Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 8

Bangladesh Journal of Medical Science Vol.09 No.

4 Jul’10

Original article
CSR by Islami Bank in healthcare – stakeholders’ perception
R Shafiqur1, J Sadia2, M Nicholas3

Background: In the Bangladesh society, a few organizations are contributing through their
activities on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It is a general belief that the
contribution of Islami Bank Bangladeshi Limited in CSR is highest among the financial
institutions. It is an observation that IBBL’s CSR contribution in the healthcare sector is
very significant. Objective: This paper explores the stockholders’ perception of CSR
contribution in the healthcare sector by Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL). Method:
Authors used qualitative approach in doing the research. Data were collected through a
survey. Likert scale was used to explore the significance of stakeholders’ perception.
Results: This paper reports the findings of a qualitative study on perceptions of CSR by
IBBL in the healthcare sector of a heterogeneous group of stakeholders. The findings
reveal the perception of stakeholders towards the social contribution of Islami Bank
Central Hospital (IBCH), an Institution for CSR in healthcare by IBBL. The stakeholders
believe that this hospital is significantly contributing to the society through its support in
the healthcare sector. It is also found that the hospital is proactive in providing healthcare
support to the community through its highly standard human resources, world class
medical equipment, outstanding management team and superb customer care support.
Conclusion: This exploratory study makes a contribution to the relatively new body of
work on CSR in Bangladesh, especially in the healthcare sector by IBBL and hopefully
will encourage further research on the topic. This study will also contribute to improve
the governance, social, ethical, and environmental conditions of the healthcare sector.

Key words: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), healthcare sector, stakeholders’

CSR by Islami Bank in healthcare – borrowing from Visser et al. (2007) as
stakeholders’ perception follows:

While a huge work has emerged during the “The formal and informal ways in which
past three decades on corporate social business makes a contribution to
responsibility (CSR), the focus has been improving the governance, social, ethical,
generally given on CSR in developed labour and environmental conditions of
countries (de Bakker et al. 2005). the developing countries in which they
operate, while remaining sensitive to
Literature on CSR is Bangladesh is limited.
prevailing religious, historical and
In this paper, the authors explore the cultural contexts”.
perception of the stakeholders of CSR by
the Islami Bank Bangladeshi Limited A number of businesses in Bangladesh are
(IBBL) during 2009 through a pilot study. contributing in Healthcare CSR, but the
For the purpose of this paper, “CSR in CSR activities performed by IBBL in the
developing countries” has been defined, healthcare sector seem to be the most
significant. IBBL is addressing the social
1. *Shafiqur Rahman, PhD Candidate, Macquarie University, Sydney.
2. Sadia Jahan, Financial Analyst, Sydney.
3. Nicholas McDonald, Management Consultant, Sydney.
*Corresponds to: Shafiqur Rahman, PhD Candidate, Macquarie University, Sydney. Email:
Shafiqur R, Sadia J, Nicholas M

concerns in the healthcare sector targeting 1985-1995 to US$ 460 million in 2004, can
the poor and middle income people of be a good example. Also Bangladesh’s
Bangladesh. export earnings rose from US$ 1994
million during 1991/1992 to US$ 8655
The first part of the paper provides the during 2004/2005 (Belal & Owen, 2007, p.
research context through a brief profile of 476).
Bangladesh; the second part provides a
brief literature review to determine what is Social, environmental and ethical issues
known about CSR in Bangladesh, and the in Bangladesh
third part discusses the main findings of Having all the successes described above,
the study carried out in 2009 to explore the Belal & Owen (2007, p. 476) report that
perceptions of a divers group of child labour, equal opportunity and
stakeholders of Bangladeshi citizens in occupational health and safety are key
relation to CSR activities of IBBL. issues of concern in the garment and textile
sector. The majority of its employees are
Research context: Bangladesh female and they are mostly forced to work
Bangladesh, with an area of 147,570 sq 12 hours a day with one day’s holiday a
km, is a small South Asian country which month and have mandatory overtime
borders the Bay of Bengal, Burma and requirements. They are also subject to
India. 83% of Bangladeshis are Muslims, pregnancy tests and subject to undignifying
16% are Hindus, and 1% from other body search at the entry and exit point of
religions and ethnic groups (Bangladesh the factory. Belal & Owen (2007, p. 476)
Bureau of Statistics 2008). further points out that, due to neglect of
Described as one of the most densely health and safety rules in workplaces,
populated country in the world (Belal, hundreds of workers have been killed in
2001, p. 277), Bangladesh has a population the last few years as a result of fire
of 160 million (World Bank, 2008). incidents.
According to Bangladesh Bureau of
Statistics (2008), 12,797,394 people lived The economic growths in Bangladesh in
in the capital, Dhaka (BBS 2008). recent times have also generated severe
Bangladesh has an average GDP of environmental problems, particularly in
approximately 5.7% (World Bank, 2009) urban and industrialized areas. For
mainly generated through its sizeable example, industrial pollution is a serious
service sector. environmental issue in the capital city of
the country, and the Buriganga river “has
Improved economic performance been declared ‘clinically dead’ because of
Bangladesh has been gradually shifting the unscrupulous discharge of industrial
towards parliamentary democracy since wastes and effluents” (Belal, 2001, p. 274).
1990s, which prompted an increasing It is pointed out in a World Bank (2006)
adoption of market economy principles and report that environmental degradation
the rise of a private sector. According to negatively impacts on poor households, as
Belal & Owen (2007, p. 475), “A private they are heavily dependent on natural
sector-led industrial development policy is resources and thus particularly exposed to
being aggressively pursued with the aim of environmental risks. The report concludes
attracting as much foreign investment as that Bangladesh is:
possible”. This has led to amazing …highly vulnerable to the projected
improvements in the economic impacts of climate change, which will
performance of Bangladesh over the past increase the already high risk of disasters,
two decades. Investments have grown exacerbating existing vulnerabilities both
from an average of US$ 5 million during to flooding and drought, and threatening

CSR by Islami Bank in healthcare – stakeholders’ perception

agricultural productivity in coastal areas practices, where Belal has played the role
that face increasing salinity (World Bank, of a prolific author on this topic (Belal,
2006). 1999, 2000a, 2000b, 2001, 2006; Belal &
Owen, 2007). His work can be traced back
The Bangladeshi government has not been to 1999 when he published the findings of
successful to provide an effective a study which examined CSR reporting
regulatory mechanism to address this patterns in Bangladesh, where he found
country’s social and environmental that 90% of the companies studied made
problems, which has led to the emergence environmental disclosures; 97 % made
of an increasing number of pressure groups employee disclosures and 77 % made
demanding greater accountability and ethical disclosures (cited in Belal, 2001).
transparency by local industries (Belal & However, Sobhani (2009, p. 169)
Owen 2007, p. 478). There has also been expressed this study as “superficial and
pressure at an international level on incomplete” because it provides only brief
domestic export-oriented companies who commentary on CSR practices in
are operating as suppliers of large Bangladesh. In a later study focusing on
multinationals to adopt international labour annual reports published by large
standards and conduct their business in a companies, Belal (2001) found that from a
responsible manner both socially and sample of 30 reports produced by
environmentally (Belal & Owen 2007, p. companies listed on the Dhaka Stock
478). As a result, the ground has been Exchange and in the directory of Dhaka’s
paved in Bangladesh for a stronger Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce,
commitment to CSR which will hopefully majority of them made social disclosures,
lead to a widespread adoption of CSR but only a small amount of information
principles in coming years. The banking was provided, and this information was of
sector in Bangladesh is comparatively a descriptive nature. He summarises that
doing better in terms of CSR than any the reasons for this were: lack of statutory
other sectors due to its financial ability and requirements for social disclosures; the
strong regulatory control. Especially IBBL existence of very few organized social
has gone far than any other the financial groups; very little social awareness;
institutions in Bangladesh and this study underdeveloped corporate culture, and the
has explored the perception of the existence of a relatively new stock market
healthcare stakeholders of IBBL, which we in Bangladesh (2001, p. 287).
explained below. However, before we go
for the study, we present here what is Sobhani et al (2009) carried out a content
known about CSR in Bangladesh. analysis of 100 companies listed on the
Dhaka Stock Exchange and Chittagong
What we know about CSR in Stock Exchange, based on the work of
Bangladesh Belal (2000) and Iman (2000). Sobhani et
Consistent with Visser’s (2008) al. (2009) looked into CSR in relation to
observation, the limited amount of human resource; consumer and product;
academic works on CSR in developing community; environmental and “general”
countries such as Bangladesh , our own and found that the “status of disclosure has
literature review identifies only a small, improved over the last ten years”.
relatively new, body of work investigating
CSR-related issues in Bangladesh The findings of Belal and Owen (2007)
healthcare sector. echo with those of Islam and Deegan’s
(2008), which also examined social and
Most CSR studies conducted on environmental reporting practices in
Bangladesh focus on CSR reporting Bangladesh in the context of a major

Shafiqur R, Sadia J, Nicholas M

garment export company. Islam and in healthcare sector. The study had a
Deegan (2008) conclude that stakeholders qualitative design, which enabled the
play a significant role in driving the researchers to obtain richer data, and a
industry's social policies and related deeper understanding of the stakeholders’
disclosure practices in that country. perception through an investigation. In
this study, non-random sampling method
In a more detailed manner, Quazi and was used, which means that the researchers
O’Brien (2000) carried out a comparative deliberately sought out a given population
study to develop a “two-dimensional (in this case, the authors identified the
model of corporate social responsibility” stakeholders through convenience
and test its validity in the context of a sampling). The professional networks of
developed nation (Australia) and a one of the researchers were used to recruit
developing nation (Bangladesh). The two the participants from a CSR workshop held
dimensions of the model were the span of at a local private university in Dhaka,
corporate responsibility and the range of Bangladesh.
outcomes of social commitments of
businesses. The survey was participated by 37 (21
male and 16 female) stakeholders
Naeem and Welford (2009) investigated (associated with IBBL’s CSR in the
levels of awareness in relation to CSR healthcare sector); 20 of them were direct
within the context of sustainable beneficiaries; 3 social scientists; 4
development in Bangladesh and Pakistan, journalists; 4 employees (of Islami Bank
in another comparative study. hospital); 2 environmentalists and 4
community members. It should be taken
We can finally draw a conclusion from this into account that there could be a
literature review that, albeit in its early significant level of self-selection in these
stages, CSR is already present in the samples, as it is likely that the respondents
collective consciousness of the attended the said workshop because of
Bangladeshi’s business community. their interest in CSR.
Though CSR is done by the multinationals
due to the practice by its parent companies, The survey was divided in two parts: the
local companies including the local first contained three questions designed to
financial institutions are also participating explore the participants’ understanding of
CSR in an increased manner nowadays. the notion of CSR by IBBL in healthcare
sector. It contained the following
The next section will contribute to a better questions:
understanding of how CSR is perceived in 1. What is your overall perception of
Bangladesh by presenting the findings of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by
qualitative study on the perception of the IBBL in the Healthcare sector?
stakeholders of CSR by Islami Bank in the 2. What are the areas, IBBL can improve
healthcare sector carried out in Dhaka in its CSR in healthcare?
2009 exploring the views of a diverse 3. What are the strengths of CSR activities
group of stakeholders in relation to CSR. by IBBL you noticed so far?

CSR by IBBL in healthcare: The second part of the survey used a Likert
stakeholders’ perception: the study Scale, ranging from “Strongly Agree” to
“Strongly Disagree”, to identify numerical
This pilot study was carried out in Dhaka, patterns in the respondents’ reactions to the
Bangladesh during 2009 on the following statements:
stakeholders’ perceptions of CSR by IBBL

CSR by Islami Bank in healthcare – stakeholders’ perception

1. IBBL is playing a very significant role healthcare sector (this would encourage
in CSR through its contribution in the other organisations to do CSR). (R12,
healthcare. male, journalist).
2. It is just a public relations exercise to
make IBBL look good. The above views against the 1st question
3. CSR by IBBL goes against the bank’s reveal that the stakeholders found IBCH
business interests because it reduces the services are low cost (very suitable for
company’s profit margins. poor and middleclass families) and they
4. CSR by IBBL in the healthcare is really also care their patients a lot. This is a real
addressing the social concerns. example of CSR activities that
significantly contributing to the society by
The purpose of the second part of the IBCH.
survey was to obtain further information on
the respondents’ perceptions of CSR by What are the areas, IBBL can improve its
IBBL in the healthcare sector and CSR in healthcare?
associated principles and concepts, to a) I had my daughter born at the Islami
supplement the information provided in the Bank Central Hospital. In addition to their
first part. great customer support, they provided my
daughter a ‘New Born Baby Kit’. I think
The section below explores the they are already doing (CSR) excellent in
stakeholders’ perception of CSR on the healthcare sector (R10, female,
IBBL’s contribution and its impact in the beneficiary).
society. b) I had a surgery at Islami Bank Central
Hospital and found the doctors and other
Perception of CSR by IBBL in the staffs are really supportive. But I had an
healthcare sector attendant with me to communicate with the
There were a variety of views regarding hospital staff to update me about the
the CSR activities by IBBL in the progress of the treatment. I would expect,
healthcare sector and most of them are they develop a system so that every patient
very positive, which indicate IBBL’s may stay in the hospital with out the
commitment to the society. A few support of an attendant, which became a
examples are given below: culture in Bangladesh (R17, male,
a) I am personally benefited by the low beneficiary).
cost [and good quality] treatment at Islami c) I am fully aware about the waste
Bank Central Hospital (IBCH), which management system of Islami Bank
otherwise, I would not be able to afford. I Hospital. They are effectively disposing
broke my leg last year and I am fully cured the clinical wastes (like, body fluid,
now. I appreciate this kind of CSR drainage bags, vials, culture dishes, gauze,
activities by IBBL (R1, male, beneficiary). bandages, organs, tissues) as well as
b) My daughter got operated at the Islamic laboratory waste (like, slides, needles,
Bank Central Hospital; she is in good blades, syringes; radioactive waste such as
health now. They got a caring team of Iodine-125, iodine -131). This
healthcare professionals. I am grateful for accountability by Islami Bank Central
having the opportunity for good medical Hospital clearly shows that they are in
treatment provided by IBBL (R5, female, compliance with international norms and
beneficiary). practices which conforms the pattern of
c) CSR activities of IBBL are noticeable in CSR (R15, male, environmentalist).
the Bangladesh media. However, the bank
can concentrate on more media presence as The stakeholders, in response to the 2nd
it is doing enormous CSR activities in the question, express that the CSR activities by

Shafiqur R, Sadia J, Nicholas M

IBCH is of very high quality and there is CSR through its contribution in the
little to improve in their services at this healthcare. All respondents agreed (100%)
point. that IBBL’s contribution to CSR is very
effective in healthcare support to the poor
What are the strengths of CSR activities and middleclass families (29 strongly
by IBBL you noticed so far? agreed and 8 agreed). An overwhelming
a) I got medical check-ups at different majority of respondents (35/37; 95%) do
hospitals in last two decades. I found that not believe that IBBL is doing CSR as a
the doctors and nurses of Islami Bank public relation tool.
Central Hospital are of very high quality,
pieces equipment are of international Consistent with the findings discussed in
standard; the infrastructure is adequate. the previous section, most respondents
This is a real example of healthcare and (31/37; 84%) disagreed with the
real example of CSR (R19, male, instrumentally based statement that CSR
beneficiary). goes against IBBL’s business’ interests
b) Islami Bank Central Hospital is situated because it reduces profit margins. Only 4
in my locality. It is a great support and participants agreed with this assertion, and
blessings for the community and the first 2 ticked the “Indifferent” option.
place, where we rush for the emergency
medical assistance. We always found the With regard to the statement that CSR by
emergency medical team very supportive IBBL in the healthcare is really addressing
and they really exhibit socially responsible the social concerns, almost all the
behaviour (R25, male, community respondents (36/37; 97%) agreed with it,
representative). and only one of them ticked “Indifferent.”
c) As a patient of diabetics, I take my This appears to reveal a good faith by the
regular treatments and check-ups from the respondents towards IBBL’s social
Islami Bank Central Hospital. They concerns in healthcare.
response at the quickest possible time,
whenever I arrive their. The cleanliness is In conclusion, the above responses exhibit
superb; security is very strong; monitoring generally variable attitudes and
is timely (R27, female, beneficiary). receptiveness of the stakeholders towards
the CSR by IBBL in the healthcare sector.
The above views responding the 3rd However, the participants who attended the
question exhibit that the Islami Bank survey, all of them attended the CSR
Central Hospital (IBCH) is exhibiting workshop at a private university in
socially responsible behaviour, Bangladesh; therefore, they would be
contributing the community and always more likely to have positive attitudes
ready to provide world class service to the towards CSR (and of the Central Hospital
community. of Islami Bank, as it earned a reputation for
its CSR in last few years).
The CSR by IBBL is supported by Garriga
and Meleé (2004) conceptual framework Summary and conclusions
which has four major theories. The CSR by IBBL has established IBCH initially with
the IBCH conform the ethical and the philanthropic intention in mind. However,
integrative perspectives of Garriga and very recently, IBBL has adopted the
Melee’s theory. modern CSR concept. Through IBCH,
IBBL has not only giving opportunity for
Likert Scale responses the low income people to get access to
The Likert scale responses also revealed healthcare, it also generated substantial
very positive attitudes to IBBL’s role in number of employment in the society. One

CSR by Islami Bank in healthcare – stakeholders’ perception

can debate that the low cost of service at heterogeneous stakeholders recruited at a
IBCH might result in compromising in CSR workshop held in a private university
quality, but the patient satisfaction clearly in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The findings reveal
shows that the service quality is the perception of stakeholders towards the
comparable with other modern hospitals in social contribution of Islami Bank Central
Bangladesh. It can also be argued that the Hospital, an Institution for CSR in
low cost of IBCH may compel other healthcare by IBBL. The stakeholders
hospitals to reduce their costs. In fact, in believe that this hospital is proactive in
an open market economy like Bangladesh, providing healthcare support to the
it is the freedom of the service providers to community through its highly standard
choose their own product/service costs. human resources, world class medical
Moreover, the IBCH is serving only a equipment, outstanding management team
small fraction of total patient population, and superb customer care support. These
due to which other hospitals will not get stakeholders (beneficiaries, Islami Bank
affected in price competition. employees, social scientists,
environmentalists, community members
IBCH is fully aware of its social and journalists) express their extreme
responsibility and contributing to the satisfaction and positive attitude regarding
society accordingly. It provides ‘full free’ IBBL’s CSR activities in healthcare.
services to a certain number of needy
patients. It maintains modern clinical While the current study brings out the
waste disposal system which is very perceptions of the stakeholders of CSR by
essential for environment. It makes a IBBL, the authors recognize that it has a
minimum profit as it does not have a target number of limitations including the small
to distribute dividend rather it strives to sample size. It is strongly recommended
provide high quality services to the that future studies supplement surveys with
patience. IBBL’s experience from IBCH in-depth face-to-face interviews for a
has encouraged IBBL to extend its richer perspective on the topic. This
Healthcare CSR Program to a number of exploratory study makes significant
districts outside the capital city and these contribution to the relatively new body of
initiatives are also equally successful. knowledge on CSR in Bangladesh,
especially in the healthcare sector. This
This paper reports the findings of a study will also contribute to improve the
qualitative study on perceptions of CSR by governance, social, ethical and
Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) in environmental condition of the healthcare
the healthcare sector through sector.
1. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS 2008), 4. Belal, A. R. (2000b), Environmental reporting
Statistical Pocketbook of Bangladesh. in developing countries: Empirical evidence
Retrieved on 21 March 2010 from from Bangladesh. Eco Management and
http://www.bbs.gov.bd/dataindex/pby/pk_book Auditing, 7(3), 114-121.
5. Belal, A. R. (2001). A study of corporate social
2. Belal, A. R. (1999), Corporate social reporting disclosures in Bangladesh. Managerial
in Bangladesh. Social and Environmental Auditing Journal, 16(5), 274.
Accounting 19(1), 8-12.
6. Belal, A. R. (2006), Stakeholders’ Perceptions
3. Belal, A. R. (2000a). Corporate Social of Corporate Social Reporting (CSR) in
Performance Reporting in Bangladesh. Bangladesh. Paper presented at the
Managerial Auditing Journal, 15(3), 133-141.

Shafiqur R, Sadia J, Nicholas M

International Congress of Social and 12. Quazi, A. M., & O'Brien, D. (2000), An
Environmental Accounting Research empirical test of a cross-national model of
corporate social responsibility. Journal of
7. Belal, A. R., & Owen, D. L. (2007), The views Business Ethics, 25, 33.
of corporate managers on the current state of,
and future prospects for, social reporting in 13. Sobhani, F. A., Amran, A., & Zainuddin
Bangladesh. Accounting, Auditing & (2009), Revisiting the practices of corporate
Accountability Journal, 20(3), 472-494. social and environmental disclosure ini
Bangladesh. Corporate Social - Responsibility
8. de Bakker, F. G. A., Groenewegen, P., & den and Environmental Management, 16, 167-183.
Hond, F. (2005), A bibliometric analysis of 30
years of research and theory on corporate social 14. Visser, W. (2008), Corporate social
responsibility and corporate social responsibility in developing countries The
performance. Business and Society 44(3), 283- Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social
317. Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University
9. Garriga, E., & Melé, D. (2004), Corporate
Social Responsibility Theories: Mapping the 15. World Bank (2006), Bangladesh Country
Territory. Journal of Business Ethics, 53(1-2), Environmental Analysis, Paper No. 12.
51. Bangladesh Development Series, (12).
Retrieved on 15 June 2010 from
10. Islam, M. A., & Deegan, C. (2008), <http://siteresources.worldbank.org/BANGLA
Motivations for an organisation within a DESHEXTN/Resources/295759-
developing country to report social 1173922647418/complete.pdf
responsibility information. Accounting,
Auditing & Accountability Journal, 21(6), 850. 16. World Bank (2008), Poverty Assessment for
Bangladesh: Creating Opportunities and
11. Naeem, M. A., & Welford, R. (2009), A Bridging the East-West Divide. Dhaka: The
comparative study of corporate social World Bank Office.
responsibility in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Corporate Social - Responsibility and 17. World Bank (2009), Bangladesh at a Glance.
Environmental Management, 16(2), 108. Retrieved on 11 April 2010 from