Dirani, Ali El
Uncovering the role of human resources in corporate social responsibility: case evidence from Lebanon.
University of Southampton , School of Management ,
Over the past two decades, the interest in the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within both the academic and practitioner discourse has been rapidly increasing. CSR has developed to become a strategic objective for many organizations, with the credibility of CSR hinging on implementation as statements. This thesis aims to explore the role that Human Resources (HR) can play in CSR strategy development and implementation. Through a systematic review of relevant literatures on CSR and HR, the researcher highlights important CSR-HR interfaces and proposes a newly synthesised conceptual model, the CSR-HR value chain, which captures the CSR domain and strategy, and the domains of HR’s added values into CSR and their metaphor roles and outcome benefits. This research adopts two main theoretical frames when building the CSR-HR value chain and its initial proposition. The first frame is the strategic approach for CSR understanding and practice that draws on previous CSR models especially the CSR domains and social responsiveness approach in addition to the stakeholder theory. The second frame is the strategic HR partnership framework which includes the resource based view of the firm as a base for evaluating HR’s conurbation into CSR. Within this theoretical background, the research’s main proposition is for a strategic HR partner role within a strategic CSR approach.
The CSR-HR value chain model and its embodied proposition were evaluated within the context of four organizations operating in Lebanon, a country which is witnessing a recent evolving interest in the strategic application of CSR within both the academic and managerial contexts. Within each organization, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a wide range of stakeholders in addition to gathering and analysing secondary documentation data related to the examined phenomenon. Empirical findings revealed that the role of HR is mainly being operational on the short-term range focus practiced mainly within a philanthropic CSR approach. The plausible explanation for the role of HR in CSR was thus identified and the factors affecting this role were discussed. This research contributes to knowledge through presenting the model which uncovers the role of HR in CSR and its outcome benefits. Also, this research contributes to managerial practices, especially for HR managers seeking to assume more strategic roles in CSR through providing them with the guideline for HR’s domains of added value into CSR, and the dynamics and factors shaping the role of HR in CSR.
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