Most senior managers in Indonesia claim that they have strong social values. However, our findings show that they don’t seem confident their corporate social activities (or CSR) yield good performance. This is revealed from a survey of 89 medium and large company CEOs in Indonesia in 2012. The survey was distributed to CEOs, Directors, and Vice Presidents of private and public companies – national and international – in Jakarta.
Two interesting implications emerge. First, it seems that CEOs might possess high social values, yet they are incapable to translate their altruism to the corporate systems, structures, and processes. Corporation can be alienating to altruistic motivation of leaders as all activities should be directed towards profit-generation. Further studies on the relationship between altruistic motivation of large company CEOs and how the organisation systems, structures, and processes inhibit the translation of their motivation to the behaviour of the organisation is important to understand: why social values of senior managers often do not go beyond their personal space (family, personal philanthropy, etc)?
Second, it also seems that the role of middle managers is essential. The locus of the battle between the projection of CEOs’ altruistic motivation and the reality of profit-generating activities is located within the domain of the middle management. Further studies on the role of middle managers on the trade-off between social and commercial values are interesting.
The slides below are the presentation made in a conference in Bangkok in 2012. Enjoy!