CORPORATE VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS AT UNIVERSITIES
University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Increasingly, over the last few years, companies have incorporated to their strategy the so-called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The introduction of this strategy in organizations comes with achieving many advantages or benefits, which motivates engagement to implement it in order to be more competitive in the long run. In this sense, literature shows how companies that have been included some CSR approaches are achieving sustainable competitive advantages over competitors.
CSR has also transcended this area to enter into the Higher Education. Thus, we speak of University Social Responsibility as the expression of socially responsible action at universities. In this context, it is also possible to analyze what is the Social Responsibility (SR) of these organizations, what involves and what steps are being addressed to introduce it into their daily lives.
According to the project “University Builds Country” (2001), University Social Responsibility (USR) is the ability of the University, as an institution, to disseminate and implement a set of principles and values, through four key processes: teaching, researching, management and extension. There is no doubt that the commitment to a socially responsible university involves a social transformation. Universities must teach values to achieve a better society and ensure the training of professionals sensitive to the reality around them, a more balanced and human society. Vallaeys (2008) indicates that it is the policy of ethical quality of the university community´s performance (students, teachers and staff) through the responsible management of the impacts: educational, cognitive, labor and environmental ones that universities generate in a participatory dialogue with society to promote sustainable human development. Universities should not forget this important issue, as they are forming a very valuable human capital that will be who can currently assimilate the basics and benefits of CSR for tomorrow, and can be introduced into other organizations the principles learned during their time of study.
More specifically, in this paper we set the goal to make a proposal for a Corporate Volunteering program (CV) at the Universities. The objective of the paper is the configuration of a CV program in these institutions, establishing the core of the process, the agents of interest involved, the definition of actions to carry out, the benefits for the University, the evaluation of the obtained results and the definition of indicators to measure the results at the end of the academic year. The methodology will be qualitative descriptive, performing a content analysis of the practices being carried out and defining the CV program from those ones.
In conclusion, the paper ends with a proposal for a model of corporate volunteer program at universities. This program consists of the following steps: a) Internal reflection on the social involvement of the University; b) Definition of a coordinator of CV program; c) Preliminary diagnosis of the needs of the community to which the University belongs; d) The involvement of employees in the corporate culture; e) Design strategies of VC; f) Publicize and recruiting initiatives; g) Implementation, monitoring and reporting; h) Analysis of the results. We are convinced that this implementation at the University can generate advantages and very positive results, both for the institution as a whole and for employees.
Keywords: Higher Education, Corporate Social Responsibility, University Social Responsibility, Corporate Volunteering, Universities.