Author: Lai, Wai-mee Agnes
Title: The relative importance of social responsibility criteria in the measurement of organizational effectiveness : a Hong Kong survey and case study
Degree: M.B.A.
Year: 1995
Subject: Organizational effectiveness -- Case studies
Social responsibility of business -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Management
Pages: ix, 92, [15] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: One main goal of managers is to improve the effectiveness of the organization. The increasing concern of Corporate Social Responsibility has created certain difficulties for managers today in allocating limited resources in different organizational areas. Although most managers admit the increasing importance of social responsibility, when they have to make decision with limited resources, managers have to make trade offs against social activities. This paper aims at examining the views of Hong Kong managers regarding the relative importance of social responsibility criteria in the measurement of organizational effectiveness by a research survey, and also through a Case Study illustrates how social responsibility is being measured by a "Social Responsibility Audit". The amended organizational effectiveness menu (Kraft & Jauch 1988) with 40 criteria was chosen as the survey questionnaire which was sent to 150 managers in Hong Kong, of which 55 replied. The survey result indicated that the social responsibility criteria were rated among the least importance of the criteria contributing to organizational effectiveness. As for the long-term view of social responsibility, most of the managers responded that the transfer of sovereignty in 1997 did not affect their ratings on the importance of social responsibility criteria. The purpose of this survey only evaluates social responsibility issues in terms of their relative importance among other organizational issues rather than what specific actions should be taken and the appropriate degree of social involvement. The views of Hong Kong managers from the research survey may not accurately reflect the actual practices and actions of Hong Kong companies. Even if they commented that social responsibility criteria are important, they may not be able to spare resources for social activities. Some may opine that social responsibility criteria are relatively unimportant, but due to other purposes or pressures (for example, in order to enhance public image or pressures from stakeholders), they have to contribute more resources to pursue social goals. Social Responsibility is difficult to measure. To see how socially responsible a company is, "Social Responsibility Audit" could be used as a form of measurement. The Hong Kong Electric Co., Ltd., a public utility company, is used as a Case Study to illustrate the measurement of social responsibility through a social responsibility audit. It is all important to improve managers' awareness of social responsibility due to its potential benefits to society, to corporations and to managers. Some managers were interviewed and expressed their views on the benefits of exercising social responsibilities and suggested ways to improve awareness of social responsibility in Hong Kong. Government, Corporations and Managers all pay very important roles in improving social responsibility awareness. The role of business is changing since the expectations of people (stakeholders) are also changing. There are no solid rules for adequacy of social responsibility, and it will never be perfect. We need only continuous improvement. The world is changing and so are the expectations and requirements of social responsibility. It is the collective "awareness" and "desire" of every human being for a "good society" that will only be long lasting and would eventually push social responsibility awareness ahead.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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