An investigation into the practice corporate social responsibility in the construction industry in Kenya: a case of contractors, Nairobi
Otieno, Sally Olivia
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The construction industry in Kenya is very important since it contributes greatly to the growth of the economy. Despite its very significant contribution to the economy, one finds that its operations diversely affect the society and environment in which most of its works are carried out in. Due to this reason, construction companies are required to go beyond the basic requirements of meeting projects' basic objectives by considering socio- economic, as well as sustainable environment issues. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is through the practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in a firm's operations. It is on this premise that the study was carried out with the main aim of investigating the practice of CSR by Kenyan construction companies. The study sought to establish the prevalence of CSR practice in the Kenyan construction industry, together with the various impacts encountered as a result of embracing the practice by various contractors. Other objectives of the study included formulation of a practical CSR model which could be adopted by contractors in Kenya for future use and also to recommend a way forward. A survey approach was adopted for the study and data was collected from the chosen sample group of 'Class A' construction firms. Data was analysed using statistical software's and procedures, and inferences made from the data outputs. Responses from the survey request were used to inform the study findings, conclusions and recommendations. The results of the survey indicate that most of the construction firms are aware of the concept of CSR and that those who had embraced the practice had encountered various positive impacts highlighted the study. This was despite some of the challenges they had faced in implementation of the concept. The study highlighted pertinent concepts on how construction firms can improve their outputs and work relationships by embracing the practice of CSR. The study recommends that CSR practice .should be adopted by all practicing contracting firms in Kenya for purposes of enjoying the inherent benefits that comes with its practice. This can be done through the formulation of relevant and practical legal and institutional frameworks that will ensure mandatory practice, as it has been done in other developed countries. The study further recommends a simple CSR model which can be adopted by the various construction firms for purposes of improving their businesses.