Challenges of implementing corporate social responsibility strategies at the Johnson & Johnson In Kenya
Organizations operate in a dynamic environment and have to employ unique strategies in order to gain sustainable competitive advantage over other players in the industry. One of the practices adopted by organizations to ensure success in the market arena is corporate social responsibility. This refers to the organization’s consideration and response to issues beyond narrow economic, technical and legal requirements in order to accomplish social benefits Organisations employ strategies to ensure that their efforts are well focused and directed towards the company’s mission and vision. However, as organizations embark on the implementation of these strategies, they are faced by challenges emanating from the micro environment, the macro environment and the industry in which they operate. A case study was carried out to focus on the challenges experienced by an organization in implementing the social responsibility strategies and the measures employed to tackle these challenges. The organization studied was Johnson & Johnson due to their notable contribution to CSR and the continuous ranking that they have held as the most ethical and trustworthy as per the Harrison Interactive Corporate Study (Plunkett, et al ,2009). The organization is guided by a one page document “Our Credo” that has been in existence for over sixty years in her responsibilities to the different stakeholders. Johnson & Johnson has a distinct board that deals with the CSR initiatives all over the world. The Africa board consists of 11 members of which 3 are Kenyans. The study employed interview as the mode of data collection in which the 3 Kenyan board members were interviewed and an interview guide was used as a tool. Also interviewed was the personal assistant to the Managing Director of A New Thing Limited which is the agency that offers secretariat services for the Johnson & Johnson CSR board in Kenya. The primary data collected was analyzed using content analysis. The study found that Johnson & Johnson worked with partners in the implementation of the CSR initiatives but did not engage in the actual implementation on the ground. They provided the funding and the support systems to ensure the success of the initiatives. Among the challenges emanating from the micro environmental factors were inadequate budgets, poor communication and involvement of the commercial team. Also, it was noted that there was conflict between the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that guides organizations with parent companies in the USA and the behavior among the African communities in which the organization operates. FCPA has very punitive fines to those who seem to cause undue influence to the healthcare practitioners by use of these initiatives. Challenges from the macro environment include the selection on high integrity partners, dependency syndrome among the beneficiaries of the projects, abuse of partnerships and poor reports that do not meet the deadlines, are cooked or are not availed at all. Industry challenges were not a major threat and the major aspect reported was the duplication of projects by new entrants. The measures employed by the organization to deal with these challenges included the employment of due diligence before selecting the partners. This ensured the partners chosen were of high integrity and challenges of cooked reports and abuse of partnerships was minimized. The CSR team embarks on frequent impromptu supervisory visits so as to experience the real situations and progress of the projects on the ground. Through these close monitoring corrections can be made in good time in situations where the implementation is not on course. Regular trainings on healthcare business integrity (HCBI) are conducted to the employees so that they embrace the concept of compliance as per the FCPA. The organizations tend to engage in projects in a holistic way such that in instances where there is duplication of projects, they deal with the aspect not considered by other organizations or partner with them in projects requiring huge funding and attention. The study found out that there is a lot to be done in CSR and the more the players, the better the impact to the society and as such competition is not a challenge.