Layoffs vs. Corporate Social Responsibility

by Aman Singh Das | September 24, 2009

  • My Vault

In a survey conducted by GlobeScan over two weeks in June, 2009 revealed some interesting numbers about companies and how much of their budget they have been/were devoting to being responsible corporate citizens. The survey, timed to reflect affect of the downturn throws up many important nuggets for thought and discussion in the boardroom.

For example, the survey revealed that a majority of the participating companies did not make significant changes in their corporate citizenship practices. 38% reduced giving to charities, 27% increased layoffs and 19% reduced their R&D for sustainable products.

Also striking was the difference in responses from small and large companies. The survey revealed that while the larger of the respondents increased investing in CSR activities but relied heavily on layoffs, the smaller companies who responded chose cutting back on employee counts as well as their commitment to CSR activities.

A total of 756 executives were surveyed, of which 36% worked at small companies (1-99 companies), 24% at medium (100-999) and 40% worked at large companies (1,000+ employees).

Where does this survey leave us on the day that world leaders are discussing the financial crisis and climate change (hopefully!) at the G-20 Summit? For one, it brings us to think of a often-debated question: When the government doesn't work on responsible citizenship, is the corporate sector responsible for picking up the slack? On an individual basis, are we doing our bit to ensure our employers are getting ready to become better corporate citizens? Write to me at asingh@vault.com or leave a comment.

Filed Under: CSR

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