Social responsibility of hospitals: an Indian
R. Rohini and B. Mahadevappa
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceived responsibilities of ﬁve not-for-proﬁt
hospitals in Bangalore, India, towards society.
Design/methodology/approach – The method used is qualitative design with some quantitative
elements. Data were collected through a survey of 79 physicians and 104 managers and other
stakeholders of the hospitals.
Findings – The analysis reveals the existence of highly signiﬁcant differences in the perception about
workplace responsibilities between the doctors and other stakeholders. It also highlights the importance
of top management involvement with various stakeholders in effectively carrying out the overall social
responsibilities of the hospitals. It was found that the hospitals must take into account the social, cultural
and ﬁnancial characteristics of the patients while fulﬁlling societal obligations. Training needs,
environmental impact audit and encouragement for employees to join local voluntary organizations are
the immediate needs for improving the CSR activities of the hospitals.
Research limitations/implications – The study had a small sample and referred only to the
perceptions of physicians/management personnel. Further studies should be done with larger samples,
comparing different cohorts of stakeholders and, more importantly, patients/their carers.
Practical implications – The study draws attention to issues that emerge from the social
responsibilities of healthcare organizations. Its ﬁndings provide new insights into the meaning of
social responsibility in the healthcare sector in an Indian context from a stakeholder perspective.
Originality/value – The paper is based on an original study that addresses the current gap in the
understanding of issues related to social responsibility by the various stakeholders of hospitals. It is
particularly valuable for both the internal and external stakeholders of the healthcare organizations.
Keywords Hospitals, Stakeholders, Corporate image, Social responsibility, Responsibilities
Paper type Research paper
The advent of globalization has brought a growing range of social obligations for the
business organizations. Throughout the world, corporate social responsibility stems from a
commitment to the society in which a business operates. CSR has enormous potential for
According to the ‘‘shareholder model’’ or ‘‘proﬁt-centered model’’ of corporate governance,
businesses are ultimately if not uniquely accountable to their owners (Berle and Means,
1968). The proponents of a ‘‘stakeholder model’’ or ‘‘social responsibility model’’, however,
explain that businesses are accountable to everyone (whether individuals or groups of
individuals or society as a whole) who has a stake in their activity (Halal, 2000). In the era of
privatization, liberalization and globalization, it is imperative to examine the various
expectations of stakeholders, as they play a critical role at economic, social, cultural and
political levels (Stevens, 1991).
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY JOURNAL
VOL. 6 NO. 2 2010, pp. 268-285, Q Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1747-1117 DOI 10.1108/17471111011051766
R. Rohini is Associate
Professor for MBA
at the Institute of Clinical
Research, Karnataka, India.
B. Mahadevappa is a
Reader in the Department
of Studies in Commerce,
University of Mysore,