This is in contrast to the Saudi government’s attempts to normalize the practice as a core business of the private sector. Moreover, social responsibility under Islamic teachings is obligatory with the Quran holding that there is due share for the deprived and beggars in wealth (Emtairah et al, 2009). This paper will seek to address what can be done to enhance CSR in Saudi Arabia at the government level, society level, and at the individual level.
The belief held by sections of the Saudi society and corporations that CSR is a government responsibility requires concerted efforts by the government in steering debate by the public towards enhancing the acceptance by corporations of their CSR duties (Emtairah et al, 2009). This will also benefit the creation of a healthier society and stimulate growth of enterprise. The government’s role in convincing the private sector and motivating them to accept their obligations under CSR, however, may be inconsistent with free-market practices. Theoretically, the state should desist from forcing the private sector to act in any manner that is not dictated by market forces. Private corporations are, primarily, assumed to offer shareholders reasonable returns for their capital and Saudi business-people have interacted with Western capitalism for a while (Emtairah et al, 2009). Therefore, it will be difficult to alter perceptions, especially as there is increasing emphasis on profit and giving shareholders the highest returns financially.
However, unlike the business community in the capitalist West, the government should take advantage of the fact that Saudi Arabia’s objectives of profit maximization do not mean that social problems cannot be solved economically as part of CSR. The government should seek to engage the private sector in debate about CSR from the perspective that there are differences between non-market factors and market factors, treating each aspect