Corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices by micro finance institutions in Kenya
This study sought to determine the corporate social responsibility practices adopted by micro finance institutions in Kenya and the factors that influence the choice of these practices. The study will aid management in the choice of CSR activities they can be involved in so as to attain competitive advantage. The study reviewed literature on the different views of CSR and how it can be entrenched in the strategies of the organization so as to become a competitive advantage and the benefit thereof. The literature review also explored the factors influencing the CSR practices in various organizations and the challenges faced in implementing the same. The study was conducted using a census survey method, which was appropriate as it enabled the researcher to obtain information from a broad category of firms for comparison purposes. This design also works well where the firms are few in number. The target population was Microfinance Institutions in Kenya (MFI) registered with the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Kenya (AMFI). The main instrument of data collection was a semi structured questionnaire administered to MFI management such as Chief executive officers, Branch managers, Operations managers and Credit officers. The data collected was analyzed using the SPSS Package. The study found out that most microfinance institutions were involved in employee and product related activities as compared to their involvement in community and environmental activities. Financial performance, the level of competition faced and state regulations were determined as the factors influencing corporate social responsibility practices adopted by mfis, in that order. The study recommends the need for micro finance institutions' increased involvement in CSR, since it was established that the firms will have a competitive advantage in the industry. CSR involvement will also ensure continued growth due to the improved image and increased customers leading to increased profitability. This will enable firms to survive in this very competitive industry.