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Accepted Paper:

COVID-19, Corporate Social Responsibility and the Triple Bottom Line in India  


Aparna Raj C (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay)

Paper short abstract:

The paper intends to use the Capabilities Approach to throw light on the capacity of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities undertaken by various businesses in India during the COVID-19 pandemic to understand how the post-COVID world can build a sustainable environment.

Paper long abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the faultlines in global governance. Governments, businesses, and societies have been trifling under the threat of the virulent virus. From the perspective of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the paper aims to look at the strategic plans of businesses to stave off the dire conditions that the economies are engulfed in while undergoing financial stress. Unplanned and myopic policy implementations through lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing norms have affected the lives of millions from developing and emerging countries. Through a Capabilities Approach (CA) framework, the paper proposes that CSR collaborations should focus on enhancing the capabilities of the people to ensure social justice leading to lessening inequalities.

Ensuring a comprehensive development strategy requires cooperation between the government, businesses, and society. Social welfare being the prime objective of governments, it is necessary that companies and individuals also participate in ensuring social welfare and social justice. Collaborations between businesses, NGOs, and civil society organizations are essential for implementing welfare activities through CSR. The paper concludes that for businesses to succeed in the post-COVID world, they must gain confidence from all their stakeholders by taking responsibility for their business conduct, ecological sustainability, and community relationships. The paper posits that in the post-COVID-19 era, a society-strategic CSR model will replace the company-strategic model currently followed by businesses. It is necessary to follow an inclusive growth practice to build a sustainable society that can foster business growth.

Panel P41
Covid-19, Business and International Development: What is the role of business in responding to the pandemic in the global South?