A study of M&S; Plan A CSR Initiative with the Integration of HR Essay


Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR ) has since the last decennary been a hot subject and has got increased importance since it was foremost introduced. ( Werner and Chandler, 2005 ), argued that “ consistent definitions, labels, and vocabulary have yet to be solidly established in the field of CSR ”. But yet many concerns have or planned “ to increase future committednesss in societal issues ” ( Kotler and Lee, 2005, pp4-5 ). HR has played an of import function in presenting CSR schemes around concerns and retail merchant in the UK and with the addition popularity of Web 2.0 ; many concerns have adapted the new manner of making concern instead than making it the old manner. Not many have been said about CSR and Web 2.0 and how they can work together with the aid of HR. Therefore, this study will look at how M & A ; S Plan A enterprise can work with the integrating of Web 2.0 with CSR and HR.

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Keywords: CSR, HR, M & A ; S Plan A, Web 2.0, CSR 2.0, moralss

3.0 Background

Many have been said on Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR ) and it has become one of the hottest subjects in the concern universe. The beauty of CSR lies with the fact that it non merely covers net income which many concerns think about but it besides has human and societal/planet facet which many tend to sideline. In 2000, an executive study found that “ 69 % of companies planned to increase future committednesss on societal issues ” ( Kotler and Lee, 2005, pp 4-5 ). CSR is the span between a company and its stakeholders and it is the duty of the latter to bridge the spread and perceptual experience of its stakeholders if any. Therefore as argued by ( Smith 2003, p 52 ) “ CSR is non merely considered as the right thing to make to lend to the social good, but besides the smart thing to make ”

( Mbare, 2006 ), suggested that “ the construct of CSR is non new, as some would desire us to believe, and the argument approximately concern as a moral establishment goes back to the yearss of philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Kant and Marx ”. Indeed one can reason that there has been a paradigm displacement in concern patterns as we are in a planetary market and where many concerns are outsourcing so the affair of best patterns and dealingss with those concerned have become of import. The likes of BP and Primark is a good lesson on what can travel incorrect if you do non make what you preach.

In the UK the retail concern has taken CSR to the following degree and is really much nowadays in their monthly or quarterly docket. In 2006, Global Powers of retailing study Deloitte suggested that “ heightened concern about the turning hazards confronting retail merchants is altering the direction docket from one of pull offing for profitable growing to one of managing and mitigating hazard ”. Same can be rephrased as what the former CEO Cescau P. of Unilever PLC one time said “ the rise of the scruples consumer is a motion that is garnering impulse and will alter the face of concern and trade names ” But what is a concern without its chief plus? That is its People. HR or people aspect of a company is the pulse of any concern because without people a company is nil, hence for “ CSR to be successful, it needs the support and corporate attempts from top direction to staff to do it go on ” ( Maon, Lindgreen and Swaen, 2008 ; Szekely and Knirsch, 2005 )

Similarly, the rise of Social Networking and Media or merely the Web 2.0, the paradigm has shifted once more to make mark audiences. Most of UK ‘s retail merchants are on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube and it has proven to be one of the fastest turning tendency every bit far as sharing a company ‘ activities with its fan or followings. ( Visser W, 2010 ) argues that the manner of nearing CSR has changed and that it is no more about duty but sustainability.

However, this is how M & A ; S has built their foundation of its scheme on CSR as said by Sir Stuart Rose their purpose is to be UK ‘s most sustainable retail merchant by 2015, which where the M & A ; S Plan A enterprise came to life and so far the company has 100 committednesss added to it with another 80 added this twelvemonth to stretch it till 2015. There is no uncertainty about the fact that many other sections in M & A ; S has a polar function to play every bit far as CSR is concerned but HR and Web 2.0 do play a more of import function than many would wish to admit. This study will look at this peculiar spread as to how both HR and Web 2.0 aid CSR walk the talk. The following chapter is about what have been said and researched on.

4.0 Literature Review

Previous research and articles have been done every bit far as CSR is concerned and a batch has been said every bit good on Web 2.0. The literature reappraisal aims to picture some or the most relevant issues sing this research.

( Visser W. 2010 ) cites that CSR is non about duty but sustainability. So how sustainable is the Plan A would be debated as we go along. ( Scott J T. 2011 ) argues that sustainability is ever confused with “ traveling green ” but that is merely being short sighted as it consist more than being environmentally friendly facets such as Finance, legal and societal is really much nowadays. He besides adds that “ sustainability is about long-run concern ; we have to develop an consciousness of what that includes before analyzing that thought ”

“ Doing good and making good were seen as separate ”, ( claimed Carla Fiorina, Hewlett Packard, at the concern for societal Responsibility Annual Conference, November 12, 2003 ). But in today ‘s society such things do non be as CSR is an built-in portion of Corporate Governance which adds value to a Brand and Stakeholders and is so of all time present in the Executive docket.

( Kotler et al. 2005 ) Argue that CSR screen chiefly three facets of any concern they are as follows: the Legal, ethical and Social Responsible Behaviour. It is an merger of what is good, socially and ethically good in the society.

CSR/Cause-related selling for some is non philanthropy. As cited by Baker, “ It is a commercial activity by which concerns and charities or good cause signifier a partnership with each other to market an image, merchandise or service for common benefit. ” ( Source: Business in the Community cited in Baker 2003, pg 670 ). Albeit all these, M & A ; S chief purpose is to be UK ‘s most sustainable retail merchant in the UK and how far they have reached and done would be stressed out as we go along.

CSR as the three underside lines:

Businesss tend to benchmark the three underside lines with their fiscal addition and loss. But beyond that point is the People and Social facet which are inter-related to the net income facet. M & A ; S benchmark here is the people and societal facet which in return turn up the net income. A more elaborate survey of this in relation to M & A ; S would be brought out during the research.

All three P ‘s are inter-related to do informed concern determination which has a direct impact on the Shareholders value

Figure 1.0 Beginning: Elkington J Cannibals with Forks: the Triple bottom Line of twenty-first Century Businesses 1998 )

CSR and people

( Spiller, 2000, p 154 ), suggested that CSR “ starts at home-within the organisation-as employees are the connections to the outside stakeholders, which includes just wage, effectual communicating, larning and development chances, carry throughing work, a healthy and safe working environment, equal employment chances, occupation security, competent leading, community spirit and societal mission integrating ”. This in fact mirrors to what M & A ; S portrays as their CSR attack.

The statement is that CSR consists of 3Ps, one of which is People. Harmonizing to ( Vanhaverbeke, JCI ), people ( Staff, Suppliers and Shareholders ) should move as active citizenship which they describe as “ the voluntary capacity of citizens and communities to work together to exert economic, societal or political power in chase of shared ends ” Source www.jci.be for a company to be more sustainable and achieve whatever CSR objectives they have.

Active citizens ‘ work together to equilibrate the act which would convey out efficiency throughout CSR

Market Efficiency

Active Citizenship

Government Security Community Cohesion

Beginning: Figure 2.0 Active citizenships: www.jci.be a rank based non-profit administration

The statement here how all the three P ‘s can be used to work towards what we all call being sustainable because like it or non People does play a critical function in any scheme a concern want its company to follow. The active citizenships, is an illustration as to how the one component of the 3P can really work towards unifying the other together to organize a more balance and valuable tool for the company.

CSR as a tool for Leaderships

Making bold claims about being green and to really acquire the right head set out of concern leaders and their employees are rather different thing. As experimented by JCI they developed the 3P+ Navigator.









Figure 3.0: The 3P+ Navigator Beginning: www.jci.be with courtesy of Ubeon concern experts.

The statement here is that the 3P+ is to give an penetration and trigger action in the usage of CSR from anyone coming across the latter every bit good as it can be used as a valuable appraisal tool so that concerns have an thought where they all stand. However, it is critical to besides cognize what resources and capablenesss the company have to really us these tools. For a company like M & A ; S who have laid there foundation on being a sustainable retail merchant and is making all to accomplish this chief nonsubjective so that tool is helpful.

CSR and HR

Peoples is one if non the most of import facet as to presenting schemes are concerned.CSR is non rhetoric and philanthropic any longer and like it or non People is the driving force every bit far as rescue is concerned. CSR-HR=PR, as stated by Mees A and Bonham J Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, they said that, “ if employees are non engaged, corporate societal duty becomes an exercising in public dealingss. The credibleness of an administration will go damaged when it becomes apparent the company is non “ walking the talk ”. Harmonizing to SHRM ( Society for HR Management ), a study they did in 2006, reveals that CSR patterns are seen as of import to employee morale ( 50 % ), trueness ( 41 % ), keeping ( 29 % ) – ( SHRM 2007 pg27 )

Employee Engagement Pyramid

Figure 4.0 Beginning: adapted from Melcrum, 2006, pg 9

It takes enterprises and committedness across the board to walk the talk at this degree. And to do staff at all degree be portion of it, there need to be set models like this one whereby everyone is actively engaged in educating, preparation and making consciousness through events. For illustration, M & A ; S has an Energy title-holder in each shop every bit good as Plan A title-holders and BIG group to walk the talk on Plan A and any other issues.

Adding together or ( Deming, 1986 ) rhythm and ( Moan, Lindgreen and Swaen ‘s, 2008 ) general CSR theoretical account came the HR-CSR model. It consists of “ planning and consciousness, execution and procedure development, monitoring and feedback and alteration an institutionalisation ”. ( Source Journal of international Business moralss Vol. 3 P 3, 2010 ) It depicts here that the procedure of HR and CSR need to be closely monitored and nurtured to acquire the aimed consequence and each measure of it need to be worked together that is HR-CSR as one entity. So far M & A ; S has made it clear on the fact that the really nucleus of its concern is based on CSR so how approximately HR in that? That is what the research is all about.

CSR and moralss

Harmonizing to Carroll ( 1989 ), when it come people make up one’s minding of what is ethical, the significance varies for the ground below.

Predominating norms of acceptableness

Behaviour or act that has been committed

Value opinions and perceptual experiences of the perceiver

Figure 5.0 Beginning: Dodgson 1989 adapted by Boddy D Management an Introduction 4th edition Prentice Hall 2008 Chapter 5 pg 152

In relation to concerns runing in the UK, same would use as each and every company has their ain docket of CSR and what is ethical.

He farther argued ( 1999 ), that determination devising should see four facets for CSR public presentation which are as follows

Criteria of corporate societal public presentation

Economic Duty

( Make a net income )

Legal Responsibility

( Obey the jurisprudence )

Ethical Duty

( Make what is right, avoid injury )

Discretionary Duty

( Lend to community, be philanthropic

Figure 6.0 Beginning: Dodgson 1999 adapted by Boddy D Management an debut 4th edition Prentice Hall 2008 Chapter 5 pg 156

The statement here is CSR is non merely about making good but every bit good as to stay by Torahs and the society that we live in, in add-on to add stockholders values and being a philanthropic gift. But this is problematic as to how concerns see CSR.

Friedman et al argued that CSR should be for the public good instead that personal addition ( 1962 ). He stated that “ In a free economic system there is one and merely one societal duty of business- to utilize resources to prosecute in activities designed to increase its net incomes so long as it stays within the regulations of the game, which is to state, engages in unfastened and free competition, without misrepresentation or fraud ( 1962, p133 ) ( adapted by Boddy D 2008 )

Lapp was backed by Margolis and Walsh ( 2003 ), Henderson ( 2001 ) and Stavins ( 1994 ) where they all agreed that is should be for the better of the society instead than net income.

CSR 2.0:

There has been a drastic displacement in the manner today concerns are runing and with the debut and growing of societal networking old theoretical accounts are being incorporated in new version of the web and societal web. That paradigm displacement is happening in the manner concerns are taking CSR as the following large thing, E-procurement, e-CRM has been here long plenty and now it is CSR or should we state CSR 2.0. Same argued by Visser W 2010 that CSR has failed and at that place necessitate to hold a new Deoxyribonucleic acid every bit far as the latter is concerned. He besides suggests that “ the allusion to Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is no happenstance. The transmutation of the cyberspace through the outgrowth of societal media webs, UGC and unfastened beginning attacks is a fitting metaphor for the alterations concern is sing as it begins to redefine its function in society ” ( Source: Journal of Business, Systems, Governance and Ethics Vol. 5 No.3 pg 14 )






Image driven






Sustainability & A ;









Figure 7.0 CSR 1.0 V CSR 2.0 Beginning: Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics Vol. 5 No 3 Pg 18

CSR and Web 2.0

Web 2.0 or more exactly Social Media and Social Network. With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, web logs and Flickr many concerns have embraced these medium to make out their mark audience. Retailers in the UK and even M & A ; S has a Facebook page or Twitter history which so show the importance they take in being in the know of how to make their clients. Even You Tube has become popular among retail merchants and M & A ; S has even got IDTV. But why this alteration and how that will assist CSR? This is the 2nd portion of this research.

Although it is common pattern that retail merchants publish their one-year studies on their web sites, it has become progressively likely that they do the same for their CSR studies online and have specific pages on societal site for the latter.

( Musser and O’Reilly, 2006 ), stated that “ web 2.0 is the concern revolution in the computing machine industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform and an effort to understand the regulations for success on that new platform ”

Adding up all together ( a critical rating )

So many have been said on CSR and evidently the altering kineticss in the manner concerns are being conducted, more would be voiced out. However as we are encompassing ourselves towards the following coevals in the World Wide Web and societal media, so has the facet of CSR. Kotler et Al argues that it is all about being lawfully, socially and socially responsible but as stated before, CSR is far beyond the green issues it is traveling towards invention and accommodating a more rational attack with the amalgamation of the 3Ps.

Hour does play a polar function in doing CSR more successful but the degree of HRM in CSR is problematic as to how it can be made more profitable. What are the motives staff gets to really execute and be more sustainable. If any of the stairss stated in the Employee Engagement Pyramid is non respected so all the procedure would be in vain and fail.

The writer hails the enterprise taken by Visser W ( 2010 ) as really bold and sees the hereafter bright as it encloses all that this research is about. Can CSR/HR and web 2.0 work and is it sustainable? At this phase, more literature reappraisals are being conducted to add up to what has been said and that would assist this research move frontward.

5.0 Industry Background

The pledge for M & A ; S Plan A is “ Because there is no Plan B ”. It all started in 2007 after the former CEO Sir Stuart Rose watched an Al Gore film and he stated that “ we launched Plan A by perpetrating to alter 10 things over five old ages because we ‘ve merely got one universe and clip is running out ” ( Beginning: www.marksandspencer.com/plana ) There was no turning back and in 2010 they added 80 more committednesss to be achieved by 2015. So far out of the 100 they have achieved 70.

The five pillars of Plan A

Climate Change


Natural Materials

Fair Partner


Beginning: www.marksandspencer.com/plana

Plan A purpose to present




Change across the value concatenation

Kotler et Al. 2005 cited that one should be ethically, socially and lawfully responsible in what they do. M & A ; since its Plan A enterprise have won a batch of acclaims and the ways they merged this enterprise with its people ( staff ) is one of its sort and has given them the competitory border over challengers such as Tesco and Waitrose.

Figure 8.0 Adding up all together www.marksandspencer.com/plana and the 3P

6.0 Research purpose

For the intent of this research, the undermentioned inquiries would be addressed and worked on

Research Questions

What are the effects of HR on CSR and how did it work for M & A ; S?

What effects can Web 2.0 have on CSR Strategy?


The integrating of Web 2.0 to CSR will add up outgo to the Financial budget

The importance of CSR does hold an consequence on the manner people perform and represent the Company

Research jobs and aims

Many believe that CSR is a load on a companies ‘ budget and it ne’er adds up. But for M & A ; S their Plan A enterprise has won acclaims and is a really of import facet of the retail merchant ‘s scheme and hereafter of being UK ‘s most sustainable retail merchant. Thus the aims of this research is to acquire the reply on whether

CSR is more an plus than outgo

Does Peoples and CSR help the image of the Company

How Web 2.0 aid a CSR run and walk the talk

7.0 Research Methodology

Research methodological analysis, is the most of import facet of any solution that needs happening. The right manner of making things and cognizing what and where to get down the research is critical. There is two parts in a research and both has at that place distinguished characteristics. They are the Primary and Secondary research or informations that we need to reply our chief inquiries and the informations can be both qualitative and quantitative. ( Saunders et al. 2007 ) cited that holding a multiple methods in research can assist to reply the research inquiries and give visible radiations in different positions.

Research Choices

Mono Method Multiple Methods

Multi Methods Mixed methods

Multi-Methods Multi-Methods Mixed-methods Mixed Model

Quantitative surveies Qualitative surveies Researches

Figure 9.0 Beginning: Tashakkori and Teddlie ( 2003 ) adapted by Saunders et Al ( 2007 )

7.1 Data Collection

As discussed antecedently informations aggregation comprises of both secondary and primary informations. Most of Marketing books and authors the like of Ghauri, Davidson, Malhotra and Birks ( 1994-2005 ) all agrees that both Primary Research and Secondary informations are of import facets of research and a mixture of both is most likely to be used when carry oning a research.

7.2 Primary informations

As argued by Malhotra K N. And Birks D F. ( 2007 ), primary informations are informations that is collated by the research worker for the job at manus. It consists of interviews, studies and observations.



Experiment Observation Communication

Human/Mechanical Surveys/Interview

Natural Setting Contrived puting Mail/Phone/Personal

Figure 10.0 Source Ghauri P and Gronhaug K 2005 Research Methods in Business Studies 3rd Edition Prentice Hall

7.3 Secondary informations

Secondary besides known as desk research is more exactly looking at informations collated in the past by other writers and people in specific Fieldss. It has both internal and external beginning and information would be collated from diaries, archives, libraries, one-year studies and cyberspace, professional organic structures every bit good as governmental archives and NGO ‘s. It is both internal and external beginnings of informations which are so combined for the appropriate research



Internal Sources External Beginnings

Brochure/Catalogues Books and Articles

Guarantees Statisticss

Reports Proctors

Bills Scanner Research

Figure 11.0 Beginning: Ghauri P and Gronhaug K ( 2005 ), Research Methods in Business 3rd edition Prentice Hall

7.4 Research Methodology pick

For the intent of this research, Secondary informations would be used to warrant the first inquiry as to how Plan A has impacted the concern as a whole every bit good as how CSR has emerged in the last decennary. With the aid of past studies from M & A ; S and past articles and archives on CSR every bit good as polls made from YouGov and other research companies such as Dunnhumby to cognize what impact CSR has made. There is reference of M & A ; S v Tesco, the ground being that both retail merchants target different market group and both have CSR enterprises but yet one is on the spotlight but one is non that much so, looking for Tesco ‘s CSR study would besides give an thought as to what clients in the retail sector think of purchasing sustainable merchandises.

7.5 Primary informations

Primary is the field hunt where the most of import occupation is done and as discussed earlier it consists of interviews and studies. As this subject is largely based on M & A ; S Plan A and the merge of web-analytics to track its success, the chief facet of this proposal would lie on the Primary research and the focal point would be on qualitative informations instead than quantitative informations. Qualitative focal point, the chief country of research would specify inquiry two of the proposal hence utilizing the inductive attack. With studies and in-depth interview from M & A ; S Managers and Personnel Managers, staff every bit good as clients, the chief focal point would be to acquire the most information as to how CSR and Plan A has changed their attitudes.

7.6 Secondary + Primary = improved research

Secondary Research

Primary Research

YouGov studies on fair-trading

Archivess from the British Library

Diaries of direction

Books and published articles

Books and published articles

CIPD administration

BRASS administration


Questionnaires/Surveys ( deductive attack )

M & A ; S staff from 50 different shop different format

Survey with clients across 15 shops age group 20-40

Survey with Tesco clients sing fair-trading purchasing age group 25-45

Surveies sent out to marketing Department/ M & A ; S Head office


Interview with Personnel Managers ( 15 shops )

Interview with Shop Directors ( 15 shops )

1-2-1 with Plan A Marketing squad

7.7 Justifications for the proposed research methodological analysiss

The statement here is how inter-related is CSR and HR and how the Web 2.0 has changed the paradigm of concerns. M & A ; S Plan A is one of the most talked about CSR enterprise and even though they are non immune to Web 2.0 there is still a spread that need make fulling as to how it can assist them and the most relevant manner is to make the Primary Research proposes above.

8.0 Timescale

Please refer to Appendix One

9.0 Resources

Access to some past research done on fair-trading and CSR from YouGov would be an extra cost on top of the cost of making the questionnaires and publishing them. Access to M & A ; s has been negotiated and is capable to verification and portion of informations already been accessed via the web site and staff intranet. Cost of travel to different shop and assignments would add up. Some informations have been already accessed with permission from the relevant companies for e.g. JCI and CSR international and more demand be done which would be at extra costs. Still expecting answer form Market research consultancy Clients Opinions for farther informations.


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