Announcing: Lovichakorntikul, Petcharat and John Walsh, “A Comparative Study of the Corporate Social Responsibility Systems of the Samrong General Hospital and Vibhavadi Hospital, Thailand,” paper presented at the SIU International Conference (January 30-31st, 2013).
The concept and practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has recently become more important in Thailand. Many businesses have concentrated more closely on their image and on establishing a good reputation. As is the case with Thai society overall, the majority of the people involved are Buddhists. Consequently, Thai people have been influenced by Buddhism and are familiar with giving and sharing, which are compatible with CSR contexts. This study will present the CSR projects that have been implemented in two Thai hospitals established in the 1990s. With their clear and transparent policies, they have created good corporate governance not only for their staff members but also for sustainable society. Outcomes from the management approaches employed both in theory and in practice are congruent with the dhamma (Buddha’s teachings). In fact, they have been performing these kinds of CSR projects since they first set up their firms, before the CSR scheme became well-known in Thailand. During the flood crisis in 2011, one of the hospitals was flooded but the other operated normally; they both provided significant help to their staff members, clients, disaster victims and society at large. This study is a qualitative research method aimed at exploring how local Thai healthcare businesses pursue CSR programs by applying dhamma lessons from Buddhism in everyday working life. The findings from this research study rest upon personal in-depth interviews and focus group interviews from top executive management levels, Human Resource managers and operational staff of the Samrong General Hospital and Vibhavadi Hospital. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews from participants selected both purposively and randomly. Body language and observation were also used to triangulate the data. It is hoped that the findings will make a significant contribution to understanding CSR as it is practiced in a Buddhist context in Thailand.
Keywords: Buddhism, comparative study, corporate social responsibility, hospital, Thailand