India has long been known as the world's largest democracy, but it is the country's adherence to its rich cultural heritage that has enabled it to stand out in the global theater.
India has long been known as the world's largest democracy, but it is the country's adherence to its rich cultural heritage that has enabled it to stand out in the global theater. With a strong emphasis placed on community ties and a belief in social awareness and commitment, India stands at the crossroads in its progression towards the future. As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India has faced growing pains with the recent phenomenon of both globalization and liberalization, which, in turn, have created huge rifts between different sections of Indian society. If this chasm is to be breached, it rests with the privileged few to enable those who are struggling to stand and make their own way in the world. It is this ideology of Indians helping one another that is best personified by Dr. Malcom Harper.
Goa Institute of Management - Sanquelim recently welcomed Dr. Harper on February 11, 2014 as a guest speaker. Dr. Harper, a known advocate in the social and development sectors, spoke to attendees about the importance of social responsibility and the ways that students can create an inclusive society. Additionally, Dr. Harper also offered insight into the role that Management education played in students' learning to become more conscious of social needs within their community.
Throughout his talk, Dr. Harper stressed that it was important for individuals to be socially responsible by their very nature. While it is easy for organizations to claim that they are socially responsible, Dr. Harper gave several instances of corporations that supported schools and ongoing CSR work while simultaneously engaging in unethical practices. This resulted in businesses serving two masters: the corporations would aim to increase shareholder wealth and then rely on their CSR departments to repair the damage to their image that was accrued in this pursuit of the latter goal. Any good that was created was mitigated by this drive for wealth.
Dr. Harper also touched upon the significance of social marketing to create awareness among the privileged sections of society and the use of qualitative and action research to aid in this endeavor. It is more important for corporations to seek genuine social responsibility than to spend countless lakhs on CSR projects that never benefit the intended audience. Dr. Harper also emphasized that it was up to companies, the government, and individuals, all working together, to devise effective means to make sure that socially conscious programs reached their intended targets.
By offering an emphasis on the role of social responsibility and its importance in Indian society, Dr. Harper touched much of the audience with his wisdom and energy. The event was conducted by Samarthan, a student initiative under the newly established Center for Social Sensitivity and Action at the Goa Institute of Management. The goal of this organization is to promote a culture of being social responsibility among emerging managers. A means to this goal is to organize events that help promote the spirit of community and social well-being.
Given the positive reception from Dr. Harper's talk, the organization is well on its way.