The Management of Corporate Social Responsibility in the UK Rail Sector

Johnson, Barry (2014). The Management of Corporate Social Responsibility in the UK Rail Sector. MPhil thesis The Open University.



There is increasing interest from the public and private sector in not only how companies do business in financial and commercial terms, but also in the way they take into account the impacts they have on the communities, stakeholders, and environments in which they operate. There is increasing evidence from these sectors that companies that actively manage social, environmental, health and safety issues, demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), will do better financially and in share price valuation. Companies that take this CSR initiative are also rated in surveys as companies where people want to work and do business.

To date there has been little previous research carried out on CSR in the UK rail sector. This thesis therefore examines the evolution of the relationship between CSR and the UK rail sector, assesses the significance of the relationship between CSR and the corporate success of UK rail sector organisations and appraises the efficacy of the implementation and use of CSR management in UK rail organisations. Using results and findings taken from a questionnaire-based survey, supported by personal interviews, of the experience of a sample of UK rail sector managers with responsibility for CSR, and an analysis of documentation from a literature review, a case is presented for the proposal that effective CSR management can improve stakeholder perception.

Specifically, the research reported in this thesis addresses the proposition that the management of CSR is essential in successful UK rail organisations and that the implementation of CSR could help reduce the impact from catastrophic incidents such as rail fatalities at pedestrian level crossings and derailments.

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