Nairobi's five star hotels corporate social responsibility programmes and their impact on society
Mutimbi, Kathurima Jane
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Corporate social responsibility, otherwise known as CSR, has been defined as the continuing commitment by businesses to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families, as well as the local community and society. Studies have shown that businesses can no longer ignore communities within their areas of operations otherwise they risk harmonius coexistence. For many companies, managing CSR is no longer seen as an extra cost or burden. Rather, CSR is increasingly viewed not only as making good business sense but also contributing to the long-term prosperity of a company and ultimately its survival. Being a good neighbour and showing that a business cares for the society on one hand and being a successful business on the other are principles of modern CSR. However, companies that occasionally plan and implement CSR programs without consulting the intended beneficiaries are bound to have insignificant impact within communities. The broad objective of this study was to establish "5" star hotels' CSR programs and their impact on society. The study adopted a descriptive survey research with the target population of 208 that comprised of: "5" star hotel managers, community project managers, and the project beneficiaries. Purposive sampling was on hotel managers, community project managers, nd the project beneficiaries. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview guide. Both open-ended and structured questions were used to collect data from the managers while a semi-structured interview guide was used to collect data from the project beneficiaries. A likert scale, based on the five levels of satisfaction, was used to measure the impact of hotels' CSR on the beneficiaries. Data was analysed using both qualitative and quantiative techniques. The main findings of this study were that the selected hotels had policies on CSR, an indication that they were committed to CSR issues. However, research findings further indicated that hotels preferred to support projects already initiated by the government, churches and other agencies rather than initiating their own. It was also revealed that hotels CSR programmes were donations which were mainly in form of foodstuffs, old hotel linen and utensils, provision of stationary to schools and also refurbishment of school facilities. Although the beneficiaries indicated that they appreciated whatever help they got from the hotels at the time of offer, those needs were only subdued for a short time. The study concluded that although hotels' CSR projects satisfy immediate needs of communities, those projects did not make any long term economic development within the intended communities. Hotels' CSR projects satisfy immediate needs of communities, those projects did not make any long term economic development within the intended communities. Hotels' CSR programs cannot be said to make any significant impact when donations are intermittent and short term based. With regards to this conclusion, the study recommends that only way hotels can be true to CSR philosophy is by making efforts to initiate their own community projects that are sustainable and truly contribute to economic development of the intended beneficiaries.