring similar academic areas. Those conducting the study will have the chance to apply research methodologies and theories in practical situations. Upon completion, the management staff and clients of Total Kampala Limited will utilize the results to enhance their comprehension of strategic management and social responsibility within their workplace. Additionally, governmental bodies and policymakers within various sectors will utilize the study's findings to craft policies aimed at bolstering strategic management and corporate social responsibility within organizations. Ultimately, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. 

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is to critically assess the nexus between corporate social responsibility practices and the performance of manufacturing sector of Cameroon Empirically, this study will determine whether there is a significant relationship between corporate social responsibility and the performance of manufacturing firms, ascertain the corporate social responsibility practices adopted by manufacturing firms, evaluate the impact of corporate social responsibility on the organizational performance of manufacturing firms and identify the challenges encountered by manufacturing firms in the implementation of corporate social responsibility in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to staff of manufacturing sector in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.9 Definition of Terms

Corporate  Social Responsibility: (CSR) refers to a company's commitment to operate ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of its workforce and their families, as well as of the local community and society at large.

Performance: is how effectively a company is implementing its CSR initiatives and programs.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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