Corporate social responsibility provides competitive advantage in an evolving business environment.
By Tatjana de Kerros
The current economic and social climate in the UAE has put competitiveness, sustainability and responsible business at the top of the agenda. Whilst corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices have been controversially associated with improving brand recognition and enhancing a company’s reputation, this has neglected CSR’s potential of improving efficiency, productivity and market orientation. Rather, having a CSR strategy embedded within a business model not only serves in gaining a competitive advantage by increasing reputational appeal; but responds to changing stakeholder demands in an evolving environment.
The Dubai Chamber and PepsiCo launched the first comprehensive study of CSR and corporate governance in the UAE, finding 42% of respondents believe CSR increases productivity. However, 66% of companies in Dubai cited that a lack of awareness and financial resources prevented them from taking part in CSR initiatives.