The role and responsibility of businesses in a globalised world: Corporate Social Responsibility


“The CSR programme has better positioned me to understand what sustainability means in a business and the strategies I can implement to drive change within my organisation and industry.”

These were the words of Mr. Lesedi Senamele Matlala from South Africa on the last day of MSM’s short executive Corporate Social Responsibility programme which took place from 23 – 27 January 2023 at MSM’s location on the Tapijnkazerne

Mr. Matlala continues: “But most importantly, the CSR programme follows a case-based approach; I've learnt how real businesses implement successful CSR initiatives. Some of these initiatives can be carried over directly to my organisation, while others serve as inspiration for initiatives I may pursue back home in South Africa.

Also for Mr. Aboubakr Benazzouz from Morrocco joining the Corporate Social Responsibility programme was a real eye-opener: “The Corporate Social Responsibility programme was a great opportunity to develop knowledge of the different CSR sections and how companies develop CSR strategies. In the programme, we discussed the importance of CSR, not only for society and other stakeholders, but as well for the company itself to go towards sustainable development, improved performances and ethics. The programme was composed of lectures, discussions and very interesting cases where the knowledge developed was used and improved in a learning by doing process.“

The Corporate Social Responsibility programme was designed and delivered by Dr. Diederik de Boer, Associate Professor Sustainable Business Development and Director Expert Centre on Emerging Economies at MSM. In addition, participants learned from Ms. Mirjana Stanisic, Project consultant and Senior lecturer at MSM, about the importance of ethics. Mr. Benazzouz highly valued the lectures of Dr. de Boer and Ms. Stanisic: “The lectures were very interactive with a very interesting approach towards developing knowledge by addressing challenging cases. Our group was composed of international students from many developing countries in more than three continents and the group work we had to do was fruitful, since we had the chance to see different perspectives and shared different experiences in topics related to sustainability, ethics, and social responsibility. We are really looking forward to use the materials we studied during our field visit to a Dutch company that won a CSR award on national level.”

Mr. Matlala found the lecturers very inspiring: “They make us think; they take something of a back-seat role so that there is more opportunity for discussion among us as students. But most importantly, they show a great understanding of the material inside out, which is evident when we ask them questions and in the manner in which they assist us in reaching for solutions.”

As part of the programme, two guest lecturers were invited to share their knowledge and experiences. “Mr. Hamid Abdalla Hamid from Tanzania (Zanzibar) expressed his gratitude: “I have to give my credits to the visiting lecturers for the knowledge they brought into our classroom. We received real-live examples from Ms. Radhika with her case study on CSR development in India and also from Dr. Lori Devito from Serbia on Circular Economy.”

About the Corporate Social Responsibility programme
In a globalised world, companies are increasingly confronted with ethical norms and values that differ across countries. This provides a challenge to them, as different moral standards come with different expectations on the economic, social and environmental responsibility that companies have to assume. In the industrialised societies of today, stakeholders – such as customers, suppliers, employees, the public, and the media – expect from companies to do more than simply following the law. In developing countries, where legal standards typically are weak, the question on basic responsibilities, such as protecting human rights of workers or paying living salaries, arise. During the CSR programme, participants study the interplay between business and society in a globalised world and explore how companies can meet stakeholder expectations in a manner that balances social, environmental and economic goals.

Would you like to join the Corporate Social Responsibility programme as well?
The next programme will take place from 22 – 26 January 2024. Click here for more information about the programme and how to apply.

About MSM’s Short Executive Programmes
Today’s rapidly changing societies and economies demand the most from organisations, leaders, managers and professionals. MSM’s Short Executive Programmes for emerging markets are developed to achieve a successful and sustainable transformation of both individuals and organisations to support local economic development and business management.

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