Is corporate citizenship making a difference in horticultural Industry in Kenya? The case of homegrown Kenya ltd.
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AbstractA Symposium Paper Presented at a Conference in Ghana in 2006 by Prof. Francis Wambalaba, the DVC Research and Dr. George K’Aol, an Associate Professor of Management, at USIU- Africa
Corporate citizenship is about the contribution a company makes to society through its core business activities, its social investment and philanthropy programs, and its engagement in public policy. The manner in which a company manages its economic, social and environmental relationships, and the way it engages with its stakeholders has an impact on the company's long-term success. Over the past decade, corporate citizenship (CC) emerged as a major issue and challenge in the Kenyan horticulture industry. In the late 1990s and early 2000, the Kenya horticulture industry was subjected to intensive investigation by key stakeholders including key customers, NGOs and the Press, especially about poor working conditions, cases of sexual harassment and exposure to harmful chemicals or pesticides among others. According to the World Bank (2002), there are dynamic linkages between voluntary approaches and regulation.1 Thus, commitments that are made voluntarily can eventually expand and harden into mandatory benchmarks. However, voluntary CC, at its best, supplements legal regulation by aiming for standards higher than those existing in law. Whether regulatory or voluntary, several corporations have over time increased their participation in good corporate citizenship. While one of the challenges is to determine why, it is similarly important to determine the impact of these efforts. Expenditures on such efforts can be sustainable partly because of the reciprocal benefits that the company stands to gain. The major objective of this study is to determine whether corporate citizenship efforts make a difference at the firm level in terms of social, environmental, and economic dimensions. The research methodology for this study will be based on case study design focusing on Homegrown Kenya Ltd. The company has been a leader on Corporate Citizenship strategy implementation in the Kenyan horticultural industry. The population will consist of key management and employees in relevant positions in the company. In-depth interviews will be used to collect data from top management. The Bottom Line Approach (Three Pillar Model) will be used as a basis for analyzing the case, i.e., social impact, environmental impact, and economic impact.