(1) State the question that you will seek to answer in your proposed research.
Main research question: does global economic recession limit CSR capabilities of the oil industries in India?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can carry different meanings to different people. According to Baxi (2006, p. 89), CSR mainly means carrying activities or projects in compliance with the law. However, this is a narrow definition of CSR. The concept of CSR means that companies and organizations ensure that all the stakeholders, the employees and the wider community benefit from their business activities or projects. On the other hand, economic global recession, as explained by Lankoski (2009, p. 207), can be described as a period in which the world as a whole experiences economic downturn because of low economic productivity. The US, India, Germany, and other economically powerful countries are affected the most by economic recession. Economic downturn has severe consequences, such as collapse of financial institutions, increase in unemployment, and increasing poverty among others. According to Karaibrahimoglu (2010, p. 385), economic global recession impacts on the CSR capabilities of both private and public organizations as these responsibilities create more costs making it very difficult for organizations to generate any profit. Some researchers have argued that because of economic global recession many CSR initiatives have been compromised, delayed or even cancelled.
(2) Briefly outline the relevance and importance of your proposed research.
According to Fernández and Souto (2009, p. 38), many researches have been performed on CSR, but very few have focused on the effects of economic global recession on industries’ CSR capabilities. Research shows that in the today’s financial field, managers, employers, employees, and stakeholders are affected by the impact of economic recession on CSR. As these two authors explain, many businesses are viewing CSR as a threat to their corporate survival because of the additional costs associated with it. In India, one of the industries greatly influenced by the prevalent economic slowdown is the oil industry. As the Government of India Planning Commission (2007, p. 8) explains, many of the Indian oil companies have been forced to compromise most of the social corporations’ responsibilities because of the increasing costs. As a result, they cannot cater for the wellbeing of the surrounding communities and maintain the environmental standards required by law.
Therefore, the research will investigate the various influences of global economic recession on CSR capabilities of Indian oil companies. The research will further look into how the impact limits the CSR capabilities of these companies. The results of such investigations are of great relevance in establishing the relationship between global economic recession and CSR of not only the oil companies in India, but also other oil companies in all the countries experiencing economic recession. The results of the research can also be generalized to cover other companies outside the oil and gas industries, such as the banking institutions and mining institutions just to mention a few. Because the past research on this topic is scarce, this research will provide more information that will act as a secondary source of data for future research on the same topic. Every research has limitations. Therefore, based on the limitations of the research that will be carried out, it will create the need for future research on the same topic to polish on the limitations and hence come up with clear and precise results to explain impacts of the global economic recession on CSR capabilities of oil industries.
3. Research steps taken to answer the research question
What: formulate the research hypothesis.
Why: Guide the research to prove the hypothesis wrong or right at the end of the research.
What: Come up with the supporting research questions.
Why: So as to help in answering the main research questions.
What: Conducting an extensive literature review
Why: To research on the past researches on this topic to understand all the trends and issues in relation with this topic
How: By visiting school library and the city library to review books, journals and reports.
What: Conducting the primary research
Why: To provide primary data to help further in answering the question.
How: Identifying the research sample and distributing the research questionnaire and conducting the interviews.
What: Gathering all the collected data for analysis and discussion.
Why: Provide the conclusion that will help in answering the research question.
How: By analyzing and presented the collected data in graphs, tables and charts.
What: Arriving at the final conclusion.
How: By answering the research question and providing suggestions for future research.
Why: To prove the research hypothesis right or wrong
4. Identify details of books/articles/reports that you have read that are
relevant to your proposed research topic
In relation to the research topic, I have reviewed various articles, books and report papers, which are listed on the reference page. Many of these articles are about CSR and financial crisis. The reports such as the World Bank Working paper by Cropper reveal that public transport is expensive because of the global economic recession. The sources in general give a detailed literature in relation to the topic under research that will enable me to formulate and come up with my own research. In addition to the already cited sources, the other books, reports and articles that have been accessed to carry out the research are listed in the reference list
5. How the Literature accessed will be used in Building my Research
The literature accessed, will be used in revealing the past trends and issues related to the topic. It will also help in revealing the various correlations between global economic recession and CSR capabilities of many industries hence will assist me in identifying the issues that will be looked into to come up with the exact answer to my research question.
The outlined research proposal is brief, but detailed. It has clearly identified the research questions and the research methods that will be used in obtaining the answer to the question under research. The proposal also has revealed various articles, books and reports that have been accessed in relation to the topic. It also explains how the literature reviewed from various secondary sources will be used in building the intended research.