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The social constructivist or interpretivist lens

THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVIST OR INTERPRETIVIST LENS Introduction The value and importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for individual businesses and society as a whole has been acknowledged across the globe, (Kaufmann and Olaru, 2012). The paper examines the impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on business performance from the Social Constructivist or interpretivist perspective. It starts with presenting a problem statement and quantitative research questions. It also presents purpose of the study and the rationale for selecting the interpretivist lens. Limitations for using this approach and aspects of interpretivist qualitative research are finally discussed.
Problem of Statement
Researchers have encountered problems on how to assess the latest trends in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility. It is also difficult to come up with a standardized way of measuring the impact of Business Performance in relation to Corporate Social Responsibility practices. The paper therefore seeks, via a qualitative approach, to assess the impact of CSR on business performance focusing on selected key indicators such as shareholder value, market share and business revenue.
Quantitative Research Questions
According to Creswell (2008), qualitative research questions assume two forms; a central question and associated question. The central question is broad and asks for the exploration of the concept of the study or the central phenomena while associated questions are based on the central one. The qualitative research questions for this study are:
How does Corporate Social Responsibility impact actual business performance?
What are the existing trends of measuring business performance in relation to strategy and what are the key indicators of business performance?
How does Corporate Social responsibility, directly or indirectly, affect the key indicators of business performance including market value, shareholder value and organizational revenue?
How effective are the existing approaches used in measuring CSR on business performance?
Purpose of the Study
The study purposes to assess how CSR affect either business performance and via a qualitative approach present the existing trends used in measuring business performance. The paper also focuses on analyzing both the major and soft indicators of business performance. Some of the major ones include market value, shareholder value and organizational revenue while some of the soft indicators are customer and employee satisfaction. The study also purposes to establish the effectiveness of the approaches used in measuring the relation between CSR and business performance.
Rationale
The relationship between CSR and Business Performance will be analyzed through the interpretivist lens. The approach is favored as it allows an independent inquirer to examine available data, form and assess the impressions and reports the findings in a structured form. The approach also allows for in-depth interviews and the use of focus groups each method applicable dependent on data type required. The interpretivist approach is also favored since the research seeks to explore the relationship between phenomena, besides, it will be more valid when describing variations and explaining relationships between various concepts in the study. The approach also provides greater flexibility and the study design is iterative hence can be modified and manipulated as the research progresses.
Limitations of Qualitative approach
The approach nonetheless has a number of disadvantages some of which include difficulty in making systematic comparisons, inability to establish generalizations, and the results may be biased since the outcome often depend on the skills of the researcher. It is also difficult to test the validity of a qualitative data compared to quantitative one and it is harder to determine the extent to which the researcher influenced the data outcome. Creswell (2008) notes that, qualitative data is generally more time consuming to collect hence may limit the researcher’s scope; for example a sample size may be used due to time and financial constraints.
Conclusion
It is evident that the study of establishing the impact of CSR on Business Performance can take multiple forms although it may still be difficult in establishing CSR’s direct or indirect influence, (Orlitzky, Schmidt and Rynes, 2003). The qualitative research will nonetheless be a plausible way of studying the relationship since it enables the establishment of trustworthiness and the interpretations are credible, dependable and transferable.
References
Creswell, J. W. (2008) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods
Approaches. Sage Publications.
Kaufmann, M. and Olaru, M. (2012). The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Business
Performance-Can It Be Measured, And If So, How? Retrieved, May 17 2012 from:
http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/
Orlitzky, M., Schmidt, L. F. and Rynes, S. L. (2003). “Corporate Social and Financial
Performance: A Meta-analysis.” Organization Studies, 24(3): 403-441.

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