‘Social responsibility’ is a subject which had already been on the agendas of companies for years. But in recent years companies have begun to approach the subject in a more professional manner. Today consumers do not want to buy products from companies which do not fulfil their social obligations. This is the reason that Capital conducted a massive survey covering 1,335 people.
Capital is as a magazine which introduces the Turkish business community to concepts which are on the rise worldwide. For this reason, in 2005 it conducted a special study in order to draw attention to the importance of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility”.
With the support of the Metro group, it commissioned a “Corporate Social Responsibility Survey’ from the STRATEJİ|Gfk research company. The aim of the study was to assess the impact in Turkey of corporate social responsibility activities, which have recently become increasingly widespread worldwide, from the perspective of the business world. The survey was designed and planned in accordance with this goal.
This survey produced very valuable information that will help companies to organise their social responsibility activities.
For example, people were asked: “To which subjects do you think companies should give priority in their social responsibility efforts?” Thirty percent of participants wanted companies to give priority to ‘supporting education and teaching’. People believed that the second important subject was ‘supporting health and health services”. The proportion of people who thought like this was 20 percent.
Twelve percent to citizens believed that companies should support ‘the environment and the protection of nature”. Companies social responsibilities activities scope these subjects added, the social responsibility efforts they made would secure more easily perceived by the public.
Some companies in Turkey prefer to conduct their charitable works and social responsibility projects quietly and out of the limelight. They believe that publicising such efforts is ‘shameful’. In fact, 75 percent of the public thought that it was right for companies to explain what they were doing in terms of social responsibilities via media outlets such as the television, radio and newspapers. The proportion of people who did not think this was right was 25 percent.
ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS
STRATEJİ Gfk Assistant General Manager Elvan Oktar made the following comments about the results of the study and the public attitudes towards the corporate fulfilment of social responsibilities.
Sabancı Holding was the company which was regarded as being the most successful in terms of corporate social responsibilities. Koç Holding ranked second and Arçelik third.
Sanko Holding was ranked as the fourth most successful company, mainly as the result of the votes from Gaziantep and the surrounding region.
In addition to the support it gives to social issues, the success of Sabancı Holding was based on the role of Mr Sakıp Sabancı in portraying the holding as being seen as being close to the people and his success at communication.”
THE RESEARCH TEAM’S ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS
TWO IMPORTANT MESSAGES FOR COMPANIES Two important results were seen when people were asked whether firms were successful in areas of social responsibility such as ‘education’, ‘sport’ and ‘culture and the arts’. The first of these was that, as was the case overall, Sabancı Holding ranked first in each of these separate categories. The second important result was that firms can make a difference in a particular category only if they provide, and intensively communicate, long-term, regular support to specific subjects.
FOCUSING BRINGS SUCCESS In terms of successfully supporting sport, Sabancı Holding was followed by Turkcell, Vestel, Arçelik and Efes Pilsen. Turkcell ranked in the first three with its culture and the arts activities and its support for education. Eczacıbaşı ranked third after Sabancı Holding and Koç Holding in terms of its contribution to health and health services.
The most successful companies in terms of social responsibilities