Determinants of Sustainability of Corporate Social Responsibility Projects by the Mobile Phone Service Providers in Kenya
Gila, Jaquinvidah Achieng’
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) does not present a challenge to any intellectual within Kenya, especially as to its outward meaning. The term is, however, still a vocabulary to many illiterate and semi-illiterate Kenyans who barely understand what it implies. Even to the intellectuals, the objectives, the basis and the underlying principles behind CSR are remotely within their realm of knowledge. CSR is, however, a powerful tool in the hands of corporate players for not only endearing themselves to the local communities, but also for enhancing the profit margins as well as build corporate brands, if well managed. The study focuses on what ails the CSR projects‘ sustainability in Kenya, with specific emphasis on the mobile phone service providers in Kenya. The mobile telephone industry has been chosen for this study primarily due to the daily impacts of its CSR projects in sports, educational scholarships as well as disaster-management response. Their significant presence in the East African region as well as their strong corporate brands, it was projected, eased collection of data on this area of study. The study utilized the information on CSR to be obtained from industry. The researcher used descriptive research design with a target population of 588 completed CSR projects from which a sample of 59 completed CSR projects was selected through stratified sampling technique based on the various organizations under study. The researcher employed open-ended as well as close- ended questionnaires and strove to obtain responses from the sample population. Descriptive data analysis was employed in analysing the data presented in the study. Ultimately, the research findings that good government policy like tax incentive, high profitability in companies for them to undertake CSR ,community involvement in CSR activities and Good management style and adequate risk assessment was directed towards making appropriate recommendations for restructuring the CSR projects and practices, not only by the mobile phone service providers but also by all the corporate players in Kenya, towards making them more responsive to business needs of the corporations while enhancing their products and services amongst the population. In conclusion, CSR needs the joint participation of key stakeholders like the company, government and community for its sustainability. The four variables studied of government policies; corporate profit, community involvement and management style have all indicated an effect on the sustainability of CSR projects. It is recommended that government put in place good policies that support CSR, Communities get involved in the projects and management put in place sound risk management processes and profit sharing policies for the sustainability of CSR projects. These recommendations will go a long way in pacifying the public perception of CSR projects and building public confidence in the corporate brands that actively initiate and support CSR projects across communities.