Date and place of thesis defense:
prof.dr. Bahrija Umihanić, komentor: doc.dr. Halil Gutošić
Corporate Social Responsibility as Enterprise Competitiveness Achievement Strategy in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Summing the research results, it can be concluded that BiH companies currently perceive corporate social responsibility primarily as an obligation imposed by the society's expectations and tradition, rather than a business opportunity or a potential source of competitive advantage that might enable them to achieve a better position on both domestic and international market.
The research done in this dissertation is based on the hypothesis that the companies doing business in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not apply corporate social responsibility as a business strategy for increasing their competitiveness on domestic and foreign markets. Although there are various motives that justify the increasing implementation of social responsibility in company's everyday business activities, from the stategic management perspective used for theoretical framework of the disertation, the most important motive is the posibility for a company to achieve better financial results by doing business in a socially responsible manner. In all this, one must have in mind that the philantropic activities that are not related to the company's core competencies, whereby companies donate funds for various social purposes and then promote it to improve company's reputation, are an altruistic rather than a strategic approach to corporate social responsibility. Integration of social responsibility and achieving better competitive market position can be realized in such a way that the company operates in the field of convergence of company's interest and the interest of the society in which it does business. In the dissertation the operationalization of the term „society“ is made through the company's stakeholders, including environment. In this way one can talk about corporate social responsibility as a competitive strategy.
In order to establish wheather the companies doing business in Bosnia and Herzegovina apply socially responsible business activities as the strategy for improving their competitive position on the market, the empirical research has been conducted on a stratified sample including medium and large companies with export activities. The collection of the primary data was made by the structured questionnaire, filled in by the top level managers of the companies. The questionnarie was created to collect attitudes and opinions of current business practice of BiH companies related to the key areas of corporate social responsibility, primary stakeholders and the system of CSR reporting and communicating. The data were then analized by means of descriptive and inferential statistical research methods. Other methodes used are methods of induction, deduction, analysis, synthesis, description and comparison.
The results of the research conducted in the dissertation clearly indicate that the majority of BiH companies do not recognize corporate social responsibility as the source of competitive advantage, nor do they develop and implement their social responsibility as a business strategy. In most cases, unfocussed corporate socially responsible activities and initiatives are planned and implemented at the level of functional strategy within the marketing activities of a company. Based on the theoretical and empirical conceptions resulting from the dissertation, an application model of corporate social responsibility as a business strategy has been made. Its application could assist BiH companies in achieving a more competitive market position.
Key words :
Corporate Social Responsibility, competitiveness, strategies of competitiveness