Assessing the Corporate Social Responsibility of Benso Oil Palm Plantation in the Mpohor Wassa East District of Western Region

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Globalization, increased concern for environmental issues and human rights activism has increased focus on companies’ shouldering a greater social responsibility. These issues in combination with high-profile corporate scandals have highlighted the concept of CSR and companies have to take account of how their actions impact on society. The establishment of Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP) deprived the inhabitants in the communities of their farmlands and their means of survival as in some cases some settlements which were affected had to be relocated and this seriously affected their economic well being and general development of these communities. The challenge for the company is to help reduce these social problems in the region and this could be achieved through an effective corporate social investment (CSI) program. The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate to what extent BOPP, an Agro-based Industry situated in the Mpohor –Wassa East District in the Western Region carries out its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in the local Communities existing in its catchment area. In order to execute this, a qualitative case study on Benso Oil Palm Plantation was performed. Interviews were conducted with some Management and selected staff of BOPP and focused groups from some of the selected local Communities which exist in its catchment area. The study found out that BOPP was actively involved in undertaking some CSI programs in areas such as promoting Education, Health, Agriculture, Safety and Security, providing Amenities and promoting the preservation of some important Customs and Culture in the local communities. BOPP’s overall performance in carrying out its CSR programs was perceived to be good. However BOPP needs to further improve its CSR performance by setting up a CSR Oversight Committee to oversee its CSR programs, institute Stakeholder dialogue with the local community leaders and also adequately publicize its CSR programs and projects.
A thesis proposal to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial Fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of COMMON WEALTH EXECUTIVE MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION,2012