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Corporate Social Responsibility in Extraction of Raw Materials and Supply Chain Management

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Corporate Social Responsibility in Extraction of Raw Materials and Supply Chain Management

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By Name

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Institution

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Course and Code

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Date

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Introduction

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The current business environment demands that businesses improve all of their core activities and process such as the supply chain management and extraction of raw materials processes in order to stay ahead of the competition. One of the best ways of presenting an attractive value proposition in the current customer-focused environment is to package corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an essential part of a business (Wang, Zhang, & Zhang, 2020). CSR is used by firms to remind consumers of the value that an organization adds to its area of operation. Today, CSR forms a critical part of any business dealings, especially in the supply chain management. CSR is demanded by external stakeholders such as communities where a business operates, customers who want to see organizations being responsive of changes in the environment, and governments and local authorities in ensuring that the public benefits from the presence of an organization. Therefore, because there is no separating the modern supply chain management with CSR, it is important to study how the two can be integrated to provide benefits to an organization. In line with these, the proposal is guided by the following questions that emerged from a review of literature conducted prior to this paper:

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1. Can innovativeness in CSR’s application create a competitive advantage for a business?

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2. Is the implementation of CSR policies likely to reduce the profit margins for companies?

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3. What stages require the implementation of CSR in the supply chain and which parts of the chain are more applicable?

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The study is relevant because it will help to inform the extant literature on CSR and the supply chain. It is also significant for business owners and managers as it will help them to focus on what adds value and to reduce any inefficiencies emerging from the findings of the study. The project is interesting because it adds to an area of research that keeps changing as the world transforms.

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Where and Scope

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The study will target individuals in logistics management, planning, dispatching, strategic procurement, inventory control, supply management, scheduling, and sourcing. In terms of the organizations targeted, the study will narrow down the scope to include any multinational organizations chosen at random, whether the company uses CSR in supply chain management or not. The reason for this decision is that the study intends to find out whether there are any advantages to using CSR in raw materials extraction and supply chain management or not. It also intends to evaluate whether there are any inefficiencies caused by either the use of these processes or otherwise. Because of these objectives, the study results will be more practical and applicable to a larger market size if the findings are inclusive of companies that actively include CSR in the supply chain management and those that do not. Specifically, the company will recruit managers in the aforementioned departments from organizations including Apple, Unilever, McDonald’s, H&M, Nestle, and Tesla.

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The above companies have been targeted because of their market positions and their reach. Some of them, including Tesla and McDonald’s have openly discussed the use of green supply chain practices. To convince the companies and the individuals to participate in the study, I will present an idea of solving a problem regarding better initiatives in the supply chain management to ensure sustainability. The study will be presented as an opportunity to work with the different managers to create efficiencies. I plan to contact these participants via their official social media accounts and websites. I will engage them through Twitter and Facebook to agree on a suitable date for an online interview.

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Research Methodology

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To collect data, I intend to use primary approaches. Johnston (2017) describes primary research as any type of information gathered by self-conducted research techniques. The main aim of using primary research technique is to fill subsequent gaps in study and information availability that lacked during the literature review process. I specifically selected primary research so as to answer questions that directly relate to my research aim and themes. Notable gaps I have identified relating to my research study pertain to the application of legality and credibility and the uncertainty in the implementation of policies on CSR in supply chain management and the extraction of raw materials for modern organizations. Therefore, primary research will add value to my research because it will give a first-hand experience and allow an up-to-date analysis of CSR and supply chain management (Hu, 2010). I have study questions that are yet to be answered through a comprehensive review of extant research. Therefore, primary research provides the best avenue to have these answered.

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To achieve the study objectives and collect primary data for my research, I will use qualitative research interviews. Watkins (2017) found qualitative research interviews to be a deep data collection approach that elicits detailed feedback and information from research participants. Specifically, I will use structured interviews to collect information on a number of decision making criteria that managers use in relation to meeting supply chain management demands and the need for their organization to ensure CSR implementation in line with the modern business demands and those placed upon businesses by the consumer. Specifically, I have chosen qualitative research because it will allow the research participants to be themselves so as to gain an inside look on how decisions are made, the reasoning behind it, and to gain accuracy in the responses provided. The advantage of using qualitative research in data collection is that it will enable an understanding of attitudes, generate more relevant content, and provide insights relevant to my study and area of specialization (Archibald, Ambagtsheer, Casey, & Lawless, 2019). The approach will allow my study to incorporate the human experience and better grasp why supply chain management needs to use CSR as a part of creating an advantage for an organization.

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Research Design

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To collect data for my study, I will use a descriptive research design. I have already identified my research variables as CSR, supply chain management, and extraction of raw materials, as well as gaining an advantage in the industry or creating incompetency as byproducts. I do not have a hypothesis but rather intend to develop one after I gather and analyze data. The design will combine the advantages of a primary and qualitative research approach to gather data through online interviews. The interview will follow an open-ended structure to allow the respondents to provide opinions relating to their expertise and experience working on different fields. Because my research approach relies on computer-mediated communication through the use of video calls, I will write down all my questions and record responses for later use. To ensure that data is unbiased and objective, I will outsource help in coding the data, have participants review my results, and use triangulation from other sources of information. I will also use alternative explanations and review the overall findings with peers. The project is feasible and realistic because it involves a problem that can be studied and solved using available data. Gathering of information is also relatively easy because of the chosen modes of engaging participants.

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Projected Timeline

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To conduct this research, I will continue performing a review of the current literature on the subject to see if more gaps emerge. I have already set out the research aims and questions that will provide a plan, vision, and a guide for any use of secondary data. I will then target organizations and specific individuals within the departments identified including; logistics management, planning, dispatching, strategic procurement, inventory control, supply management, scheduling, and sourcing. I will narrow down the interviews to include individuals from Apple, Unilever, McDonald’s, H&M, Nestle, and Tesla as they are the best fit for my project. I will then draft a proposal budget to make sure that all objectives can be met ad later seek guidance on the above steps from my instructor and peers. The same group will also be critical for the review process after data collection to help with validity and objectivity. I will then write the proposal, edit, and use peer groups to review and offer comments. I will then finalize the proposal ready for presentation. I expect this to take a minimum of two months.

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Conclusion

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This proposal will achieve my research goal because it focuses on answering the following questions:

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1. Can innovativeness in CSR’s application create a competitive advantage for a business?

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2. Is the implementation of CSR policies likely to reduce the profit margins for companies?

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3. What stages require the implementation of CSR in the supply chain and which parts of the chain are more applicable?

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I have chosen a research methodology that best fits the above requirements including considerations for the best individuals and organizations to use as participants. I have also chosen to use a descriptive design because of the nature of the problem identified via the gaps including: the application of legality and credibility and the uncertainty in the implementation of policies on CSR in supply chain management and the extraction of raw materials for modern organizations. The research will contribute to the wider literature and research on the issue of CSR application in supply chain management because of the present rush by organizations to implement greener strategies and to contribute positively to the benefit of society in line with the demands of the market and consumers. It will add to the knowledge available and provide a basis for future studies on the topic.

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Implications

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The findings of this project will help organizations and managers in the different phases of supply chain management to understand the benefits or incompetency created by implementing CSR approaches. According to the stakeholder theory of management, CSR is meant to cover every relevant stakeholder (Tekin, Ertürk, & Tozan, 2015). Understanding how CSR benefits both the internal and external stakeholders, especially in the supply chain management process, would be of help to organizations. Again in the triple bottom line theory, considers the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of performance (Brin & Nehme, 2019), a concept that is of relevance to the modern-day organization as it endeavors to make the best out of every process and framework. It will also help researchers by narrowing down a modern day issue that is relatively understudied. Practitioners and policy makers in the CSR and supply chain fields will also benefit through the findings of this research in their decision making processes and the development of the foregoing concepts.

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Ethical Considerations

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Some significant ethical concerns that I will take into consideration in my research include informed consent, anonymity where applicable, and confidentiality. I will also ensure voluntary participation and will endeavor to only evaluate the concepts and issues mentioned in the consent forms. To ensure these issues are addressed, every participant will be briefed on their rights, informed of their right to terminate participation at any time, and the right to receive information relating to the study. Consent forms and confidentiality agreements will be presented and signed before commencement of collection of data. Additionally, every participant will have a code name to ensure individual anonymity.

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References

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Archibald, M. M., Ambagtsheer, R. C., Casey, M. G., & Lawless, M. (2019). Using zoom videoconferencing for qualitative data collection: perceptions and experiences of researchers and participants. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, 1609406919874596.

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Brin, P. V., & Nehme, M. N. (2019). Corporate social responsibility: analysis of theories and models. Available at http://eu-jr.eu/social/article/download/1007/993

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Hu, H. (2010). Primary research of the advantages and the cost control of the ABC & EVA integrated system. International Business Research, 3(3), 141.Johnston, M. P. (2017). Secondary data analysis: A method of which the time has come. Qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries, 3(3), 619-626.

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Tekin, E. K., Ertürk, A., & Tozan, H. (2015). Corporate social responsibility in supply chains. Applications of Contemporary Management Approaches in Supply Chains, 1-12.

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Wang, C., Zhang, Q., & Zhang, W. (2020). Corporate social responsibility, Green supply chain management and firm performance: The moderating role of big-data analytics capability. Research in Transportation Business & Management, 37, 100557.

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Watkins, D. C. (2017). Rapid and rigorous qualitative data analysis: The “RADaR” technique for applied research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16(1), 1609406917712131.

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