Confirmation of the Research Topic
The topic of this research read as follows, “Exploring the CSR Activities of Oil and Gas Firms: A Case Study of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC).” The researcher was interested in investigating the CSR activities that ENOC is currently undertaking in various regions where it operates. This topic is very important because it seeks to determine the approaches that ENOC is using to give back to the society. Its activities have massive negative impact on the environment, especially at the mining fields. It is appropriate for the company to come up with activities that may counter the negative consequences its operations have on the environment. This topic is also very relevant to my academic research. It offers an opportunity for the researcher to investigate the relevance of CSR as a remedy to some of the negative consequences of a firm’s operations. It offers the researcher an opportunity to practically investigate the CSR activities to determine their benefits to the natural and social environment.
Background of the Research Topic
Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) is a government-owned oil corporation that extracts and exports oil. It is the leading oil company in the region and exports its products to the global market. However, its activities, especially at the mine fields have caused massive environmental pollution. As a researcher, I believe that this company is responsible to the society and the environment within which it operates. It needs to give back to the society as a way of compensating for the negative consequences its activities have on the environment. Corporate social responsibility offers the best opportunity for the firm to redeem its image. The CSR activities at ENOC are specifically meant to reduce environmental degradation and human suffering caused by the oil pollution. The choice of colour in its shows its focus on peace and environmental conservation. Colours are always of significance, especially in communicating the values of a firm (Wicks & Harrison 2012, p. 90).
Explanation of Research Questions
The researcher understands the current efforts made by ENOC to protect the natural environment. The research questions used in this study were meant to identify specific issues about the CSR activities that ENOC is currently undertaking. The first question sought to investigate if CSR initiatives adopted by ENOC are aligned with some of the existing theoretical frameworks. This would be important in enhancing such theories, especially if they are considered successful to the firm. The second question was meant to determine some of the weaknesses of the CSR strategy that ENOC is currently using. This would make it possible to make some recommendations on improvements that can be made on the strategy to eliminate these weaknesses. The third question focused on that ENOC can improve its CSR activities in order to achieve the best results. The firm has even created Green Room in its offices as a way of emphasizing on the need to protect the environment. The questions were based on these known facts.
Summary of Literature Review
CSR may be considered an act of philanthropy, but there are some fundamental differences between the two. While philanthropy is an act of giving without any form of responsibility attached to it, CSR is a responsibility of a firm because of its activities within a given society. Many firms consider it as a long-term marketing strategy that helps in winning the trust of the public. It goes beyond what the law stipulates in defining the activities of a firm. It involves being accountable to the stakeholders of a firm, especially the society within which its operations cover. According to Hopkins (2007, p. 112), CSR is a social contract that a firm makes with the public. In this contract, a firm will undertake some philanthropic activities expecting the society to pay back through increased sales of its products. Other scholars consider it a concept of power that makes allows the firm to be integrated with the local community.
A section of scholars have argued that CSR offers business entities legitimacy to operate within a given society. It helps a firm to assert its position in the society as a member that is concerned about its well-being. Other scholars consider CSR as a contextual process that a firm needs to address specific issues that its activities might have caused in its normal operations. The Stakeholder Theory helps explains the relevance of CSR in organization. It holds that a firm should be responsible to all its stakeholders. The only way of being responsible to the society is through CSR activities. CSR helps a firm to protect the environment and to show concern for the society, two of the three pillars of sustainability. Given the high rate of pollution associated with the oil and gas industry, CSR is the best way to remedy the impact it may have on the environment. This explains why ENOC has actively been involved in CSR activities.
Identification of Methodology
In this study, qualitative research methods was considered the most appropriate in collection and analysis of data. In this context, the researcher used unstructured interviews in order to collect data. The questions used were open-ended, which means that the respondents were able to explain their views without the restrictions that is always associated with the structured questions. As Rosman, Saihani and Yusof (2013, p. 67) note, the open-ended questions are very important in descriptive research. The population was rather large, and it was necessary to a sample a manageable number of participants. Simple random sampling was used because it helps in eliminating biasness when identifying the participants who will participate in the research. The researcher observed ethics during the data collection and analysis process. The identity of the participants were protected in order to avoid victimization because of their opinion.
Justification of Methodology
The researcher considered qualitative methods to be appropriate for this research for a number of reasons. When investigating the issue of CSR at ENOC, this method would allow the researcher to get the views of the respondents that will help explain this firm engages in the activity, and the benefits generated out of it. It will be helpful in understanding the impact of CSR on the performance of an organization. (Bailey 1994, p. 67). The following are some of the factors that make this method superior. This method allows the respondents to answer the questions based on their own understanding. When using this method, it is easy to gather the attitude of the researcher towards the subject of the question based on their responses. The method also enables the researcher to gather information about the firm that would not have been collected when using quantitative methods.
Evidence of Data Analysis
The researcher analyzed nine question based on the responses that was obtained from the participants. In this presentation, we will focus on the first three questions. From the first question, it was confirmed that ENOC values CSR as one of the integral activities meant to promote positive relationship between the firm and the community within which it operates. From the second question, it was revealed that this firm has actively supported environmental conservation groups in their attempt to protect the environment from pollution. It has also sponsored various sporting events both locally and internationally as a way of promoting talent development across the world. From the third question, the researcher was able to establish that CSR activities were integrated into the marketing strategies of this firm as a way of making it part of its strategic objectives. This has helped the firm to align its CSR activities to its vision.
Summary of Findings
ENOC has dedicated a lot of effort in CSR activities. The respondents in this study stated that the management of this firm has been faithful on their need to give back to the society in various approaches. ENOC has a good reputation not only locally, but also in the international society. This good reputation came as a result of a concerted effort by the management to transform this firm from a business entity that is just focuses in making profits, to an entity that is concerned about the society within which it operates. The participants noted that over the years, ENOC has been engaged in various CSR activities meant to promote environmental concerns. According to findings, ENOC has successfully integrated its CSR activities into its overall marketing objectives. As Brooks (2006, p. 67), it is an alternative approach of marketing. The firm appreciates the relevance of marketing as a way of promoting a firm’s brand and products in the market. As shown in the two diagrams, ENOC is not only committed to environmental conservation, but also in other social events such as sports.
Conclusion and Recommendations
It is clear from the above discussion that ENOC considers CSR to be an integral part of its marketing activities. It has been actively been involved in various CSR activities meant to promote environmental conservation and in elevating the living standards of the less fortunate in the society. This has helped in promoting its reputation in the market, leading to increased profitability in the firm. The following are some of the recommendations that this firm should consider to improve its CSR activities.
- The top management should consider increasing its budget on CSR activities in order to expand its scope.
- The firm should involve the local communities and authorities in its CSR activities such as tree planting. This will make them feel that they are part of the firm.
- The firm should a unit within the department that is specifically responsible for CSR activities.
List of References
Bailey, K 1994, Methods of social research, The Free Press, New York.
Brooks, I 2006, Organisational behaviour: individuals, groups and organisation, Pearson Education Limited, Essex.
Hopkins, M 2007, Corporate social responsibility and international development: is business the solution?, Earthscan, London.
Rosman, H, Saihani, S & Yusof, N 2013, ‘Attitudes towards corporate social responsibility among budding business leaders’, Social and Behavioural Sciences, vol. 107, no. 11, pp. 52-58.
Wicks, A & Harrison, J 2012, Stakeholder theory, value and firm performance, University of Virginia, Virginia.