Self-Regulated corporate social responsibility: the impact on employment relations at European corporations in South and Southern Africa: a preliminary overview

10 Jun 2013

Introduction:Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a complex topic that has generated a host of policy documents and a vast literature. This article sets out to examine a very specific aspect of it: the impact of CSR as practised by European enterprises in South and southern Africa, particularly in the area of terms and conditions of employment. '[H]ow a company relates to its own people', it has been said, 'will be make or break in terms of its reputation as a corporate citizen. The issues affecting the workplace are wide-ranging and significant. Addressing them can go some way towards bridging the gap between the rhetoric of being 'an employer of choice' and the reality. Conversely, 'how a company treats its people' may be seen as a litmus test of corporate values, pivotal to and emblematic of an enterprise's engagement with its socio-economic environment. In the employment arena, moreover, company policy is subject to close scrutiny and ongoing challenge by labour while, at the same time, employment legislation offers a ready frame of reference.