The Coronavirus pandemic has caused severe global socioeconomic disruptions, resulting in stoppage of many regular activities. This has also brought into focus another important element – the growing relationship between the spread of the virus and social responsibility.
We know that social responsibility standards must be applied responsibly in all circumstances. But if social responsibility is required in times of prosperity, the need for it is most acute in times of distress and crises. It’s for this reason that corporate social responsibility (CSR) forms an essential and important pillar in the life of societies and is a symbol of social solidarity and interdependence among all components of any society.
CSR is all about division of responsibilities and accountability. It is wrong to think that during times of crises, accountability is limited to a particular ministry or institution or even the government of the state, and requires ensuring that there is a collective responsibility which everybody must fulfil.
Indeed, with the world experiencing a health crisis of unprecedented proportions with the outbreak of the Covid-19, there is an urgent need for all segments of the society, including individuals and the civil society, to join hands to fight this epidemic in order to protect the society and achieve stability, so that we can preserve the prosperity achieved so far.
Businesses have embarked on an intensive effort to cope with the pandemic in various ways. In these efforts, they have received the support of the government. Coping with a pandemic and its horrible consequences requires cooperation between the business sector and all government agencies to pull together resources and unite efforts by individuals, organizations and the government. Collective efforts are required because the damages that result from crises affect all groups of society.
Here, we must emphasize that social responsibility is not a matter of regulations and legislation, but rather an ethical and cultural issue. Joint stock companies are considered to be one of the most important sectors supporting the development process and they have an important role in directing investments and implementing major projects. This role is increasingly appreciated, as are their efforts in social and human participation and services, and in activating social responsibility, causing positive effects on society, and this contribution is in line with the necessary means for preserving and supporting the greater good of society.
Considering the importance of social entrepreneurship carried out by companies in such crises, the matter must go far beyond providing charitable donations, as there are many areas where they can contribute such as preserving the environment, indigenization of technology, innovation in industries and providing services to provide alternatives, and supporting the state’s efforts to combat the epidemic.
We can also eradicate the epidemic by supporting the health sector, providing medicines and the necessary preventive supplies, sponsoring and funding research and supporting scientific centres that contribute to solving many problems to find a treatment or vaccine for this virus and address this pandemic. Social responsibility also includes sharing time and efforts at all levels in order to improve the conditions of the sectors in which it operates, as well as working according to the principles of transparency, responsibility and non-monopoly, and producing safe high-quality goods and services.
Addressing urgent needs in times of crisis and striving to solve them will help in overcoming any crisis.
Corporate social responsibility is a continuous, sustainable effort with the aim of participating more deeply in the development process in its comprehensive sense, which establishes a new vision that could continue beyond the crisis so that it becomes part of a new awareness and understanding that can help us enjoy life better and understand ourselves, better.
Wrapping up, whether the coronavirus pandemic takes more time to be tackled, or whether it’s prolonged, global societies will remember the role of the business sector in such difficult times in peoples’ lives, whether positive or negative. Uniting global efforts effectively is our only choice to contain the pandemic and we can take steps to reduce the probability and potential severity of loss and seek to limit losses when a threat occurs.