In an era of terrorism and turbulence in global markets the greater the level of shared risk and transparency, the greater the likelihood financial institutions will be more resilient in the face of greater challenges of operation. This is a critical point that must be kept in mind in the context of the IFI CSR Maturity Model, as globalization forces a higher level of inter-process and cross-functional coordination throughout a value chain. The IFI CSR Maturity Model also brings up the critical point of the best defense against uncertainty is a strong offense that seeks higher levels of performance through greater synchronization of both financial services value chain data and greater levels of cross-financial services provider coordination.
IFI CSR Maturity Model Assumptions
The following are the key assumptions regarding the definition of the IFI CSR Maturity Model:
1. The end result for lenders and financial institutions are pursuing higher levels of maturity on the model's layers translates into greater levels of agility and synchronization with customer demands as well. It could be said that the greater the level of Orchestrating a lending organization can do with its financial partners, the higher the level of market agility in will have in responding to its customers. .
2. The greater the level of systems and processes integration across lenders and between Islamic banks and their intermediaries, the greater the level of collaboration and orchestration. Inherent in the migration of lenders from the Anticipating level of this model to Collaborating and Orchestrating is the corresponding maturity in the shared approaches to managing risk -- namely the adoption of a shared ethical foundation. This is a critical point to keep in mind when evaluating the IFI CSR Maturity Model, that the development of entirely new levels of risk sharing through a common ethical foundational bond is critical to seeing this model as actionable.
In summary, the aims and objectives of this research study are to quantify the long-term effects of CSR programs specifically in the areas of intercommunity maturity and measuring the combined contributory effects of CST and microfinance initiatives to new venture growth. Comparing the relative growth an maturity of these two initiatives over time will in turn serve as the theoretical foundation of the Proposed IFR CSR Maturity Model.
The Rationale for the Research
The factors that support this specific logic and rationale center on the paradigm of Islamic banking as being egalitarian and more focused on the ethics of financing new venture growth vs. treating the actual financing transaction as a means to generate profits (Choudhury, Hussain, et.al). Quantifying the long-term effects of investment in the form of IFI-based CSR, microfinancing and microlending as defined by the contractual agreements made (Siddiqui, 681, 682) is the basis of defining sampling frame. In conjunction with this approach to constructing the research there is also the available of social disclosures by IFIs as well (Abdeldayem, 351, 351). The long-term effects of microlending and microfinance (Hasan, et.al) are also included in the proposed research to measure their combined effects with CSR programs on the extent to which new ventures integrate themselves into their communities. This will be measured through an analysis of supply chains, partner agreements and the reliance on CSR initiatives as a means to create entirely new means of production and service. In summary, the rationale is to first isolate the effectiveness or return on investment in CSR programs by IFI, and then measure their combined effects on new venture growth in conjunction with microfinancing and microlending.
In assessing if CSR programs actually deliver value the precepts of Islamic banking must first be assessed, in addition to an analysis of the effects of additional strategies including microfinancing and microlending as well. The underlying concepts of CSR programs being to altruistically benefit a surrounding community to an IFI have not specifically been measured relative to their contribution to new venture growth. Rather, the enriching of a given community is seen as consistent with the majority of theories of how the Network Effect influences the spread of goodwill that is seen to emanate from effectively planned CSR and microfinancing programs (Dusuki, et.al). Further research by Dusuki in his paper Does Corporate Social Responsibility Pay off? An Empirical Examination of Stakeholder Perspectives indicates that respondents see the IFIs as being the primary providers of CSR program over time, even over and above those offered by municipalities. Taking into the account that Dusuki completed this study in Malaysia and given their high level of socialization of medicine and social programs, this is surprising. One of the most significant findings from the Dusuki study is the degree of agreement is that 51.6% of respondents see IFIs being primarily responsible for CSR programs for their local communities given their high level of commitment to the values of Shari'ah. Respondents to the Dusuki study cited also see IFIs as having a much more significant role to play in the development of communities overall as well. Most noteworthy from the Dusuki study is the precedence it sets for the study of interest. Dusuki found that CSR and new venture growth are mutually exclusive, yet have a supportive effect on each other. One could infer from the study completed by Dusuki that the expectations of CSR support for the local Islamic community is so strong that IFIs must at least make the effort to address them to stay in good standing in their communities. Like the Network Effect, this Pygmalion Effect requires additional research to completely ascertain the community effects on this aspect of how IFIs make decisions regarding CSR investments. Yet there is a definite cyclical relationship in the socio-economic aspects of how IFIs are incented and induced to create and launch CSR programs. From Dusuki's research it is apparent that when CSR and microfinancing programs are combined the accumulative effects on the surrounding community in general, and the specific organizations receiving support, are successful. This research effort plans to quantify to the extent these efforts are successful in sustainable new venture creation that aligns with the core values of IFIs.
The role of stakeholders and their expectations is another set of forces that influence the creation of CSR programs by IFIs, and in fact can either accentuate or retard the growth of the proposed IFI CSR Maturity Model. The methodology of this study will concentrate on these effects of stakeholder, advisor, customer and community expectations on the potential IFIs can take with regard to their directions of CSR programs. In conjunction with that primary research focus, the additive effects of CSR programs as enablers of new venture creation will also be assessed through the multi-phase study. The research from Dusuki (et.al) and the studies of the complexities and challenges of having IFIs adopted in western nations (Karbhari, Naser, Shahin, et.al) further illustrate that CSR initiatives do not have complete assurance of success, yet are often seen as a means to both show long-term support and investment for a given community. Dusuki's research shows that there is a loosely coupled interrelationship of microlending and microfinancing strategies and CSR programs having a supportive or foundational effect. The quantification and modeling of these relationships however is not as straight-forward or defined through statistically robust and methodologically sound analyses however.
Methodology of the Study
In evaluating the contributory effects of CSR programs as underwritten and sponsored by IFIs, and their long-term effects on microlending and microfinancing, the methodology of this study concentrates on a stratified research design of multiple segments or audiences. A stratification of groups is critical for the primary hypotheses of this study to be either accepted or rejected. Using the specific segments of IFI customers, IFI stakeholders, Legal Advisors, CSR strategists or program managers and firms underwritten by microlending and microfinancing programs, this research study will concentrate on the following hypotheses. These hypotheses will be used to either validate or refute
IFI CSR Maturity Model and its specific constructs, assumptions and scalability as it relates to the combined effects of CSR and microlending and microfinancing.
The hypotheses of the study are as follows:
H1: There is a positive correlation between CSR investments and microlending practices in emergent regions that IFIs play a strategic financial role in resulting in long-term growth of new firms
H2: There are no significant correlations between CSR investment, microlending practices, and the growth of new ventures in communities highly dependent on IFIs for financial viability
Additionally, this study will look at the Network Effect of IFIs and their selective use of CSR programs over time, specifically looking at how stakeholder expectations either contribute or detract from their success. This is the dynamic of how expectations influence the success or failure of CSR programs based on the acceptance or rejection of these programs by communities. Measuring these interactions over time will lead…