Soulful Corporations

A Values-Based Perspective on Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate debacles, financial and economic crises and environmental disasters in different parts of the globe over the last two decades are seen as indicators for a transformation in business conduct by scholars and practitioners alike. A need for corporate goals to transition from simply maximising shareholder wealth to optimising stakeholder welfare is being echoed in various quarters. While volumes have already been written on this subject, this book has made a distinct contribution by looking at the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from a values-based perspective wherein the basic values of human life provide the much desired balance between corporate success and social well-being. The book emphasizes that corporations today need to redefine themselves and their purposes to co-create long-term, sustainable and win–win solutions for multiple stakeholders through mutually-fulfilling and value-adding collaborative efforts. The book examines CSR from a humane viewpoint rather than purely a strategic tool, where the quality of initiatives and the welfare they create are as important as the quantum of work done. Through the ideal of ‘A Soulful Corporation’, the book proposes a new story where CSR can be a means for global unity and universal welfare and corporations, as associations of individuals, can identify their ‘collective spirits’ in terms of environmentally-aware, socially-inclusive and financially-rewarding missions.

Some of the unique features of the book include:

  1. A detailed study of the evolution of CSR from ancient to contemporary times, especially in the Indian context
  2. Insights gained through empirical research and personal interviews with over 100 corporate executives including Chairmen, Managing Directors, CEOs, C-suite executives and heads of the Corporate Responsibility functions across companies and industries
  3. Case studies on CSR practices and processes in leading Indian companies including:
    1. The Tata Group
    2. TVS Motor Company
    3. Hindustan Unilever
    4. Wipro Ltd.
    5. Larsen & Toubro Construction
    6. Bharat Petroleum Corporation
    7. HDFC Bank
    8. The Birla Group
    9. Reliance Industries
  4. Cases on unique social welfare projects undertaken in India in the areas of education, healthcare and drinking water supply
  5. A ‘Society and Local Community Welfare Framework’ along with a ’12-point Agenda for Affirmative Action’ that propose policy recommendations and provide corporations with a roadmap for their CSR journey in the light of the mandatory CSR spending introduced by the Government of India.

The book has relevance to multiple stakeholders: students, academics, CSR researchers, policy-makers, industry captains, business managers and entrepreneurs.