Title: CSR activities of a Japanese company operating in India - strong or weak sustainability: a theory testing of a Cybernetic model

Authors: Santosh Basavaraj; A. Ravi; Katinka Van Cranenburgh; P. Vikkraman

Addresses: Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India ' Koshys Institute of Management Studies, Hennur-Bagalur Road, Kannur, Bangalore, Karnataka, India ' ESADE Business School, Institute of Social Innovation, Avenue de Pedralbes 64, Barcelona, Spain ' Department of Management Studies, Anna University Regional Campus, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract: The first objective of the study is to shed light on why Toyota in India achieves a high ranking in CSR ratings. We analyse this by applying the cybernetics model to Toyota's CSR activities. The second objective is to determine whether Toyota adopts a strong or weak approach to sustainability; this objective is studied using in-depth interviews and a structured questionnaire of Toyota's CSR stakeholders. The results indicate that Toyota takes a holistic approach, as opposed to a stakeholder approach, to its CSR and adopts strong sustainable business practices. Toyota is found to follow most of the components of the cybernetic model. Rather than placing the company at the centre of the stakeholder model, the management of Toyota responds to the requirements of its environment by placing societal development at the top of its list of objectives. Whilst this study indicates that Toyota adopts a strong approach to sustainability, we cannot unequivocally claim that the cybernetic approach furnishes a better management model than the stakeholder approach. However, this paper provides a framework for illustrating the way in which a company might grow in terms of CSR and sustainable development.

Keywords: holistic view; stakeholder approach; decision making; cybernetics model; sustainability; system thinking view.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMP.2018.092854

International Journal of Management Practice, 2018 Vol.11 No.3, pp.284 - 317

Received: 06 May 2017
Accepted: 17 Aug 2017

Published online: 24 Apr 2018 *

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