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Ali Al Matani - Oman Observer
DAY after day, and all over the world, interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) in terms of sustainable development, environment, culture, heritage, sports and community service by different corporates, companies and establishments is on the increase. All companies and establishments seek commitment to their CSR to enhance and support their reputation within the communities in which they are operating. These companies and establishments don’t miss a chance to have interaction with communities, either through services or products, to establish their position and image apart from direct advertisement policy which cost so much and is well known to everyone.
There is no doubt that CSR is the optimal and best investment for the companies that aim to rank high in terms of consumer satisfaction and build a strong relation with community, especially in the light of the widespread awareness of the responsibilities, role and initiatives of companies the society has now. Communities have a sound knowledge of CSR, so they compare now what is delivered to them by this company to what is delivered by that one. This makes a pressure on the shoulders of all companies and establishments that don’t attach enough importance and attention to CSR.
In the Sultanate, CSR is taking its first steps: unorganised individual initiatives, not effective institutional ones. In spite of that, no one denies that there are some foreign and national companies and establishments that have clear and specified programmes of CSR.
And now, to upgrade CSR more and more, we have to give it the attention and care it deserves by establishing special integrated units inside companies to handle and form strategies of CSR.
There are many rationales and reasons that encourage and promote us to take care of CSR. These reasons are either religious (Islam recommends social co-operation) or traditional (presented by the Arab norms), or governmental as the government has been doing generous efforts during the past years. So, it is time for all the private sector establishments to give more and show adequate interest in CSR, to be supportive pillars of the government.
This clears any doubt regarding CSR gaining ground in society and fulfilling responsibilities as part of social and national work. Omani companies have now become aware of their role more than in the past with young and educated leaderships at the helm who have noble ideas and initiatives for sustaining society and sustainable investment.
That doesn’t mean the way to CSR implementation is paved with flowers. It requires wholehearted co-operation from employers and administrative leaderships that realise the importance of this bright side of our life. All of us need to understand that there are sections in our society who need our support and help to lead a decent life.
Developing CSR needs spreading awareness and establishing the concepts of social work, sustainable development and its aims and mechanisms. It is not a simple let’s-do-it matter. It can be achieved only by joining hands.
We are looking forward to the days when the CSR will get greater attention, interest and co-operation from all to ensure a promising tomorrow for everyone in co-operative and supportive communities that can overcome all obstacles and challenges ahead.

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