SingTel: Philanthropic or Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility?
In 2014, the vice-president of Group Corporate Social Responsibility at Singtel, a Singapore-based provider of telecommunications products and services, was scrutinizing his proposal for the company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) transformation. He wanted to reposition Singtel's CSR approach to create greater social impact while demonstrating greater benefit to the company beyond promoting its branding and reputation. In doing so, he was mindful that the proposal would require greater financial investment on the part of the company. The proposal would also need to leverage the company's capabilities and partnerships and address the possibility of dropping its current beneficiaries. His team needed to convince the board of directors and senior management that the potential benefits of the proposed changes would be worth the financial investment and the possibility of reduced brand exposure. Weina Zhang is affiliated with National University of Singapore.