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MBA Dissertation Proposal

Introduction

This dissertation aims to measure the level of consumers awareness about CSR (corporate social responsibility) in such countries as the United Kingdom and Qatar. On the whole, this concept is relatively new; it came into existence at the end of the twentieth century, particularly, in the late eighties. According to it, any company or organization must pursue not only its own financial interests but consider the welfare of the community as well (Idowu & Filho, 2008). It is quite possible to argue that in advanced economies the role of customers and their attention towards the ethical side of the business have become immense mostly because their markets have passed through many stages of evolution, while in developing states the principles of CRS have not been popularized (Belal, 2008). Yet, this is just a hypothesis that may be either substantiated or refuted.

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Literature Review

At first, it is critical to review the literature available on this topic. At this stage, the key task is to compare the definitions and interpretations of corporate social responsibility, trace its evolvement from the historic perspective (Besser, 2002; Harrison et al 2005). Secondly, we need to describe international practices: namely, how the tenets of CRS are implemented in different regions of the world. Finally, we will need to examine current CSR policies in the UK and Qatar (or other Arabian Gulf countries) as well as peoples interests and attitudes toward them. The study of scholarly works will give us a better understanding of this issue and also set the stage for further research. It can help during the construction of the survey and analysis of the findings.

Research methodology

Statistical Survey In the course of this investigation, the statistical survey will be the main method of collecting information. The sample population will be approximately one hundred people both in the UK and Qatar. In this research, we intend to apply the method of stratified sampling, which means that the subjects will be selected according to certain criteria; namely, educational background (the minimum requirement is college degree) and income level. Undoubtedly, such an approach can lead to bias but it is the only possible way to carry out this research. The thing is that we need to interview people, who can understand the concept of CSR as well as its constituent parts. Furthermore, they need to be sufficiently well-to-do in order to qualify as consumers of goods and services. The data collection will be done either face-to-face or via the Internet.

The participants will be asked questions on a wide range of topics, for instance, their opinion about civil liabilities of private companies and the ethical side of their business. Secondly, it is necessary to inquire whether consumers pay attention to the firms operation standards such as environment protection, the safety of labor, hiring policies, charity, participation in the life of the community, and so forth. We will also examine their views on ethical consumption. The questionnaire should also investigate media coverage of CSR issues in the UK and Qatar (For more detailed information please refers to the Appendix).

The survey would rely on the use of closed questions, which require only a short answer. We intend to employ a five-item Likert scale in order to better capture and describe clients awareness about CRS. It should be borne in mind that the survey must not contain too many questions; fifteen or twenty will suffice. A larger number would significantly slow down the process of research and most importantly it would be more difficult to engage the participants.

Findings and analysis

At this stage, our major task is to identify whether there are any similarities and distinctions in the level of consumer awareness and concern for corporate social responsibility in the UK and Qatar. We shall need to score and describe Likert items and identity the response average. It is necessary to analyze items separately because each of them reflects a particular aspect of this problem such as attitude towards the policies of the business, level of awareness, media coverage of CSR, and so forth.

Case Study

It may be helpful to describe a particular situation that illustrates the relationship between customers awareness of CSR and the policies of private businesses. For this purpose, we will select an international company that operates both in the UK and Qatar (or other Gulf countries) and describe its participation in public life in these countries. Namely, we will compare its production and labor standards, concern with environmental protection, charity, and so forth. Additionally, it will be necessary to uncover the reasons why this firm has adopted such policies. Our primary goal is to determine whether its practices depend on the specific region or these variables are not connected with one another.

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Conclusion

Provided that this investigation is carried out effectively, it will measure the level of consumers awareness about CSR in two countries that differ from each other in terms of economic development, political system, and cultural tradition. This study can also identify the similarities and distinctions existing in public opinion. The research can be further continued. For instance, we can focus on those factors which shape peoples opinions of corporate social responsibility. The results of this study can be employed for practical purposes such as attracting peoples attention to the practices of the companies.

References

Babbie, E. R (2009). The Practice of Social Research. Wadsworth. Cengage Learning.

Bethelehem, J. G (2009). Applied Survey Methods: A Statistical Perspective. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Belal, A. R. (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting in Developing Countries: The Case of Bangladesh. Burlington: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Besser, T. L. (2002). The Conscience of Capitalism: Business Social Responsibility to Communities. Westport: Praeger.

Corbetta P. (2003). Social research: theory, methods and techniques. New York SAGE.

Evers, H. Schrader H (1994). The Moral economy of trade: ethnicity and developing markets. New York: Routledge.

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Idowu S. O. Filho W. L (2008). Global Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility. New York, Springer.

Harrison, R. Newholm T. Shaw D (2005). The ethical consumer. London: SAGE

May, T. (2001). Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process. Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Tully, S. (2007). Research Handbook on Corporate Legal Responsibility. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Appendix: Questionnaire

  1. Do you think that private companies must bear civil responsibilities?
    1. Strongly Agree;
    2. Agree;
    3. Neither Agree nor Disagree;
    4. Disagree;
    5. Strongly Disagree
  2. Do you think that companies should primarily follow ethical principles rather than commercial ones?
    1. Strongly Agree;
    2. Agree;
    3. Neither Agree nor Disagree;
    4. Disagree;
    5. Strongly Disagree.
  3. Do you agree that consumers must consider the policies of a particular business while buying a certain product?
    1. Strongly Agree;
    2. Agree;
    3. Neither Agree nor Disagree;
    4. Disagree;
    5. Strongly Disagree.
  4. While choosing a product or service do you pay attention to the organizations labor standards and workers rights?
    1. Always;
    2. Frequently;
    3. Occasionally;
    4. Seldom;
    5. Never.
  5. Do you think it is necessary to reject the companys goods or services if it pursues unethical marketing strategies, and violates of environment protection laws?
    1. Strongly Agree;
    2. Agree;
    3. Neither Agree nor Disagree;
    4. Disagree;
    5. Strongly Disagree.
  6. Do you agree that corporate social responsibility is essential for the welfare of the community and effectiveness of the enterprise?
    1. Strongly Agree;
    2. Agree;
    3. Do not know;
    4. Disagree;
    5. Strongly Disagree.
  7. How often do hear about corporate social responsibility in mass media?
    1. Always;
    2. Frequently;
    3. Occasionally;
    4. Seldom;
    5. Never.
  8. Do you believe that consumers should be more aware of companys social responsibilities?
    1. Strongly Agree;
    2. Agree;
    3. Neither Agree nor Disagree;
    4. Disagree;
    5. Strongly Disagree.
  9. Should the government enhance social responsibilities of the private business?
    1. Strongly Agree;
    2. Agree;
    3. Neither Agree nor Disagree;
    4. Disagree;
    5. Strongly Disagree.
  10. Do you take interest in the social activities of the companies, operating in your country?
    1. Always;
    2. Frequently;
    3. Occasionally;
    4. Seldom;
    5. Never.

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