Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
MPeskin CSR Essay

MPeskin CSR Essay

Ratings: (0)|Views: 46 |Likes:
Published by Max Peskin

More info:

Published by: Max Peskin on Mar 20, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Corporate Social Responsibility in Russia: A matter of tangible value(An analysis of CSR in the case of Yota)
An essay for Global Citizenship and Corporate SocialResponsibility course (Module B)By Maxim PeskinMIB, Greenwich cohortHult International Business SchoolLondon, UK
While corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a global imperative for every business, developing nationsfrequently display patterns of CSR initiatives and strategies which are significantly different from those of theWestern world (Jamali & Neville, 2011). Given their abundance, variety and complexity, emerging economies'approaches to CSR cannot always be effectively analysed or assessed from the solitary standpoint of establishedbusiness cultures, such as the Anglo-American or Rhineland ethical systems (United Nations, 2007: 2).Instead, a locally focused and culturally and institutionally sensitive view is increasingly being called for; however,moral relativism remains a crucial hazard associated with this perspective (Donaldson, 1996). On the other hand,recent research suggests that businesses in developing economies are more willing to disclose their CSR activitiesand provide reports conforming to emerging global standards than companies operating in developed countries(Baskin, 2006, as cited in Visser, 2008). Although the sheer desire to report is obviously not a measure of actualcommitment to CSR, nor of the efficiency of CSR initiatives the companies undertake, this evidence apparentlyimplies that finding a balance between local considerations and global demands is quite feasible in practice.The concept of balance is central to this essay. It pursues a double purpose: first, to provide some insight into whatthe structure of this balance might be, specifically in the case of CSR in Russia; second, to employ these balancedoptics to analyse the actions of Yota, which provide a prominent example of CSR activities of a Russian business.Tumultuous economic development of the 1990s and early 2000s prompted most Russian companies to favourstraightforward strategies like expansive growth or import substitution; arguably, this led to a certain degree of disregard towards complex business intangibles like ethics or long-term partnerships. Other notable factors thathave shaped the business climate include a peculiar and deep-rooted moral system (for example, the notions of responsibility and obligation in Russian business admittedly mirror those of the mafia discourse), outdatedbusiness legislation and almost non-existent, completely corrupt enforcement (see the article by Shleifer andTreisman (2005), the paper by Fey and Shekshnia (2010) and the guidelines by the Independent DirectorsAssociation (2004) for starkly contrasting views of these issues). As a result, little attention has been paid to CSRuntil very recently; even the basic ideas still remain largely misunderstood. Three misconceptions about CSRappear to be most popular with the business public: it is regarded as an additional local or regional tax, as a varietyof 
bribery or “greasing” certain officials
or simply as a synonym for corporate philanthropy or sponsorship.
The first two attitudes are typically engrained into the cultural perspective of Russian SMEs; these approaches areoften regarded by entrepreneurs as well as the society at large as a significant improvement over more candidcorruption practices of the previous decade (Paneyakh, 2008). More the point, the distinction between bribery andsponsorship might become hazy in Russia, as evidenced by the Transneft case. In the first half of 2011, Transneft,the state-owned oil transportation monopolist, transferred over 80 million US dollars, or roughly 80% of its totalCSR spending during that period, to an obscure charity directed by the head of the Department of PresidentialAffairs (a structural unit of the Administration of the President of Russia). Moreover, this information was notdisclosed by the company willingly but only following a direct ruling of the court; the standard practice before that,at least for Transneft, was to only release the total sum spent on CSR this year (Gavshina, 2011). Transneft case isby no means unique or exceptional for Russian business context, which suggests that to properly assess CSRinitiatives and practices of Russian companies one should inexorably dissect
the general ethics of the company’s
behaviour and also carefully examine whether a particular CSR initiative creates actual value for the society and/orcommunity. Both aspects are considered in detail in a model developed by Porter and Kramer (2006). The authorsof this model assert a strategic viewpoint focusing on interdependencies between the business and society and theneed for business to maintain a long-term dynamic perspective; this adds further value to the model in thisparticular case since most Russian companies manifest a narrow, short-term, tactical outlook in their CSR activities,even if they claim to be development-oriented and socially concerned (Gontmacher, 2004).Nevertheless, the concept of corporate social responsibility as an integral part of business strategy, related both tocore values of the company and its patterns of execution, is gaining more and more followers among Russianbusinesses. A notable case is presented by Yota, a regional wireless broadband network operator headquartered inSaint Petersburg. Founded in 2008, the company became
the nation’s
first WiMax operator; in late 2011 the firstcommercial LTE network in Russia was launched (Yota, 2011), str
engthening Yota’s position as core innovator in 4G
mobile communication technologies. Although the company does not provide detailed financial information, theircurrent customer base of 700,000 (Yota, 2012) suggests a rough estimate of 80 to 120 million US dollars in annualrevenue. As a minor player in burgeoning telecom market and a successful innovative start-up, highly dependenton capabilities in both technology and design, Yota identifies its key stakeholders to be the state, competitors andsubstitute service providers (i.e. mobile network and broadband operators), service users and members of the
general public who share the company’
s passion about combining modern design and technology.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->