Satu Tahunku

Hi There!

it has been a long time since my last post in May 2015, what a bad website owner I am leaving this blog old and dusty 😛

anyway, as year 2015 draws to close, I just want to recap the things happened throughout the year. I consider this year as an amazing year full of fun, exciting, playful, stressful, cold, hot, and on the top of that, beautiful collaboration with so many wonderful people. I therefore do not want to let this memory go astray and prefer to write it in this blog to make it last forever.

January,2015:  Remaining UK Trip and First Heavy Snow

Actually we (I, Yangie, Emily, and Kak Ratih) began our UK trip right after the boxing day in December. we departed from Buchanan Bus Station with London as our main destination. Originally, we want to enjoy the new year celebration near the London Eye whereby the glorious fireworks were lighted up. Before reaching London, we traveled to several beautiful cities in UK: Newcastle, Durham, York, Manchester, and Oxford. From this journey I began to understand the characteristics of my travel-mates. They are absolutely the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Yangie is a tough and bold  woman, full of initiative, a self-starter, and would not let even a second in her life is wasted. I’ve learnt a lot from her of how to make life more meaningful to others. Emily is a cute girl which is very humble, so much selfless and sincere, always talk to her mom every day on the phone and don’t ever try to disturb her when it is her time to call her mom. Kak Ratih is the most easy going person I’ve ever met, very straightforward, and have so many experiences. I love being their company and now I miss them so much 😦

SAM_1966.JPG

from left to right: Kak Ratih, Emily, Me, and Yangie; Location in Warner Bross Harry Potter Studio

First Snow

maybe it is the dream of everyone live in tropical region to touch and feel the snow. For me it came true in January 2015 when the snow fell all over the UK, including Glasgow. I forget the exact date, but it was in Friday when we were going to gather for ISC putri. I started to record the video of the falling snow and sent it to my family and friends in Indonesia. overly excited, we also headed to Kelvingrove Park and University of Glasgow main building to play with the snow *oh my God it sounds so childish*. The facts are the snow was very cold and made your hand sore by touching it too often. The temperature in Glasgow was as low as -7 C  when the snow was first falling  and it did not exceed 5 degrees in the following days. what is more, when the snow rain stopped, the road became very slippery by the black ice and it, of course and very often, injured many people. The snow was still frequently falling until the mid of March and the temperature was reasonably low that you have to wear “a complete set of war suits” every time you need to go out.

DSC02213.JPG

I want to build a snowmaann~ Location: University of Glasgow Main Building

February-March: Flat-Campus-Library and Repeat

The second term was actually began in the mid of January, however, in January my brain was still as freeze as the winter air. Therefore I started to back on the studying rhytm in February. In the second semester, the subjects taught were totally different from the first semester. for the first time I’ve felt like I’ve became the real social science student. the subjects I’ve learnt, the journal articles I’ve read, and the coursework I’ve did made me realize that accounting was not as narrow as preparing the financial statement. my brain was completely twisted, accounting could be the part of social development, and financial term was not a mere measure of one’s prosperity.

it was, of course, quite difficult for me to think for every phenomena in a critical way, to read the journal articles that applied very sophisticated language (I’ve ever read a journal for the whole week just to understand its content), even to write in a proper academic manner was still very difficult for me. I have to admit the second semester was totally challenging for me. I know it was difficult, but I hopefully believe that, directly or indirectly, these situations could affect the way I deal with problems.

By the end of march, the second term was ended, I’ve submitted my dissertation proposal, and it was the end of the lecture process; no more coming in a rush to class, no more never ending debate in group discussion, no more pretending to pay attention in statistic class, no more intriguing and engaging SEA lecture (the only class I have which only consists of 20 students). and today I miss every second of these activities, I am  in love with the learning process University of Glasgow provided me (except statistic class of course). Thank Allah for giving me opportunity to experience this process, You are indeed The Most Gracious :’)

*sorry I have no picture for this part :(*

Celebrating the submission of dissertation proposal, I’ve took a two days trip to Stirling. A small city located 1 hour of train journey from Glasgow. Actually it was for Kibar Glasgow pengajian bulanan but I decided to stay for a night there. quite refreshing and made me ready for exam preparation (tapi bohooong :P)

DSC02610.JPG

All those vigorous time made me want to back-bend by the Stirling’s river

April: The Dark Age

It was actually spring holiday, but for me there was no holiday in April. I have to prepare for the exam in May. I realized that I am not a bright student that could easily understand the subjects. I hence forced my self to stay at least 8 hours in the library to summarize the journal articles and book chapters. Actually this time is not good to be remembered and told. at this time I honestly just wanted to go home and meet my mom. However, every time I felt so devastated,  I just remembered that I’ve carried the responsibility to finish this study, Indonesian people financed my study, hence I need to do my best to paid it. Moreover, Allah will not give a burden more than you could carry.

May: The Third World War: Me Against The Exam

and here came the exams! I had three exams to be taken on May: Social and Environmental Reporting, Advanced International Corporate Reporting, and Issues in Accounting Research. Even though SER was my favorite subject, from all of the other subjects, I obtained lowest score in here. Honestly, I did not take this exam seriously as I opt out last chapters when preparing the exam, and you know what, every questions addressed in the exam were the chapters I did not study so seriously, so congratulations and poor me.

initially, after exams finished I was planning to go to Indonesia for the purpose of regaining the energy by meeting my family. Unfortunately, the dissertation supervision schedule started earlier for me that hence I had to withdraw my intention to go home.

June-July : Dissertation, Ramadhan, and Lebaran!

These two months were regarded as my favorite time of the year. There were no more classes and no more studying for exams that I could set my time more freely. As this was the summer time, the sun rose earlier, in 3 or 4 am and down very late (around 10 pm). It made the Ramadhan fasting really challenging. I usually slept after Fajr, woke up in 9 am, went to the library to work on the dissertation, I started working in 10 am and finished around 5 pm. went home, sleep, and cook for dinner. we usually did not slept until the Fajr, hence we could use this time to pray tarawih and continued to work on the dissertation.

I have been very grateful as Allah gave me so many helps in doing my dissertation. one of His blessing is through Kak Murniati Mukhlisin’s help. She is the PhD graduate from University of Glasgow and now becoming an accounting lecturer in the University of Essex, very amazing isn’t she. She helped me to build the solid theoretical ground in my dissertation, taught me on how to write a good academic writing, and advised me on how to rigorously arranged the time schedule. May Allah grant her a very good rewards :’). Allah also gave me with a bunch of nice neighbors and friends: Hillhead Sisterhood  (Yangie, Emily, Eva, Abeth, Mba Lila, Kak Ratih), Bang Asra and Teh Iim’s Family, Kelvinhaugh Neighborhood (Bu Yuyuk, Aghnaa, Zaki, Gulfano), Teh Siska’s family, Mba Desita and Bang Yassa, Kak Ani’s Family, and everyone in ISC putri. every time I felt too bored with the routine I could come to their places or they could comes to ours in Bank Street. Alhamdulillah for the Ramadhan month that we could strengthen the ties of kinship through break fasting and tarawih together. they of course,  turn a difficult day into its brightest and be my closest family when I was away from my parents 🙂

11143384_10206758790146472_6088925058227388469_n

Idul Fitr in Glasgow

August: Dissertation Submission and Farewell

As we entered August, my heart started to unrest. I’ve had the mix feeling of happy and sad at the same time. Happy as I would finished the study and met my family again. On one hand I felt so sad as I should left all of the comfort I’ve had in Glasgow. However, I decided to cherish every last moment in Glasgow that I could remember it for the rest of my life. I went to Oban with Emily before the dissertation submission deadline just to ate a full plate of seafood, had a fine afternoon tea with the girls, and made any effort to gather with friends in any occasion.

11905400_10153226682597561_5968356891541459444_n

Afternoon Tea with The Girls; Location in Willow Tearoom Buchanan Street (From left-to-right, clockwise: Bu Yuyuk, Abeth, Mba Lila, Yangie, Mba Desita, Emily, Teh Siska, Teh Iim and Bian, Me)

DSC00162.JPG

With Lovely Emily in Oban

as it comes to the dissertation submission, I realize that my responsibility as a student had finished. However, it made my self anxious about everything that would came after it. At that time, I decided to not take it too much until I would arrived in Jakarta. I thought that I should be grateful instead of sad as Allah allowed me to experienced one marvelous year in Glasgow.

index

My Submitted Dissertation

By the end of August, the Hillhead sisterhood initiated a farewell for UofG Indonesian family. We prepared a video, awards, and games for this event that hence everyone could embrace our togetherness. the event was held on Eva and Karisa’s flat, a very comfy place for gathering. What I remembered from that night was it was very full of laugh and joy that it literally made my head spinning. oh how much I miss that moment :’)

September: The Most Uncertain Period of The Year

No matter how hard I’ve told to myself to not took everything too much, it was not working quite good at that time. My heart was broken as I saw my friends went for the Europe Trip or for good. At one night I cried in Eva’s arm regretting why I have to left Glasgow when everything was felt very comfortable and lovely.  However, the main purpose of me being in Glasgow was to study for a year and back again to Indonesia to fulfill my promise to this country. It was very hard yet I should back to Indonesia.September 8th was the day I went back to Indonesia from Glasgow. Fortunately, I had Yangie with me in this journey hence it could lessen my sorrow.

Couple of days of my first arrival in Jakarta is absolutely uneasy. I used to compare the situation in Glasgow with everything in Jakarta. Honestly, I was also afraid of loosing the habit I have attained during a year of my stay in Glasgow. After reading a friend’s article on a blog, I start to think that the real challenge was just about to begin. the real life starts as I accomplished my study in Glasgow. Life is about moving from one situation to another new situation, leaving your comfort zone to move to another difficult zone and make it your new kind of comfort zone. this thought made me realize that I had to make up my intention and to reset my goals. I spent the whole September just to figure out what I have to do in this life, I honestly experienced a life crisis period in this time. At the end I realize that my main goal is to give as many benefit as I can to this country and religion. If  I think that this country is still left behind than It became my duty to fix this. I’ve already received so much blessing, Allah provided me an opportunity to pursue my study, both in undergraduate and graduate, with the help of scholarship. I thought it was my responsibility to pay everything back that I wish in the judgement day I could answer the question regarding this blessing. Therefore, I decided to end this life crisis stage by the end of September.

October: I Have to Start!

Finish with the uncertainty period I decided to do anything essential for life. Alhamdulillah, Bu Sylvia Veronica provided me an opportunity to be her research assistant. Fortunately, the topics she addressed was very fit with my passion: CSR reporting and IFRS full adoption in Indonesia.

November: The New Beginning

Alhamdulillah, at the beginning of November I’ve got a job. I hope in this place I could do my best to contribute to this country. May Allah give me strength to continue on my dreams.

December: Graduation!

Since the mid year of 2015 I’ve decided to attend the graduation just to motivate me to study harder. Alhamdulillah I’ve got an opportunity to finally attend the graduation ceremony. My office allowed me to take a week leave for this event. I arrived in Edinburgh on December 1st, took the bus to Glasgow, and took the subway from Buchanan Bus Station and headed to 59 Bank Street. I had an indescribeable  feeling of happiness as I breathe the air of Glasgow.

during my short stay in Glasgow, alhamdulillah I could attend ISC putri and met my beloved Indonesian sisters, I could also attend Abeth graduation (although unfortunately I could not catch up Bu Yuyuk and Yangie graduation ). Even though my parents could not attend my graduation alhamdulillah Eva and Okky agreed to accompany me in my graduation and some friends also came to our graduation day.

12313918_10207646714664080_4032370960117108735_n

ISC Putri in Teh Siska’s Flat, December 2nd 2015

12345511_10205289211658633_8576270938066913962_n.jpg

My Graduation Day, December 3rd 2015

As it was only a short stay, I left Glasgow on December 5th and arrived on Jakarta the following day. I wish someday I could back to Glasgow again. Now the most important thing is to apply every experience and knowledge I have obtained. Ya Allah please give us strength to remain steadfast in Islam that every thing we do is only for you..

Cibubur, December 2015 – January 2016

Materialism at its worst

Malam itu saya sedang berbincang hangat dengan teman saya untuk melepas kejenuhan di reading weeks, seperti biasa kalau kami ngobrol hal yang dibicarakan ga jauh-jauh dari gosip :D. bermula dari curhatan saya tentang pelajaran social and environmental accounting  yang reading listnya ada 83 biji, tiba-tiba kami nyangkut ke permasalahan terkini bangsa Indonesia *hazek* teman saya ini kebetulan memiliki background ekonomi pembangunan, jadi kalau bergosip tentang Indonesia pasti semangat banget. saya yang curhat pertama kalau saya punya cita-cita kerja di NGO, mengingat dan menimbang kayanya permasalahan yang ada di Indonesia ini sulit kalau 100% harus ditangani pemerintah. Teman saya ini bilang, di Indonesia ini, NGO yang berkembang itu adalah NGO yang dimiliki asing, misalnya NGO-NGO yang menangani masalah Tsunami , predominantly dijalankan oleh orang luar negeri dan menerima dana dari luar negeri juga, sementara untuk NGO lokal, sumber dananya terbatas, kebanyakan hanya mengandalkan dari donatur lokal. Faktanya, kemampuan donasi masyarakat Indonesia tentu jauh-jauh lebih rendah dibandingkan kemampuan donatur-donatur asing. Sehingga tak heran, NGO lokal kurang berkembang (dalam artian: program yang dilakukan terbatas hingga pada akhirnya berusaha sekuat tenaga untuk me-maintain donatur ketimbang membuat program yang inovatif untuk mengatasi permasalahan sosial).

Sangat jelas, kemampuan ekonomi masyarakat Indonesia yang sangat rendah dan sikap konsumerisme sebagian orang mendisentif penyelesaian masalah sosial itu sendiri. pandangan saya pribadi, bagi masyarakat yang makan saja tidak cukup, tentunya tidak terpikir untuk menyelesaikan permasalahan lingkungan sekitarnya. Jangankan, untuk masyarakat yang tidak mempunyai pekerjaan, untuk masyarakat kelas menengah saja, ditengah-tengah inflasi yang terus meningkat seperti saat ini, tentu juga masih berfikir untuk kebutuhan sendiri. Hal yang memperburuk keadaan adalah, bagi mereka yang berlebih, sebagian mengedepankan pola hidup konsumerismenya, seperti belanja baju-baju mahal, fancy dinner setiap weekend, atau gonta-ganti tiap ada gadget terbaru keluar. meskipun saya belum pernah melakukan riset empiris, tapi saya yakin, sangat sedikit yang memiliki kepedulian terhadap permasalahan sosial. disatu sisi, saya salut dengan beberapa teman saya yang sudah berinisiatif untuk melakukan perubahan sosial melalui aktivitas-aktivitas voluntir mereka. Kak Risma dengan BeriBuku, Pipit dkk dengan gerakan sedekah brutal, Isni dengan Sekolah Bermain Matahari. Meskipun skop dari gerakan-gerakan voluntir tersebut saat ini masih sangat terbatas, tapi saya percaya gerakan ini akan menggurita se0820e747fc00767dec100fba5e5f4142af773c3bcadf04aaba75ef6631be669eiring dengan timbulnya kepedulian masyarakat Indonesia terhadap permasalahan bangsanya.

Balik lagi ke permasalahan kepedulian sosial masyarakat Indonesia, yang membuat saya tidak habis pikir adalah, kenapa bisa-bisanya materialisme ini merasuki jiwa masyarakat kita. kaum kapitalis berlomba-lomba untuk melanggengkan hegemoninya dengan melakukan segala cara, salah satunya adalah dengan beroperasi tanpa mempedulikan lingkungan sekitar. tanpa mempedulikan upah buruh yang tidak layak, tanpa peduli kalau pembangunan pabrik mereka dapat mencemari lingkungan, tanpa peduli kalau produk yang mereka hasilkan dapat merusak kesehatan. Pemerintah pun tampaknya silent as dead menyikapi tindak tanduk perusahaan yang seperti ini, bahkan mereka cenderung tidak berani menunjukan wibawanya mengingat ancaman perusahaan akan kabur dan kehilangan pemasukan pajak bila pemerintah mengeluarkan peraturan yang tidak menunjang bisnis mereka. Meskipun praktik CSR saat ini sedang ramai-ramainya digaungkan, sungguh, praktik CSR yang ada tidak lebih dari window dressing, membuat perusahaan tampak legitimate dihadapan publik tanpa memberikan aksi nyata (I have read so many papers on this). Sangat jelas bahwa baik pemerintah, bisnis, dan masyarakat Indonesia dibelenggu oleh materialisme, sehingga lingkaran setan yang ada saat ini tidak dapat terputus.

saya sangat sedih ketika membaca buku Psikologi Bersama pak Komaruddin Hidayat, bahwa salah satu unsur dari kebudayaan Indonesia adalah ampas kapitalisme sehingga menghasilkan perilaku konsumerisme. Ya, konsumerisme disegala elemen civil society, masyarakat, bisnis, dan pemerintah. Teman diskusi sayapun berkeras bahwa sangat sulit untuk mengabaikan permasalahan ekonomi. but I think that we have to go beyond so-called neo-classics economics to breakthrough the plethora of social problems. pada posting di website ini sebelumnya saya pernah bertutur tentang perlunya self-sufficiency, istilah yang saya dengar pada Program Kepemimpinan LPDP adalah, selesai dengan diri sendiri. dalam artian kita sudah bisa mengatasi permasalahan-permasalahan pribadi kita untuk selanjutnya turun untuk mengurai permasalahan sosial yang lebih kompleks. Tapi kapan saatnya? apakah saat ini saya telah merasa cukup dengan diri saya sendiri? mungkin yang dapat saya lakukan saat ini minimal adalah belajar dengan sungguh-sungguh agar tidak sia-sia apa yang telah difasilitasi negara saat ini. jika semangat saya sedang jatuh, mungkin inilah yang perlu saya ingat, bahwa permasalahan saya tidak ada apa-apanya dibandingkan dengan realita yang ada.

Terakhir, meskipun saat ini saya sering mendengar kecaman terhadap Pemerintahan saat ini atas naiknya harga bahan-bahan pokok dan tarif transportasi dan saya paham bahwa kritik dari masyarakat itu adalah penting sebagai dinamika dari kehidupan demokrasi, yang perlu saya sendiri evaluasi adalah, apakah saya sudah menunjukan usaha maksimum saya untuk negara ini dan apakah saya sudah pernah mendoakan pemerintah dalam sholat-sholat saya.

*harap maklum rada random*

UofG Main Library

fashion encyclopedia: Valentino resort 2013

What Issues Matters While Reporting on Employees

Employees are recognized as salient companies’ stakeholder as they provide years of service to companies. The relationship between companies and employees create the responsibility for companies to report about employment practice. In EU, the report about employment is mostly emphasize on payment and benefit, recruitment/redundancies, training, and breakdown of employment by gender, geographical, or locations. however, there are some limitations regarding the practice of employment reporting that therefore the accountability to employees is not satisfactorily discharge.

Firstly, Williams and Adams (2013), through the employment of discourse analysis method, asserted that National Westminster Bank (Natwest) employee reporting practice was lack of disclosure in terms of impact of technology and branch closure, training and career prospect, consultation and participation, and redundancies. Moreover, there was also a tendency to conceal the reality behind the flowery rhetoric. for instance, Natwest’s annual report disclosed the following:

“as part of our drive for profitable growth, we continue to look closely at means of cutting work and activities which do not add value to our services. we are streamlining our operations in order to release staff for more profitable activities….”

However, Natwest did not disclose what is the impact of cutting work for employees. In reality, many employees, predominantly female workers, experienced job-deskilling in which they have to undertake different routine task with low payment. However, men were not affected by job deskilling. Another evidence is Natwest disclosed in the annual report that the company was frequently engage with labor union. In fact, there were no indication that the voice of employees were heard and responded to in relation to any of employment issues. Natwest was merely engage with the employee in order to get the input of how to increase customer satisfaction.

According to the legitimacy theory, Natwest performed this symbolic management strategy in order to be perceived as value congruent with society. Furthermore, according to political-economic theory, this action was also performed in order to obtain reputation from government and capital owners. 

Secondly, current employee reporting practice indicate the discrimination of gender and race. Duff (2011) present an evidence that in Big 4 public accountant firms’ annual report, there were less portrayal of women and non-white while most of the portrait in the annual report was predominated by men. Moreover, both women and non-white were depicted as non-employees and portrait in the informal setting while the majority of men picture were depicted men as employees with formal attire. 

Hayness and Fearfull (2008) described that women were largely discriminated in the workplace not because they can not perform particular task but more likely because the persisting patriarchy paradigm in the society which relates women as the subservient of men. Moreover, the motherhood identity embedded to women makes them appeared to be less flexible in performing some task.

To conclude, the major issue in employment reporting was the use of symbolic management strategies to legitimate companies action that they will obtain legitimacy from public, government, and capital provider. Moreover, it is also evident that gender and racial discrimination is still appeared in companies’ employee report.

Challenges in Accounting for Human Right

It has been clear that business is the part of society, in doing business companies might work with regimes whose values they might consider offensive. It is quite often that companies have to deal with the local society who need to mine land that is ancestral home of indigenous people. (Gray, Adams, and Owen, 2013)

the illustration above is just a small example which portray that companies are actually deal with human right issue. Human Right is could be defined as the fundamentals principles allowing individuals the freedom to lead a dignified life, free from fear, and free to express independent beliefs (Gray and Gray, 2012). Companies have an obligation to ensure that they do not violate the human rights.

International initiative on human right has been emerged in 1948. As the World War II ceased, the United Nation declared the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) for the purpose of protecting individual rights and freedom throughout the world. UN General principle emphasized in the importance role of State in protect against human right abuse within their territory  and jurisdiction by third parties, including business enterprises. Consequentially, this principle also obliged the businesses to respect human rights whereby they should address adverse human rights impact with which they are involved. Moreover, businesses are not only obliged to respect human rights but they also have to avoid infringing on the human rights.

Despite all these initiatives, Gray and Gray (2012) highlight that there are some challenges in articulating the notion of human right that it drives to the very basic question about what is to be human? and what each individuals owes to themselves and to each other?. Albeit this confusion, the notion of human right tend to use UDHR as its touchstone. Arguably, as UDHR is not legally binding and only form the basis of what nations are expected to follow, it has lead to the widespread acceptance of human rights as a basic tool of moral evaluations. 

Another problem arises as UDHR per se  having some disputes and the most substantial dispute is, UDHR is considerably  emerged on western idelogy. It leads to the essential conundrum over the extent to which the UDHR leans towards a privileging of western notions of individualism over the eastern sense of collectivism. 

Moreover, the non-legally binding nature of UDHR, is however, constitutes  no well-defined responsibilities
expected from the government and businesses. As the UDHR has asserted, initially and predominantly human right is a matter of state. Nevertheless, government is incapable in controlling the MNCs as MNCs have many subsidiaries outside its reign. Fortunately, the international initiatives, including UNGC and OECD guideline for MNEs, are developed in order to define how business might begin to understand human right. However, there is a growing resistance from business as human rights are considered to be outside the scope of business that therefore business will have little benefit from engaging corporations with human rights. 

The unclear responsibility of who should assert the human right, leads the NGOs to arbitrate this issue. There are several NGOs initiate in addressing the human right issue. For instance, The business and Human Right Resource Centre (Responses from companies to allegations of misconduct); Right and Accountability in Development (promotes corporate accountability, fair investment, and good governance). However, the complex nature of MNEs with the growing range of stakeholders in different places and the unabated capital mobility, creates a difficulty to small-funded NGOs in monitoring MNEs’ human right-related activities. Therefore, the social accounting and the mechanism of accountability is expected to tackle this issue. the social accounting might help companies to monitor and manage human right risk only and if only the social  accounting have a reporting framework and a clear mechanism of monitoring. Unfortunately, the beyond dispute notion of human right makes there is no clear reporting framework and measurement of human right. Even though, GRI has provide  a guideline in reporting human right, according to GRI (2008) survey there was only 7% of companies surveyed report using G3 guideline comply with the guideline

Closing Remarks

although it is not yet clear how the measurement and calculations to reflect the rights of humanity, some initiative arises in the area of finance through the development of Socially Responsible Investment index such as FTSE4Good, DJSI, KLD Domini and so forth to facilitate conscientious investor place their fund in companies with highest respect in human right. In term of human right practice monitoring, inevitably we still heavily rely on NGO or media. It is expected that this practice could prevent the human right abuses by business enterprises

Should CSR be Regulated?

after my post regarding the importance of CSR for business, now I am trying to post whether CSR practice should be regulated or not. Again this is the part of my Social and Environment Accounting course revision :p *hope you not get bored*. 

as the names suggest, mandatory reporting means that the CSR repoting practice is enforced by the law whereas in voluntary regime means that companies voluntarily disclose the CSR report albeit there is no regulation for CSR reporting.

Carrot and Sticks Report (2013) demonstrated that in the last 7 years, mandatory CSR reporting practice were remarkably increased. It implies that CSR had obtained a significant importance that it had to be regulated. in Indonesia, for instance, in 2012 BAPEPAM-LK enforced the listed companies to disclose their CSR activities either in the annual report or in the stand alone report. meanwhile in the UK, the companies act of 2006 required the listed companies to disclose about their responsibility towards the environment, employee, social community, and supply chain issue. 

However, even though the trends of voluntary CSR reporting practice appear to be decreasing, the voluntary CSR reporting had initially developed long before the mandatory initiative emerged. Global Reporting Intiative (GRI) was a non-profit institution formed in 1997 by Ceres and Tellus institute with the aim to give guidelines for CSR sustainability reporting. GRI guideline is considered as the most influential guideline in the world that it is considered that it encourage the engagement with multiple shareholder. Moreover, GRI guideline for “triple-bottom-line reporting” would broaden financial reporting into a three-dimensional model for economic, social and environmental reporting. when GRI G3.1 was launched, it provided 42 strategy and profile indicators (e.g CEO statements, governance,etc), and also with 84 performance indicators (55 core indicators) in the area of environment, social, and economic. However, not all of the indicators need to be reported by companies. companies might choose which score that they want, the score is ranging from A+ to C. If companies want to get A+ they should disclose all 42 strategy and profile indicators and also 55 performance core indicators. Nevertheless, this GRI G3.1 guideline obtained a critic that even though the environmental indicators were useful, the social and economic indicators were considered less inspiring (Bebbington et al., 2014)

The critics toward GRI G 3.1 catalized the launched of  G.4 guidelines whose indicators are based on the materiality principle: material aspect that influence stakeholders’ assessment and decision. companies are encouraged to engage with stakeholders to identify the material aspect for them and companies will include the material aspect in their CSR report. The assessment of report comprehensiveness would be optional, companies are free to choose either the core option given (to report with at least one indicator identified as material aspect) or comprehensive option (to report with all indicators identified as material aspect).

Despite the fact that recently mandatory reporting is mostly practiced, the necessity of CSR to be regulated is still highly contested.

Bebbington and Gray (2007) and Unerman an O’Dwyer (2007) pointed out that companies are rejecting the regulation because it makes them less flexible to report their CSR practice. Moreover, companies want to leave the impression that environment is safe in business hand. Moreover Bebbington et al’s (2013) study demonstrated that voluntary reporting practice is more effective relative to mandatory reporting practice. the study focus in Spain where CSR reporting is highly regulated and in the UK where initially there was no binding system about CSR reporting but many companies were engaged in CSR reporting practice. Arguably, the development of normativity plays a vital role in the succeed or failure of reporting practice. In the UK the norms were arise from a shared believe facilitated by ACCA. in 1991, ACCA initiated a dialogue to develop best practice in CSR reporting scheme. ACCA gave reporting award to the companies with best reporting practice. such action gave rose to peer benchmarking that encourage companies to be on the top. Beyond this tipping point, norms were internalized and further acquired as a taken for granted quality whereby all companies recognize the norms as binding. Furthermore, ACCA scheme was complemented by other initiative such as certification scheme, industry association, and business consultancies that therefore reporting CSR were highly associated with competitive advantage. Finally in 2006, the ACCA voluntary scheme was transformed into quasi-legal in which UK prime minister stipulated the scheme to the section 417 of UK Company act 2006.

However, Unerman and O’Dwyer (2007) asserted that the voluntary disclosure of CSR reporting is closely related with business case whereby companies were reporting to pursue the economic benefit that information in CSR report is disclosed in the selective manner therefore the reporting credibility could not be confirmed. Employing the reflexivity theory, Unerman and O’Dwyer (2007) argued that effective regulations could assure that the information in CSR report is verifiable and not included in a selective manner as the regulators are perceived as the expert system whereby stakeholders could place their trust. whenever outside stakeholders read the CSR report they might confirm that the report is credible without checking to detail. Moreover, the regulations might also reduce the perception of risk faced by stakeholder from business activities. 

Criado-Jimenez et al (2008) also suggested that compulsory CSR Reporting standard could increase the disclosure quality because under specific disclosure requirement and enforcement mechanism (such as auditing), reporting companies would be liable for any misstatement.

Nevertheless, there are some finding suggest that even though mandatory SER exist, companies still fail to make disclosure or when they do the quality of such disclosure remains low. Bebbington et al., (2013) demonstrated that even though the regulation brought the significant increase in disclosure, only a few having attained full compliance. Spanish companies were indicated not disclosing the environmental liabilities. 

Criado-Jimenez  et al (2008) explain the non-compliance of business is due to the impression management strategies applied by companies. this strategy includes: Aquiescence (comply with the standard), Avoidance (concealing the non compliance), and Defiance (ignoring explicit norm). Criado-Jimenez demonstrated that the impression management practice was exist within Spanish companies. As regulation regarding CSR reporting was enforced, the number of Spanish companies disclose the CSR item in the annual report was increased significantly. Moreover, the disclosure over bad news was increased more than the disclosure of good news. However, there was a concealment practice took place that the total number of good news disclosed was twice higher than the bad news. The ritualism practice also occurred since it was indicated that companies disclose the bad news in other media than the annual report. Plausibly, companies wanted to leave the impression as conform with the law so that the stakeholders will trust them. Moreover, companies quality of disclosure was also low that it only disclose 20% out of the regulation required.

Bebbington et al (2013) also explained that the non-compliance might be occured since the standard is lack of clarity. from their study in Spanish companies it was indicated that the regulations required the companies to disclose the environment liability yet the standard did not give a guidance how to recognise and measure the environment liability. Moreover, contrast with UK norms which was arose due to the consultation progress, there was no such process in developing Spanish CSR standard. consequently, the standard was not internalized within the Spanish companies.

to sum up, current practice of CSR, both mandatory and voluntary have some benefit and limitation. Mandatory reporting standard could encourage companies to increase their disclosure and also increase the trust of the stakeholders because they perceived the report as credible. Nevertheless, some evidence suggest that there were some limitations of mandatory disclosure such as the lack of disclosure extend, the low quality of disclosure, and the ritualism practice. On the other hand, voluntary disclosure standard could be easily internalized within companies however many of the stakeholders doubted the credibility of the voluntary CSR reporting since it is closely related with companies enlighted self-interest

Should Business Involve in CSR?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) appears to be  a widespread phenomenon among business. what really CSR is? why business should involve in CSR practice? How to practice a good CSR? Here I try to elaborate the origins of CSR, it’s definition, and how to practice

CSR: Setting The Scene

Actually, business awareness about CSR had started around the World War II in 1945 and followed in the Cold War to prevent the hegemony of communist influence (Carrol and Shabana, 2010) . Yet, we would not go that far. we would start from year 1984 when Union-Carbide’s plant explosion kill thousands of life, the companies should bear the consequences regarding its irresponsible business operation (Maguire, 2011). Within a week, Union Carbide’s share price was plunged to approximately 27% while it also had a burden for the litigation claim. this accident had further created awareness for companies to act in a socially responsible manner. Arguably, this accident happened as previously business was perceived as a profit-oriented entity as the main goal was just to create wealth for stakeholders (Friedman, 1962).

Apparently, companies are the part of society, they take the resources, employees and raw materials, from society. sometime companies’ operations give negative externalities to the environment such as pollution and waste (Gray et al., 2014). The intertwined relationship between companies and societies, inevitably, creates companies responsibilities to act in a socially desirable manner otherwise their going concern would be threatened (Shocker and Sethi, 1973).

in the same year as Union-Carbide’s plant explosion, Freeman created a “stakeholders theory”, the theory which becomes the foundation of  most CSR practice and research. this theory asserts that businesses have to be responsible to all of their stakeholders otherwise their survival could be threatened. the stakeholders involve every parties that are affected by business operations, including, employees, supplier, environment, communities, government, and so forth.

Debate About CSR Definition

albeit it is reasonably clear that CSR is arises as there is a relationship between business and society, the definition of CSR remains inconclusive. Dahlsrud (2008) suggested that there is at least 37 different definitions about CSR. However, the most used definition is the CSR pyramid by Carrol (1991).

* I don’t know why I can insert picture, so let me just describe*

Carrol (1991) divided the CSR pyramid into four stages. First stage is economic responsibility inthis stage companies have to be responsible for themselves at the first instance
through achieving sufficient profitability. The second stage is legal
responsibility
which defines that companies have to be responsible in
obeying the law. The third stage is ethical responsibility which implies
that companies have the responsibility to do the right things (for instance Starbucks use only the fair trade coffee for its product to deliver the best quality for customer).And the last and
considered to be placed on the top of pyramid is philanthropic
responsibility
in which companies are expected to improve the quality of
life (currently many companies engage in this type of responsibility through giving the donation to less-fortunate people).

Carrol’s definition achieve a huge success as it had been used in many CSR research for more than 25 years! the pyramid also clearly depicts that businesses’ responsibility is not only to create profit, but also to comply with the regulation, operate in ethical way, and improve society’s quality of live.

However, this definition was contended by Gray et al., (2014) as it is unclear of why economics motives become the foundation of the pyramid. does each stage of the pyramid is optional that a business might choose in which stage they want to be?

Motives of Doing CSR

Carrol and Shabana (2010) explained that one of the motives to engage in CSR practice is the business case which means, people wants to practice CSR merely if they could see the direct impact between CSR and companies financial performance. companies involve in CSR in order to reduce cost and risk, increase competitive advantage, increase reputation and legitimacy, and obtain a win-win outcome. However, the study result about CSR influences to companies’ financial performance is inconclusive. Some research suggest that it has positive relationship, some demonstrate a negative relationship, while the other assert that it has no relationship at all. the inconclusive finding of the studies do not necessarily means that the variable used is incorrect. CSR practice supposed to be different across companies thus the result might be different. another plausible explanation is, it supposed to be a mediating variable amidst  the CSR and companies’ financial performance such as, customer satisfaction.

Van Marewijk (2003) added that companies adopt CSR practice because they face corporate challenge. Nowadays, in order to obtain substantial success, companies have to practice High Quality management in which they have to integrate the business. companies have to be able to manage their scattered employee, the supply chain, and the surrounding societies. another reason is currently businesses are intersected with government and civil society as well that therefore businesses have to act in a responsible manner toward the government and societies. 

Another attempt to define businesses’ motives in CSR is appeared through Garriga and Melle
(2004) work in mapping CSR’s view into four groups of theories: instrumental
theories, political theories, integrative theories, and ethical theories.
The
instrumental theories viewed CSR as a mechanism to achieve profit.
Porter and Kramer’s (2006) view on CSR as the tool to achieve competitive
advantage could be grouped in the instrumental theories. The political
theories
stated that companies have to be responsible to the societies
since social duties and rights are emerged as a consequence of relationship
with societies. One example of political theories is the assumption of social
contract which asserts that companies have a responsibility to act in “socially
desirable”
way (Shocker and Sethi, 1973). The integrative theories
viewed that CSR is about balancing various social demands. One of contributors
to this theory are Deegan (2002) view about the importance of treating every
stakeholder fairly to achieve companies’ sustainability. Finally, the ethical
theories
defined that CSR as an ethical consequence companies need to
fulfil since they have developed the relationship with societies. The ethical
theories
contribute to the idea that CSR involve the responsibility to both
current and future generation 

Concluding Remarks

despite the various motives of businesses doing CSR and the elusiveness of CSR definition, one thing remains constant is CSR arisese as there is a relationship between business and society that therefore business bear the responsibility to act in a socially desirable way. My lecturer said, despite the fact that companies’ motive to engage in CSR is to achieve competitive advantage, CSR is originally not created for that purpose, business is a part of society and has to deliver the best for society, unless we want to see the future generation is collapse. 

last day we were escorting our friends from Manchester to enjoy Glasgow. we bring them to Pollok Park. located in the city side, Pollok Park is the largest green space in Glasgow. The feeling when you reach this park was a mixed of relax, freedom, and peace. this is a very recommended place to visit after you deal with numerous assignments. However, It is quite difficult to reach this place from Glasgow West End. you have to take a subway to Queen Street and get a train until Pollokshaw West or Maxwell Park, afterward you still have to walk around 15 minutes to reach the park.

days after exam

Hi Ya!

my exam was finished almost a week ago. I think I’ve gave the best for the exam, the result? yeah as long as I’ve performed my best I will not regret the result, whatever is it. There was a bit incident during my Management Accounting and Control exam, we were given two answer books before the exam started. I thought that the other book is for additional book in case we need it. however, I did not notice that each section of the exam had to be answered in two separate exam books. Oh pity me! I’ve just noticed that 5 minutes before the exam end. when the exam ended I asked my class mates if they answered in one book or two books. luckily, many of them answered in just one book :P, yet I still feeling restless, so I asked my program administrator if it was okay if such case happened, she said it was okay and I started to get a bit relax. the lessons I’ve take is to look before I leap and to notice the surrounding even it is the smallest thing. Sometimes people fall not because a big stone but because a small stone.

now I will just praying that the result will be the best that I can make my parents proud 🙂