From charitable activity to social responsibility

From charitable activity to social responsibility

With changes in management literature in recent decades, the expression "social responsibility" is replaced for "charity activities". This issue is important on that when it is talk about "charity activities", this image comes in minds that someone intends to do something by his grace and goodness; whole, these activities are now considered duty of private sector. Social responsibility has changed not just in terms of necessity and nature but in terms of range; in past, charity activities included helping orphans and needy people and in the next stage, construction of religious, health and education sites; while the new concept of social responsibility is beyond this. Currently, in addition to helping the needy people which is done personally and construction of health and educational sites, the measures of enterprises for preserving environment, modification of social damages and improvement of the conflicts of human society are done within the framework of social responsibility. The responsibility of economic enterprises in removing the problems of human society is now wide and almost the same as the responsibility of governments and the enterprises play some role by financing and planning for such issues and being presence in local, national and global non-governmental organizations. Nowadays, the private sector has found more highlighted place in programs, meeting and international conferences that follow issues of human society and the role of private sector has increased in problem-solving, spending and paying the problems of human society. The fact is that our private sector has entered the contemporary concept of social responsibility by some years or some decades delay. The expression "Social responsibility" might have been considered less in Iran enterprises until 10 years ago while more than 40 years pass from the time when the concept of social responsibility of corporate social responsibility or CRS entered in management and business literature. Based on this delay, the presence of private sector in social activities has remained traditional for longer time. In past 10 years, big and leading enterprises of private sector have considered some places for social responsibility in their structure; some have created certain management similar to their foreign partners or included this issue in congruent management such as public relations and customers' realms and defined some projects in this area. Some enterprises have dealt with the issue of environment or education areas; some have implemented some projects concerning poverty alleviation and performed some common works in social campaigns with non-governmental organizations and institutions including areas such as supporting working children, issues of health area, fighting with addiction and supporting female-headed households. Yet, the range of these measures is small in terms of depth and expansion in our private sector. So far, enterprises of private sectors have increasing challenges due to crisis, economic instability and sanctions and have not been able to play their role competently. It is natural that when private sector suffers from essential issues and problems, first, it should take care of itself to be able to stand and then pay attention to society. Nowadays, compared to leading countries, our enterprises are smaller in terms of size of enterprise and traditional in terms of managerial approaches since new teachings of management have not been trained in our country as it should be done and modern approaches to management have not merged and used and we have less managers who have studied new teachings of management. Thus, our small and medium enterprises and relatively old managerial approaches have contributed to failure of enterprises in performing their social responsibility. In new period of economy in our country, as our interaction with the world has increased and so private sector becomes more familiar with updated trends of business, management and role-playing of private sector in other countries and try to model them; moreover, since there is more opportunity for private sector with gradual decrease of economic problems, I'm optimistic that private sector could increase its speed in performing social responsibility. Chamber of commerce that has dealt with this issue in a few past years should have greater role in social responsibility. In this period, we donate designed labels of social responsibility to enterprises that have played some role in this area and have certain framework for social responsibility. Moreover, we try to increase the speed of private sector through educational and promotional jobs.