Topic: Exploration of Business Ethics and CSR in the Saudi Arabian Context: Islamic Finance as an Ethical Alternative?
I need your researcher to develop a new professional proposal by adding 3,025 words to the below firs draft proposal which already has been written .
The research proposal should comprise that four following components only .
1- Overview of the research.
2- A justification of the proposed study with articulated research objectives and research questions;
3- A review of the extant literature in the proposed field with clear identification of knowledge gaps.
4- A debate on the research methodology to be adopted and the rationale.
*** please don’t write the following the tree components in this work :
1- working timetable for the project with well-defined milestones and possible research activities.
2- A discussion on original contributions that the proposed study is to make to the knowledgebase.
3- A bibliography .
The first draft of Proposal is :
Exploration of Business Ethics and CSR in the Saudi Arabian Context: Islamic Finance as an Ethical Alternative?
1. Rationale, Aims and Objectives:
This research will further understanding of the uptake, implementation and attitudes to CSR and business ethics in Saudi Arabia, with a specific concentration on the banking industry. Currently, banking provides a particularly interesting study for the modern scholar, as this dynamic sector encounters changes in Saudi Arabia and across the world. Traditionally, financial services were among the first and fastest sectors to take up Western–style business ethics, due in part to the influx of Western banking companies to Saudi Arabia, and also to the necessary legal and regulatory aspects of banking as an industry (Long, 2005). This at times created a tension between Western ethics, based on contractual and evidential understandings, and those of traditional Saudi society, which rely on more subtle codes of honour and agreement (Samovar et al., 2009). However, with the crisis in the banking industry, financial services are coming under increasing scrutiny and the question of whether and how business ethics, CSR and company policy and culture in banking can be improved is a current one. Islamic Finance has presented itself as an alternative model to the international system, which many perceive to have shown its weakness (Zubairu et al., 2012). This research will study the question of whether Islamic Finance does and can provide a viable and workable system of ethical business in Saudi Arabian banking, suggesting what obstacles need to be overcome and what strengths are in its favour.
I will answer the research questions identified above by undertaking both qualitative and quantitative research, data collection and analysis, as follows:
· Literature Review: The full dissertation will comprehensively reference and analyse the current field of studies on business ethics and CSR within organisations in Saudi Arabia. This will not only underpin and expand on the justifications for this research (presented below) but will also provide significant insight into the knowledge achieved by scholars in this area which any new scholar can benefit from. This review will also offer analysis of the available literature, of strengths and research gaps. Previous studies will present data and conclusions for context and cross-comparison.
· Case Studies: Case studies will look at the history, activity and ethically-based procedures and behaviours of four Saudi companies, and the place which CSR and business ethics is given within each. These case studies will provide important contextual information with which to draw conclusions when analysing the data resulting from more qualitative methods.
· Interviews: Key company employees will be invited to participate in semi-structured interviews. These interviews will assess the place of CSR and business ethics within the companies, employees’ awareness of and attitude towards these, and the extent to which the policies of companies are implemented and their objectives achieved. Interviews will be anonymous and transcripts will not be shared with participating companies, although examples and aggregate findings will be. Permission will be asked to record these interviews for research purposes.
· Questionnaires: These will be anonymous and only aggregate data will be shared with participating companies. Questions will seek to indicate what are considered by members of the organisation to be the benefits and problems of CSR and/or business ethics, and their adaptation within their own organisation. Questions will be structured in order to allow for numerical and comparative analysis and a certain amount of personal information will be asked for in order to allow demographic analysis.
3. Literature Review:
Until the international banking crisis much scholarly attention was given to the uptake of western business ethics and CSR practices in Saudi Arabia and to the dynamic between traditional ethical systems and those introduced by multi-national companies to the Middle East (Long, 2005; Samovar et al., 2009, Saudi Aramco, 2012). The presence of traditional Islamic Banking systems was seen largely as an aberration or a hangover from a previous time, which would gradually be phased out as integration and adoption progressed (Aggrawal, 2000).
Increasingly, literature has acknowledged the renewal of Islamic Finance, including its potential to become a viable system outside the Islamic world, essential for a global sector (Wilson, 2007, Chowdhury, 2008). In many ways it has been seen as providing an antidote to failed Western banking practices and its traditional and socially-based ethical systems are seen to have benefits for inclusive banking practices and for the availability of investment in emerging markets and SMEs, which are central to growth and a challenge to Western banking post-recession (Abou-Gamal et al. 2012).
However, scholars perceive that Islamic Banking has some drawbacks in practice, although these will likely shift and change as Islamic Financial practices grow and develop. In particular, transparency and reporting practices have been highlighted as issues, as have trends in organisational responsibility towards employees, contractual obligations, and investment decisions based on, for instance, environmental or global security concerns (Rima and Sarieddine, 2007; Zubairu et al., 2012; Reynolds, 2008). Until these obstacles are to some extent removed it is unlikely that Islamic banking will provide a mainstream alternative to Western banks on the international stage (Wilson, 2007). This dissertation will examine these obstacles and the ways in which they can be mitigated.
4. Resources, data and access
I will need access to a wide variety of scholarly secondary sources in books and journals, available through my University in both hard copy and online. I will also make use of analysis and comment articles in reputable newspapers and trade magazines in order to analyse the current attitudes and responses of the financial community towards business ethics and Islamic Banking in Saudi Arabia. These are more current sources of information than scholarly publications, although largely sources of opinion rather than of fact.
I will require access to four companies in the banking sector – two Western style banks and two Islamic banks. Discussions are on-goingwith several institutions to gain permission for this. I will be able to travel to Saudi Arabia and much of the data can be collected remotely.
Abou-Gabal, N., Asim I. Khwaja and Bailey Klinger, (2012), ‘Islamic Finance and Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead’, Paper presented at Tenth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance: Islamic Finance and Development, March 24-25, 2012, Harvard, MA.
Aggrawal, R. K., and T. Yousef, (2000), ‘Islamic Banks and Investment Financing’, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 32(1), 93-120
Choudhury, M. A., (2001), ‘Islamic Venture Capital: A Critical Examination’, Journal of Economic Studies 28(1), 14-33
Haron, A., and M. Adli Musa, (2012),‘Recent Financial Crises, Islamic Business Ethics and Prudential Framework’, Paper presented at Tenth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance: Islamic Finance and Development, March 24-25, 2012, Harvard, MA.
Long, David E., (2005), Culture and Customs of Saudi Arabia, Greenwood Publishing.
Reynolds, M., and C.Yuthas, (2008), ‘Moral Discourse and Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting’, Journal of Business Ethics 78, 47-64
Rima, T. A., and Y. Sarieddine, (2007), ‘Challenges in implementing capital adequacyguidelines to Islamic banks’, Journal of Banking Regulation 9(1), 46-59
Samovar, Larry A., Richard E. Porter and Edwin R. McDaniel, (2009), Communication Between Cultures, Wadsworth Publishing.
Saudi Arabian Oil Company, (2012), Saudi Aramco Supplier Code of Conduct, SC0C1128.10
Wilson, R., (2007), ‘Islamic Finance in Europe’, RSCAS Policy Papers 02, 1-22.
Zubairu, Umaru M., Olalekan B. Sakariyau and Chetubo K. Dauda, (2012), ‘Evaluation of Social Reporting Practices of Islamic Banks in Saudi Arabia’, Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies 17(1), 41-50