Vasanthi Srinivasan, Associate Professor in the Organisational Behaviour & Human Resources Management area at IIMB has been working on a research project on developing teaching and learning resources on business ethics and corporate social responsibility.
The CSR Education and Research project is a partnership between British Council India, International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR) Nottingham University, UK and the Centre for Corporate Governance and Citizenship, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. It is intended to enhance, expand and promote CSR education and research between Indian and UK business schools.
The broad aims and objectives of this project are to:
•Develop and strengthen CSR curriculum in business schools
•Develop and disseminate CSR teaching and learning resources
•Strengthen research capabilities between the partner schools
•Identify joint collaborative research opportunities
•Create a professional CSR network
•Engage and introduce CSR networks for students
A significant outcome of the research is the Teach CSR website: www.teachcsr.com
Vasanthi Srinivasan explains further:
Q: What was the genesis of this project?
Srinivasan: This project was initiated in April 2007 when I was at the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at Nottingham University for three months as a Visiting Scholar. The primary focus was to develop a curriculum on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a post-graduate programme for Indian B-schools.
I soon realized that there were different notions on CSR, depending on the particular world-view, and that the approach to the subject from the North American and European perspective is vastly different from that in India. Context, therefore, is critical. It soon became obvious that the concept of CSR was better understood when issues were related to the local context, with citations of real people, real companies and real situations. For example, climate change is interpreted differently in the developed world and in third world countries, with different implications for policy-making and engagement with civil society - take the case of carbon emissions and their control and the stance taken by developing countries.
Further, the standardized approach to CSR by multinational and transnational companies in different parts of the world was often not found to be adequate when dealing with local issues. Indian companies also understand CSR better when the concepts relate to their areas of interest.
Q: How did the project evolve?
Srinivasan: A significant transition came when the focus of CSR was enlarged to "Responsible Business" - a concept that is