Title: Global Market Pressures and Corporate Social Responsibility: A Case Study of Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers in Thailand
Author: Rojanayol Vongsuksiri
Keywords: GLOBAL MARKET PRESSURES / CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY/ ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC INDUSTRY
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be seen as a critical element in supporting the sustainable development of Thailand, specifically within the scope of environmental protection and conservation. The objective of this thesis is to identify the driving force of CSR in Thailand through an analysis of the Electrical and Electronic (EE) sector, including the perspective and rationale of business owners in implementing CSR policies, and to determine what motivates their businesses in Thailand to practice CSR and the difficulties they encounter. Five large manufacturers with a minimum of seventy percent export of total production were selected for case studies. Three have prominent environmental management and CSR practices and two had ambiguous CSR practices.
The research found that each of the four key players. i.e. the Government, civil society, buyers and manufacturers influence CSR at different levels. At the international level, stringent government regulations mandate industries to operate with minimal impact on the environment. Social pressure from consumers demanding 'green' products oblige businesses to be socially and environmentally responsible. However, at regional and national levels there is relatively weak regulation enforcement by governments to put pressure on the private sector to implement CSR. Furthermore, Thai consumers appear to have little awareness of environmental problems and the role of purchasing power in creating social pressure for environmentally-friendly products. However, the existence of an economy that is export-driven means that many manufactures and businesses are inevitably subject to the rules and regulations of importing markets and international buyers. Amid increasing competition it is imperative to meet the requirements of customers and consumers. In sum, the research found that global market pressures from international markets are a main CSR driving force in Thailand. With the lack of domestic government support in certain cases, financial means to implement CSR policies and environmental management appears to be the main obstacle to their general adoption.
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