Designing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to support National and International
Pandemics like COVID-19

Paul N. Onulaka PhD, FCCA, FCA
Department of Accounting, College of Management Sciences,
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State Nigeria

The focus of this study is the development of a government-driven long-term strategic Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) policy framework that is based on the legitimacy theory as a
motivation for CSR reporting in Nigeria with a view to supporting national and international
pandemics like COVID-19. One of humankind’s greatest challenges this century is to ensure
sustainable, just and balanced development. There is a growing view that, even in developed
society, self-interest alone, as expressed in most companies’ voluntary CSR initiatives, is an
inadequate vehicle to drive business along the path to sustainability (Lucas et al, 2009). While the
concept of CSR continues to receive greater attention across different countries, recent studies
indicate that the need for CSR is more prominent in the developing countries than in developed
countries because development projects and other social infrastructure are lacking in most of these
countries, and most of the time they are not provided by the government. The study employed
largely primary data for the analysis. The data were sourced through interviews of selected
participants. This researcher visited via Skype the selected countries in Africa (Nigeria, Ghana
and Gambia) This research responds to the need for a government – driven CSR implementation
policy by providing a public policy perspective for building regulatory measures to support
voluntary CSR initiatives by firms and therefore adds to the works of other scholars which call for
government involvement in CSR, particularly in developing economies. Specifically, some of the
policy implications of this study will assist in setting up an implementation model to facilitate CSR
policy making in Nigeria and assist in setting up of transparency benchmark to ease monitoring
of firms’ CSR programmes.
Key Words: CSR, Nigeria, Pandemics, Legitimacy theory, Government policy Framework.

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