Role of Institutions in Promoting Business
Public relations (PR) extends beyond mere management of information flow between organizations and the public. PR involves a communication phenomenon, which informs and engages major audiences, and builds significant relationships, while also bringing feedback to an organization to facilitate analysis and action. Indeed, it plays a critical role in attaining strategic organizational goals. Various institutions have been making major contributions towards promoting businesses. The influence of such institutions has been evident through the information and actions they take in relation to various business operations. Institutions like governments, NGOs, civil societies, and media houses, amidst others, communicate or act in a manner that compels or encourages companies to improve their business practices. This is especially in relation to corporate social responsibility (CSR), which contributes immensely in increasing organizational reputation.
Meaning of Institution
An institution relates to an organization or a society established based on educational, religious, or social factors. As social order’s mechanisms or structures, institutions govern behavior among individuals within a community. In modern society, such institutions are also playing a crucial role in ensuring businesses today adhere to proper business practices especially through corporate social responsibility (CSR). The institutions may include civil societies, religious organizations, research communities, mass media, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industrial institutions, and health institutions, among many others.
Various Institutional Roles
Encouraging Proper Environmental Practices
Environmental-friendly practices in organizations contribute greatly in promoting their businesses. Indeed, by promoting eco-friendly activities, an organization can differentiate itself from its competitors thereby attracting new customers. Moreover, modern customers are increasingly becoming eco-sensitive. Institutions like the NGOs have been playing a key role in tackling environmental matters thereby encouraging diverse businesses to engage in proper environmental practices (Mubarak & Alam, 2012). Certain institutions conduct research to allow the creation of institutional capacity and policy development while also enabling independent dialogue with the civil society in promoting sustainable lifestyles within organizations. In UAE, for example, institutions like ‘Emirates Wildlife Society’ (EWS) and ‘World Wild Fund for Nature’ (WWF) have been on the forefront in contributing towards eco-friendly business practices within the region (Mubarak & Alam, 2012, par.1). UAE has been experiencing profound environmental, economic, and social impacts including natural resource constraints, rapid population growth, and development. However, with the strong NGO community that has a clear mandate businesses are able to overcome the prevailing environmental issues. NGOs engage the UAE’s public sector, civil society, and businesses to facilitate successful handling of environmental matters.
Promoting Sustainable Development
Sustainable development plays a fundamental role in increasing the reputation of a business organization among potential investors and the public. Institutions, therefore, cooperate with businesses to promote sustainable development to the advantage of business organizations. According to Zilahy and Harangozo (2015), international environmental policy for a long time has acknowledged played by business and civil sectors in implementing sustainable development. NGOs can influence organizational environmental behavior in both huge businesses and SMEs (small/medium-sized enterprises). Such businesses work in collaboration with NGOs in promoting sustainable development. Cooperative strategies comprise of an effective and essential component of NGOs’ behavior towards businesses (Zilahy & Harangozo, 2015) added that. In UAE, sustainable development highly depends on education, environmental management, job creation, and poverty alleviation. Therefore, the UAE’s government, academic institutions as well civil society organizations participate in sustainable development efforts. Business organizations and companies, especially, play a crucial role in this matter since they must be engaged in contributing towards the welfare of societies within which they operate. For this reason, UAE businesses such as Booz & Company do this through CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives that support national development objectives in diverse areas including educating women, conserving water and availing affordable housing (Jamali et al, 2013).
Ensuring Proper CSR Strategies
Modern organizations have discovered that integrating responsible approaches in governance, social and environmental matters into their main business activities is a vital factor in ensuring a lengthy business success and viability. Indeed, such approaches contribute greatly in improving their public relations through increased reputation of their business both locally and internationally. According to Stiftung (2010), the public sector similarly has become a key player in enhancing the CSR agenda. Governments across the world, therefore, have greatly become proactive in developing enabling framework conditions through creating public policies that ensure organizations practice good CSR. Moreover, governments have started seeing CSR as a relevant subject in public policy considering its ability to boost inclusive and sustainable development, foster foreign investment and increase national competitiveness. In most countries, there have been stronger controls of corporate activities through various laws, rules and regulations by government institutions in their efforts to encourage businesses practice good citizenship (Stiftung, 2010). Such public policies in UAE have made companies to shift from traditional CSR programs into more strategic CSR. For example, governmental organizations such as Emirates Red Crescent have been seeking greater participation of business organizations with the society by giving back to the UAE community. Indeed, the country’s president Sheikh Khalifa has been on the forefront in stressing CSR particularly in society development and environmental protection (Ruiz, 2014).
The above discussion has demonstrated that various social institutions have been playing crucial roles in promoting businesses, through encouraging or compelling organizations to practice good CSR. The analysis has shown that proper CSR activities contribute greatly in promoting businesses because they boost their organizational reputation. Diverse institutions including NGOs, government institutions, and civil society have been presented to play key roles to promote businesses. The institutions ensure proper CSR strategies within businesses, promote sustainable development and encourage appropriate environmental practices within business organizations.
Jamali, D., Shehadi, R., Jamjoom, M., & Ghazaly, S. (2013). The Rise of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Tool for Sustainable Development in the Middle East. American University Journal, 1(1):1-24.
Mubarak, R., & Alam, T. (2012). The Role of NGOs in Tackling Environmental Issues. Retrieved from http://www.mei.edu/content/role-ngos-tackling-environmental-issues
Ruiz, R. (2014). Corporate Social Responsibility should be UAE Goal. Retrieved from http://www.thenational.ae/uae/corporate-social-responsibility-should-be-uae-goal
Stiftung, B. (2010). The Role of Governments in Promoting Corporate Responsibility and Private Sector Engagement in Development. United Nations Global Compact, 1(1):1-23.
Zilahy, G., & Harangozo, G. (2015). Cooperation between Business and Non-Governmental Organizations to Promote Sustainable Development. Journal of Clear Production, 89(15):18-31.