Abstract: This study aims to understand the perceptions and meanings of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the context of Thailand. Phenomenology was used to explore the inquiry of how Thai executives perceived and implemented their companies’ CSR. Twenty long-interviews were conducted with Thai executives who were directly involved in and in charge of CSR in their companies. Several themes emerged from the study, and the findings were presented in the aspects of their perceptions of CSR involvement, the motivations, the benefits, and the overall meanings of CSR. Giving back, caring for and helping /sharing, and developing and creating are three themes that emerged describing how Thai executives perceive CSR. Thai executives consider four important components in their CSR engagement: 4H’s, which are heart, head, hands and heard. Sincere commitment and willingness to help, strategic and systematic plans, employee participation and selective and soft-sell communication represent four unique characteristics of CSR implementation. The motivations of CSR can be categorized into two themes: internal and external forces. The results and impacts of CSR are described for both society and business. The overall meaning of CSR is a convergence of social conscience and business strategy for balanced benefits. Findings indicated that Thai executive had mixed perceptions of CSR s influenced by Thai cultural values and religious beliefs, also by their concept of business strategy. Although based on cultural values and religious beliefs, CSR is likely to develop and evolve in a way in which CSR is integrated into business operations to create sustainability. Lastly, the strategic implications of CSR are presented.
Examining Corporate Social Responsibility in Thailand: A View from Thai Companies
Dr. Eric Haley