Εμπειρική διερεύνηση της εταιρικής κοινωνικής υπευθυνότητας στον κλάδο της ναυτιλίας
An empirical investigation of corporate social responsibility in the shipping sector
Αρώνη, Φωτεινή Ε.
In a period of deep economic and social recession, Corporate Social Responsibility appears as a business philosophy that extends beyond the economic obligations of firms, stating that enterprises should behave as responsible citizens acting for the benefit of broader society. The present thesis investigates the content as well as the practical implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility principles within the context of Greek Oceangoing Shipping, a sector that traditionally forms one of the nation’s main economic pillars. Based on a thorough critical review of scientific literature regarding the notion of CSR, the thesis presents its historical evolution, the internal and external dimensions of the concept, the benefits expected and the main management and certification systems regarding its implementation. The thesis presents the international and Greek shipping sector, the main stakeholders involved as well as the multidimensional legal and statutory framework that shapes the shipping environment, thus setting the scene within which the investigation of CSR awareness and implementation by Greek Shipping companies takes place. The field research which was based on the analysis of an anonymous electronic questionnaire, to which 74 companies replied, investigated the content that Greek Shipping companies attribute to CSR, the expected benefits, the management systems used to collect, report and certify CSR implementation and the main obstacles associated with the above operations. Results indicate that Greek Shipping Companies are quite aware of CSR principles, considering them mainly as means of protecting corporate image. The use of specialized management systems and CSR indicators such as ISO 26000, GRI is rather limited with current practices being limited to broader tools such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001. The main obstacles identified are the lack of a coherent and specific definition of CSR, while shipping companies operating tanker fleets or mixed fleets including Tanker ships were found to have higher levels of CSR understanding and implementation.