CAVEN MASUKU THESIS 2009
CHAPTER FOUR: ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE AND ANALYSIS.
This chapter analyses Econet and National Railways of Zimbawe (NRZ) as organizations with
PR departments that play salient role in the application of CSR. PR is a vital marketing
communication tool and Grunig (2001) in his speech at Taipe, Taiwan, argues that organizations
that implement PR strategies recognize that implement PR strategies recognize that PR has value
to organizations because it assists to balance the self interest of the organization with the
interests of people who are affected by the organization or who have the power to affect the
organization, that is its publics. Grunig 92001:3) states that communication with potential
publics is needed before decisions are made by strategic decision-markers, when publics have
formed but have not created issues or crisis, and during the issue and crisis stage. Kotler and Lee (2005:5) asserts that PR department in America firms compiles special reports on giving, with
sections typically labeled corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, community
development, community giving or community involvement. It is therefore important in the
study to comparatively assess the application of CSR approach in PR practice at Econet and
NRZ and to observe how community giving and community citizenship is handled. One of the
next milestones Smith cited was Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989, which brought into serious
question the philanthropy of the 1970’s and 1980’s, where corporations tended to support social
issues least associated with their line of business
In addition, Johnston (202) asserts that, “a company reputation is paramount to its success if not
its survival. Therefore the study looks at how the idea raised by Johnston (2002) can be
applicable to Econet and NRZ through sponsorship, philanthropy and corporate hospitality. The
study will further look at contributions made by Econet and NRZ in the form of grants to
universities and colleges as scholarship, bursaries and loan. For instance, in the mid 1990’s, the
graduate school of Business at UZ received a grant of Z$1 million from Barclays bank. National
Breweries offer bursaries and scholarships o several faculties at the University of Zimbabwe
(UZ). Puth and Lubbe (1994) observed that, “they is critics complain that PR people impede,
rather than facilitate corporate social responsibility, by rationalizing corporate actions and
manipulating public information. Hence it is interesting to note how PR departments at Econet
and NRZ approach the CSR concept in order to create a good reputation and image for the
organizations. This chapter therefore explores the practice and importance of PR at Econet and
NRZ and the historical background. It also looks at Econet and NRZ department, their vision,
mission and values. The two companies’ organograms are also presented to show the place of the
PR division in the organization.
4.1 Organization structure and culture
An organization is a tool used by people, individuals or groups to accomplish a wide variety of
goals. An organization embodies the collective knowledge, values, and vision of people who are
consciously and sometimes unconsciously attempting to obtain something they desire or value.
(Jones 1994). Econet and NRZ are corporate organizations that respond to and create values that
satisfy some human needs through corporate social responsibility such as philanthropy,
sponsoring and community relations programs.
Organizational structures are the formal system of rules and task authority relationship that
control how people cooperate and use resources to achieve the organizational goals.
Organizational culture is the set of shared values that control organizational members,
interactions with each other and with suppliers and customers. It is important to comparatively
assess the Econet structure and culture with that of NRZ and their approach to CSR. Like
organizational structure, organizational culture shapes and control behavior within the
organization. Both structure and culture of an organization influences how people respond to a
situation and how they interpret the environment surrounding the organization. It is therefore at
this stage that the study looks at the impact of the structure and culture at Econet and NRZ and
how it influences the behavior of its publics through their CSR programs for an organization
image, reputation and public relations and good will.
4.2 Historical background of Econet
Econet was started by Strive Masiyiwa. Masiyiwa has a telecoms background and use to work as
an engineer. He uses to work for Zimbabwe Post and Telecommunications (ZPTC). In 1993,
Masiyiwa raised money to build a mobile network. Currently, Econet have spread its business
and ownership to seven countries namely; Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria,
Morocco, the United Kingdom (UK) and New Zealand. Their area of interest is spam mobile
communications (GSM licenses) satellite and the internet. Econet are licensed in UK satellite as
an operator they use satellite carriers to secure the business. Masiyiwa owns Gulfsat Maghreb in
Morocco.Econet Wireless Holding Limited is the cellular network operator and main subsidiary of
Zimbabwe stock Exchange-listed Econet Wireless Holding Limited (EWH), a company with
interests in telecommunications and other sectors of the Zimbabwean economy.
Econet is the largest telecommunications company in Zimbabwe, with an overall market share of
over 61 percent total mobile sector, and a cellular subscriber base of 1.2 million as at February
2009, the latest published figures available. Econet is currently upgrading its network capacity
towards 2.5 million, and has already secured funding for a further upgrade to five million.
The company’s network was launched on 10th July 1998 and the holding company listed on 17th
September 1998, and is now one of the largest listed companies on the Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange (ZSE) in terms of market capitalization.To remain at the top, the company relentlessly pursues innovative strategies and constantly
grows its knowledge base with uncompromising passion for excellence. Its main products
include pre and post paid cellular service that are uniquely branded for easy convenience and
In line with its Christian-based vision and mission, Econet has a broad strategy for social and
community development called “Econet in the Community” through which the company
supports diverse range of charitable cause, which includes children orphaned by HIV/AIDS,
religious and church organizations, as ell as an annual scholarship program that provides
financial assistance to the bright students selected from schools in the country’s ten provinces
under the Joshua Nkomo Scholarship Fund (JNSF). Furthermore, other companies under Econet
Wireless Holding Limited (EWH) are YourFone, the largest public pay phone operator in
Zimbabwe, with a presence in all major cities as well as in the larger commercial agricultural
centers. In addition to owing its own payphone shops, Econet has franchised the concept under
which the pay phones are owned by small business people who have assumed a significant role
in the economy.
Also in the group is Ecoweb, the largest independent internet service provider in Zimbabwe,
serving both corporate and individual dial-up customers, as well as operating internet cafes
across the country and at Econet retail outlets; Transaction Processing Systems, a leading
provider of financial transaction switching, point of sale and value added support services that is exploiting the convergence of banking, information technology and telecommunications, and
Econet capital, the vehicle through which the group invested in various sectors of the economy
and also has significant shareholding in listed companies, Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited
and First Mutual Limited.
4.3 Mission Statement, Vision and Core Values
To provide telecommunications to all the people of Zimbabwe
To serve Zimbabwe by pioneering, developing and sustaining, reliable, efficient and high quality
telecommunications of uncompromising world class standards and ethics
We are a company committed to finding the best way forward, in a fast moving and highly
competitive technological field. To remain at the top, we shall relentlessly pursue innovative
solutions, and constantly grow our knowledge base with uncompromising passion for excellence.
In everything we do, both within Econet Wireless and in the community, we always work in a
customer oriented and objective manner with clearly defined goals in terms of quality of service.
In all our professional areas, and at all levels, we will carry out our duties skillfully and
Internally, we will always remember that we are a company made up of individuals. These
people are the company. Each one is an intrinsically valuable member of the organization,
irrespective of their gender, race or position. We will always show concern for each other in an
atmosphere that is open and stimulates personal development and job satisfaction and a sense of
responsibility. We believe in working in teams, in effective and confident co-operation, in
environments where honest praise, constructive criticisms and fair reward have their place. Who
we are inside the company shall reflect who we are extremely . Our relationship with our
customers will enthuse with warmth and a genuine desire to meet their needs. We will reach out
to customers in a holistic and organic way that makes them true stakeholders in Econet Wireless.
Econet Corporate Profile
4.4.1Econet Wireless Holding Limited
Econet wireless Holding Limited (EWHL) is the holding company of business involved in
cellular operations, provision of internet access and transaction processing services. The Group
has an investment subsidiary, EEW Capital Holding (Private) Limited, which holds interests in a
number of non-telecommunications companies. WWHL, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock
exchange (ZSE) is Zimbabwe’s leading technology company. It is one of the largest quoted
companies in terms of market capitalization, and directed and indirectly employs in excess of
Strive Masiyiwa’s profile
Born in Zimbabwe in 1961, Strive did his primary education in Zambia and his secondary
education in Scotland. He obtained a degree in Electrical and Electronic (cum laude) at the
University of Wales. After working briefly in the computer industry in Cambridge, England, he
returned to Zimbabwe in 1984 and joined the Zimbabwe Posts and Telecommunications
Corporation as a Senior Engineer rising quickly to the post of Principal Engineer. He left in 1988
to start his own business, Retrofit, which he established into a household name. Strive ventured
into the telecommunications sector through his family company, T.S Masiyiwa Holdings,
eventually establishing what is now Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network operator, Econet
(Wireless) Pvt Ltd. He has served on numerous boards and trusts both in Zimbabwe and
internationally. In 1995, Strive was appointed by the US Government of Bill Clinton to a board
member of the Southern African Enterprise Development Fund (SAEDF), which is chaired by
Econet Wireless Organogram
CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT/CSR AT ECONET
4.5.1 Econet in the Community
“Econet in the community” has been actively involved in community social health programs
(“stop cholera campaign”) and has continued to invest in education (Joshua Nkomo Scholarship)
and social welfare (Capernaum Trust). The group will continue to develop long-term
partnerships with all the beneficiaries of social investment initiatives “Technology which does
not change lives is not relevant “Econet Wireless launched its network on the back of
overwhelming support from people of all walks of life, and the company’s market dominance
since the network was launched in July 1998 is testimony of the continued support that Econet
has and still continues to enjoy up to this very day. In recognition of this support, we adopted a customer-centric corporate pay-off line, "Your cellular network". However, Econet understand
that times change and in keeping with the technological needs and expectations of our customers
in particular and other stakeholders in general, we subsequently changed the pay-off line to
"Inspired to change your world". This pay-off line recognizes that we need to make
communications technology a truly relevant and positive transformative tool on society.
We have therefore decided to go beyond transforming peoples’ lives through our innovative
products by also investing into the same community from which we emerged by supporting a
wide range of corporate social investment initiatives primarily aimed at the disadvantaged such
as orphans, as well as other sectors as education and sport, as well as business and religious
bodies and organizations. This support is based on the firm belief that, as a company guided by
Christian principles, it is better to give than receive. The company’s key social investment
initiatives are as follows:
4.5.2 National Healthcare Trust Zimbabwe (NHTZ)
In 2008, Econet social responsibility role took on a more direct and urgent role. Under their
health and welfare programme, Econet provided financial and logistic support to teams of
dedicated health workers that were involved in fighting the cholera epidemic that affected the
country during the later part of 2008.
As CSI Econet employed their wide airtime distribution network to spread awareness by printing
anti-cholera messages on their recharge cards. Their involvement in fighting the cholera crisis
opened their eyes to the urgent need to make their intervention in health care more focused.
Econet therefore established the national health care trust Zimbabwe in December 2008
The Trust's immediate task was in the procurement of essential medicines and equipment needed
for delivery of basic healthcare services, and in the provision of key support in the areas of
communication. Rather than merely reacting to crisis, the trust will implement a more proactive
and sustained strategy for the rehabilitation and long-term maintenance of Zimbabwe’s health
sector. The trust seeks to build and maintain capacity within the health sector in Zimbabwe.
Environment policy at Econet During the year, Econet also came up with a comprehensive environment and waste Management Policy. Econet believes environment awareness is now more than just a factor of social responsibility, but rather a business imperative.
4.5.4 Joshua Nkomo Scholarship
Econet is humbled to associate itself with the launch of a Pan African Scholarship in honour of
one of the country's founding fathers, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. The scholarship will sponsor
100 of the country's brightest high school and tertiary students, irrespective of race or financial background. The recipients of the scholarships are expected to have a strong community spirit and are required to volunteer to assist others by working with charity organizations during theirholidays. The Scholarship is administered by a registered Trust, governed by a board of Trustees.
4.5.5 Capernaum Trust
In 1996, the Capernaum Trust was formed to transform the lives of orphaned children in
economically destitute situations, to help them to become self-reliant individuals. It offers love,hope and inspiration through the provision of scholarships, food packs and life skills training to over 25 000 orphans nationwide.
The JNSF, which was launched in 2005, and issued its first scholarships in 2006, is administered
through a registered trust that is governed by a board of trustees who are independent of Econet
and its Management. Administratively, the JNSF is run by a general manager appointed by the
trustees. The fund will annually grant 100 scholarships to students who will be expected to have
a strong community spirit and maintain the highest academic as well as personal/moral standards
in their community.
In line with its vision to bring communication to all people of Zimbabwe, Econet has
invested massively in community phone shops and payphones. In the process of bringing
convenience to those communities, it has also assisted in empowering the community by giving
them a chance to be entrepreneurs and running these phone shops and payphones which
operate under the "YourFone" brand.
4.5.7 Sports Sponsorships
Econet provides sponsorship for the annual Harare Athletic Club (HAC) Twenty Miler Road
Race. The Twenty Miler, which has been held every December for the past three decades to raise
funds for charity, is one of Zimbabwe's most prestigious sporting events
The company also supports various sporting activities in the country, which include football,
cricket and athletics amongst others. Econet has gone further to form its own soccer team, the
Buddie Boys which takes part in the country’s Communications League.
4.5.8 Company HIV/AIDS Policy
Econet is convinced that HIV and AIDS have the potential to waste valuable trained human
resources and reduce productivity. It also has a big impact on its employees’ well being, because
outside the workplace it can take its toll through the effort and resources needed to care and
provide for sick family members. Policies and structures have therefore been put in place to
address this concern.Firstly, the company undertakes to provide anti-retroviral drugs for the infected employee and other members of their immediate family. Secondly, the Econet Human Resources Department has launched an HIV/AIDS programme for employees and their spouses, entitled Live 2 Love.
This programme provides an open forum for staff members and their families to share
information, and is at their disposal, should you require support on how to deal with the
challenges associated with HIV/AIDS. The company would like to play its part in encouraging
members of society not to discriminate and stigmatize fellow citizens afflicted by HIV/AIDS and
help to fight any prejudice against them.
Corporate Communication Department at Econet Wireless.
4.5.9 Corporate Communications Manager’s (CCM) Office
The CCM has a dual reporting structure. While the unit falls under the marketing Director, he
has direct access to the Manager, thereby making him part of the dominant coalition. His job
entails keeping the internal and external publics informed of developments and the part the
Econet plays in the national economy and its role in corporate social responsibility.
He responds to media queries, prepares media releases, and writes feature articles for print and
electronic media. He organizes and manages various workshops, exhibitions conferences and
press receptions as well as organizing facility tours for example the Stakeholder’ Consultative
Workshops in Harare and outside the country where the Econet met with all its key stakeholders
4.5.10 Customer Care Manager (CCM)
The CCM office is vice to the Corporate Communication Manager and has an administrative
role, and an additional function that deals with customer issues. This department does similar
roles to the Corporate Communications Manager since it reports direct to the Directors and top
Management about serious issues affecting customer. Queries about the Econet products are
solved here. As part of management, this office deals with operational duties to meet the interest
of the customers.
4.5.11Public Relation Assistant Editor
The PRA office is vice to the Corporate Communications Manager and has an administrative
role, and an additional function as the Editor of the organization’s web site. The editorial team
originates stories, gathers some from correspondents takes photographs, edits and does layout
design before sending the camera-ready material for printing.4.5.12 Advertising Section
This section, which is manned by the advertising Co-ordinate who is responsible for originating
corporate advertisements and placing them in the mainstream media. The section is responsible
for approaching media houses to place advertisement. Again this department deals with publicity
material that assist promote company image such as T-shirts, folders, diaries, calendars and other
4.5.13 Art and graphic design section
The Graphic Designer is responsible for designing illustrations on advertisement to make them
more appealing and captive, produce pamphlets, brochures, certifications and complementary
slips. The Designer is also responsible for designing any advertising material and sometimes
deals with computer designing application software such as Cora graphics
External publics for Econet Wireless
4.5.14 Econet Today
Econet just like NRZ has a Corporate Communications department which has the smallest
number compared to other departments. This probably indicates the importance that Econet place
to the communication department that should be responsible in the implementation of CSR/CSI
programs. Econet is doing well in CSR so far and is one of the best private companies that
operate in more than seven countries namely Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana,
Nigeria, Angola, Morocco, Newzeland and UK. Econet has the Joshua Mqabuko Scholarship
(JSF), Capernaum Trust, sports sponsorship, HIV/AIDS program for the employee’s family
members and employment creation
4.5.15 External Publics
Like NRZ, Econet external publics are drawn from all over the world and include those across
the boarders of Zimbabwe. As a telecommunication company, Econet offers wide services that
include corporate organization such as ZimPlats, Mimosa, and so forth. However, the
government of Zimbabwe and many other institutions are the organizations external publics
which benefit extensively from the company. Out of all the telecommunication companies
existing in Zimbabwe, Econet seem to be one of the organization with more publics that are
drawn from rural remote areas, in farms, professionals in urban areas and even those from
abroad, are the good example of Econet publics.
4.5.16 Business Community
Econet has worked closely with the business community especially companies such as Deloitte,
Kingdom Bank, Renaissance, Africa Export-Import bank Limited, Nokia, Ericsson, Webb,
Comverse. ZTE, Subex and all the parastatals in Zimbabwe.Econet has invested massively in
community phone shops and payphones. In the process of bringing convenience to those
communities, it has also assisted in empowering the community by giving them a chance to be
entrepreneurs and run these phone shops and payphones which operate under the yourfone brand.
It can therefore be summarized that Econet as a corporate organization, is working relentlessly to
achieve sustainable growth through innovation and network expansion. Again Econet is
committed to extend the frontiers of communication through the deployment of relevant
technologies such as GPRS, 3G, Wi-Fi and Wi-Max. As an organisation they believe that the
accelerated growth programme will unlock value to all their stakeholders and open new horizons
for our customers. Furthermore, Econet in the community has been actively involved in
community social health programs (“stop cholera campaign”) and has continued to invest in
education (Joshua Nkomo Scholarship) and social welfare (Capernaum Trust). The group will
continue to develop long-term partnerships with all the beneficiaries of social investment
initiatives. The vision statement of Econet, its CSI programs and the organogram have been
discussed extensively. Some of the issues were left without discussed because of limited space of
4.6 Historical background of NRZ
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) grew out of a number of different companies most of
which were originally formed by the British South Africa Company (BSAC) in terms of the
Royal Charter granted to it on October 29 1889. Over the years these underwent amalgamations,
change of ownership. NRZ is controlled by the government of Zimbabwe and has programs that
are meant to benefit the community.(National Railways of Zimbabwe : Historic Milestone)
The development of the Railways in Zimbabwe was directed by several considerations, among
which was the need to serve the towns, mines and farms which were fast being established
before the turn of the century, and to link the landlocked country with sea-ports in Mozambique
and South Africa.(National Railways of Zimbabwe 1997:6)
Line construction began from Fontesvilla, 56 km inland from Beira, to Umtali (Mutare) in
September 1892, and from Vryburg in the Cape Province to Bulawayo in may 1893. The
Bulawayo line was completed in October 1897 and the Mutare line in February 1898. The link
between Salisbury (Harare) and Bulawayo was finally completed in October 1902 after initial
construction was brought to a halt by the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War in October 1899,
when materials had to be brought in on the Beira line.
The next stage was the line northwards from Bulawayo, which began in 1903, crossed the
Zambezi River at Victoria Falls in September 1905 and reached the Congo border in December
1909.For several years this whole system was operated by the Mashonaland Railway Company
under the title Beira and Mashonaland and Rhodesia railways, but on 1 October 1936 Rhodesia
Railways Limited became the owner of the hole railway system in Zimbabwe and Zambia as
well as the Vryburg-Bulawayo section. The line from Vryburg to Ramathlabama on the
Botswana border was acquired by South African Railways in December 1959.
On 1 April 1947 the then Rhodesian Government acquired the assets of Rhodesia Railways
Limited and on 1 November 1949 the undertaking became a statutory body known as Rhodesia
Railways. On 1 July 1967 the system was divided at the Victoria Falls bridge, with Zambia
Railways in the north and Rhodesia railways in the south. (Baxter ad Turner 1967)
Therefore ranging from the background of NRZ and Econet it is therefore important to give a
comparative approach in the manner in which there are involved in corporate social
responsibility. This study looked at the social assistance that NRZ and Econet are doing to their
employee and to the ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe. Corporate social responsibility is a
reflection of excellent PR practice by PR departments from big organizations in giving back to
the community. Econet is a wireless communications organization which uses new technology
and has spread to seven countries, while NRZ is an organization that has been operating for more
than a century. It is therefore interesting to inquire how their PR department approach and apply
excellent PR through corporate social responsibility
In the construction of the rail, some of the historical milestones were reached:
19 October 1987 Francistown to Bulawayo section was complete
1 December 1902 Bulawayo to Gwelo (Gweru) section was opened
20 June 1904 Bulawayo to Victoria Falls Section was opened
12 Sept. 1905 Victoria Falls Bridge opened
1 June 1979 Rhodesian Railways changed to Zimbabwe Rhodesian Railways
1 May 1980 Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Railways changed to NRZ
22 October 1983 Dabuka to Harare electrified section commissioned.
1 January 1987 Botswana section of the NRZ became Botswana Railways following its
acquisition by the government of Botswana
Rhodesia Railways was redesigned Zimbabwe Rhodesia Railways on 1 June 1979 and finally
National Railways of Zimbabwe on 1 may 1980 soon after the attainment of national
independency (Bolze 1968).
4.6.1 The organization’s Core Business
The NRZ is mandated to provide, operate and maintain an efficient system of public
transportation of goods and passengers by rail. Railways play a pivotal role as the country’s
major transporter company, which majors in serving the entire spectrum of the economy and the
community that is moving both freight and passengers. In the organization freight business
contribute 95% of the organization’s revenue, 5% is acquired from the transportation of
The NRZ provides transport for both the inputs and finished products for the productive sectors
of the economy, that is, the mining sector, agriculture sector, and industrial sector and passangers and parcel sector.
4.7 Mission Statement, Vision and Core Values
NRZ have a mission statement that captures the core business, objectives and goals of
the organization. It is important to notice that NRZ is committed to the
implementation of CSR programs for goodwiland corporate citizenship.
4.7.1 Mission Statement:
To provide rail and road transport services in an efficient and cost effective manner.
Our vision is to be the best provider of rail and road transport service in Southern Africa.
4.7.3 Core Values:
18.104.22.168 Safety: We believe that safety is every employee’s business. Where there exist a
conflict of interest safety will take the precedence over all other considerations.
22.214.171.124 Integrity: Our business operations and conduct are at all times governed by high
degree of honesty and integrity
126.96.36.199 Affordability: We support the recovery and growth of the economy through
offering affordable services.
NRZ aim to ensure that all their operations and processes harmoniously co-exist with the
environment.NRZ recognize that pollution prevention, biodiversity and resources conservation
are key to a sustainable environment, and they effectively integrate these concepts into our
4.9 Analysis of the mission statement and declared objectives:
The NRZ‘s mission statement, vision and core values are the guidelines, which help the company
towards achieving its goals. However, in their mission statement there is not much that directly
indicates the commitment of the organization to CSR programs to benefit their publics. Perhaps
the only issues that indirectly reflects the commitment of the organization to CSR programs are
as follows; the environment and safety to the workers. NRZ should be in the lead to issues that
benefits their publics such as scholarships, donations, charity and so forth. Unlike Econet
through their “personal” where they clearly state that;
We will always show concern for each other in an atmosphere that is
open and stimulates personal development and job satisfaction and a
sense of responsibility. We believe in working in teams, in effective
and confident co-operation, in environments where honest praise,
constructive criticisms and fair reward have their place
NRZ mission statement do not bring clear the aspect of CSR and perhaps if there is any it will be
limited to the internal publics, who are workers.
Again unlike Econet whose mission statement clearly reflects concern for the public, NRZ do not
reflect that concern in their mission statement. Hence the following statement from Econet shows
corporate social responsibility to the publics for mutual understanding and good will. Therefore,
the following statements clearly indicate Econet’s commitment to CSR programs for the public;
. Our relationship with our customers will enthuse with warmth and a
genuine desire to meet their needs. We will reach out to customers
in a holistic and organic way that makes them true stakeholders in
Judging from the above statement especially basing from the values of Econet it is clearly stated
that the publics needs will be met and they will be incorporated as the true stakeholders of the
4.10 Organizational Departments
NRZ have six major departments with sub-departments which fall under. However, for the seek
of space the study focuses only on the major six departments and the Public relation department
which is the central department for the study. The six major departments are as follows; General
Manager, Director Corporate Affaires, Director Financial and Administration, Director
Operations, Director Marketing and Director Technical Services. Public Relations is part of the
management level at NRZ and the study will mainly focus on the role played by this department
especially with regard to CSR.
4.11 The Public Relations Department
This department has a vital task of creating and sustaining the corporate “image” of the whole
enterprise. However, this wide-ranging responsibility includes media liaison, customer care, the
production of corporate literature including NRZ magazine (The Railroader), organizing special
events, Trade fair exhibitions, and promoting the Railways nation wide as well as social
responsibility programmes. This department is made of different subsections, which includes the
editorial, advertising, photography, press and publicity and the commercial art sections, which
work hand in hand in order to achieve the objectives of the Public Relations unit.The PR Branch,
which is the smallest unit in the NRZ structure. However, despite the size, the unit holds the key
function of building, upholding and perpetuating the company’s image as well as being the nerve
centre for all communication with external and internal publics. In essence, the unit ascribes to
Herbamus 18th Century’s “Public Sphere’ theory because it creates a forum for public interaction
and free expression of views. The Unit is headed by the Public Relation Manager and comprises
three core sections of Editorial, advertising Arts and Graphics Design and Photography as
indicated on the Departmental organogram.
NRZ’s Public Relations Departmental Structure.
4.11.1 Public Relations Manager (NRZ)
The PRM has a dual reporting structure. While the unit falls under the marketing Director, he has
direct access to the General Manager, thereby making him part of the dominant coalition. His job
entails keeping the internal and external publics informed of developments and the part the NRZ
plays in the national economy and its role in corporate social responsibility.
He responds to media queries, prepares media releases, and writes feature articles for print and
electronic media. He organizes and manages various workshops, exhibitions conferences and
press receptions as well as organizing facility tours for example the Stakeholder’ Consultative
Workshops in Harare where the NRZ met with all its key stakeholders comprising the Ministry
of Transport and Communications, major customer and neighbouring Railway entities to assess
performance of the NRZ as well as mapping out strategies for the future.
4.11.2 Public Relations Assistant (Editor)
The PRA office is vice to the PRM and has an administrative role, and an additional function as
the Editor of the organization’s bi-monthly in-house magazine, (The Railroader). The editorial
team originates stories, gathers some from correspondents takes photographs, edits and does
layout design before sending the camera-ready material for printing.
4.11.3 Advertising Section
This section, which is manned by the advertising Co-ordinate who is responsible for originating
corporate advertisements and placing them in the mainstream media. The section is responsible
for sourcing advertisement for placement in the Railroader magazine so that the magazines
generate some revenue to sustain itself rather than relying on the corporate budget. The section
generates revenue by selling advertising space on billboards, stations and coaches. It plays a key
role in production of publicity material that assist promote company image such as T-shirts,
folders, diaries, calendars and other livery.
4.11.4 Art and graphic design section
The Graphic Designer is responsible for designing illustrations on adverts to make them more
appealing and captive, produce pamphlets, brochures, certifications and complementary slips.
The Designer is also bestowed with the responsibility of designing display materials for all
exhibitions such as the ZITF and Agricultural Shows
4.12 Importants of the organization
• NRZ is one of the major bulk transporters of goods and passengers in and out of the
• NRZ brings in foreign currency to the country.
• Employment—it is a leading member of the economic community and the largest single
employer in the country after the government. The NRZ has more than eleven thousand
• NRZ assist to maintain a strong rapport with neighbouring country such as South Africa,
Botswana, Zambia and so forth as it is part of SARA (Southern Africa Railway
• It practices CSR that serves the lives of the majority public and provide transport at
EXTERNAL PUBLIC OF NRZ
Today, NRZ is operating with a PR department which has the smallest number a PR department
which has the smallest number compared to other departments
4.13.1 External Publics at NRZ
NRZ like Econet external publics include government, non-governmental organizations,
exporters, importers, farmers, financial institutions, the public, trade unions and international
The Zimbabwean government has been linked to NRZ since the company’s inception on 1 May
1980 soon after the attainment of national independence (Centenary Train Bulawayo 1897-
1997). NRZ grew out of a number of different companies most of which were originally formed
by the British South Africa Company in terms of the Royal Charter grounded to it on October 29
1889. Over the years these underwent amalgamations change of ownership. The government
currently is a majority shareholder with a 50% stake in the company, in light of this NRZ was
place under Ministry of Transport and Energy and the government, through thus ministry, is
responsible for appointing Board of Governors and Management Executives.
4.13.2 Exporters and Importers
Exporters and importers are the main engine upon which the existence and success of NRZ as a
transporter and development and success of NRZ as a transporter and development organization
rest. NRZ is responsible for transporting goods and passengers by railroad.
The business Community
NRZ just like Econet has worked closely with the business community especially companies
such as Hwange Colliery, Zisco Steel, Zimasco, Zimbabwe Alloys International and so forth in
transporting good in bulk to and from different places. The business community in general offers
NRZ with pool of prospective clients and potential exporters and importers. NRZ draws its
business community across the SADC region through the South Africa Rail Commuter
Corporations (SARCC) that includes South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia
and so forth. Local all ordinary citizens’ uses rail transport for short and long distances.
4.13.4 The Publics
The public like the business community, offers NRZ like Econet with a pool of prospective
clients. The public of NRZ like Econet are derived from the community members, potential
employees, employees, opinion leaders, suppliers of service and materials, investors, distributors,media and government. The organization communicates with the public through the media in theform of advertisement, newspapers, company magazine and the company’s website.
4.13.5 Foreign Trade Organisations
Foreign trade organizations work in collaboration with NRZ in exchanging trade information,
supplying material updating market trends and in facilitating trade missions.
This chapter gave a detailed analysis of the organizations under study so as to provide an
appreciation of the position of the PR division within the organizations and the application of
CSR to meet the organizational and the public goals and objectives. The chapter that follows
looks at the findings of the research based on the research methods employed and related to the
structure and operations of the organization
Chapter 5: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
This chapter presents and analysis data from the research using statistical tools such as, graphical presentations and discussion. Data presented was collected from the documentary research
undertaken, observations, interviews and questionnaires distributed. The presentation of findings
looks at application of corporate social responsibility. The presentation of findings looks at
application of CSR by PR department at Econet and NRZ. In addition, the presentation of
findings looks at how PR attempts to achieve the corporate objectives through CSR as modern
form of PR that is dialogical. In presenting the findings, the researcher deals with CSR programs
at Econet and NRZ.
The researcher assessed the data collected from the field and presented it in a thematic way that
answers the sub-problems of the study. However, theoretical framework in the study was
integrated with gathered data in order to indicate the thread that existed in the practice of CSR by corporate organization such as Econet and NRZ. Kotler and Lee (2003) 5C’s, Carroll’s 3C-SR
model, two way symmetrical communication model and open system was used by the researcher
to assess the implementation of CSR programs at Econet and NRZ.
5.1 PR strategies and Activities Undertaken
In achieving the corporate objectives, the PR departments at Econet and NRZ designed a PR
strategy that complements the organisation’s corporate objectives. Management at Econet and
NRZ however, allocated specific tasks to the PR departments and as such the PR strategy was
designed in line with the company’s expectations. Furthermore, both Econet and NRZ
departments were assigned to manage all internal and external communication and to ensure that
stakeholders are always aware of CSR activities and programs that are implemented in two
corporations to benefit their stakeholders. Unlike Econet that is international recognized and has
vast CSR programs to benefit its public, NRZ as a parastatal that has less CSR programs to
benefit their stakeholders.
5.2 Ownership and Financial status of Econet and NRZ
Econet is a privately owned corporate that has a financial resounding status while NRZ is a
parastatal that is own and run by the government. The financial position of NRZ as compared to
Econet is limited and that has negative influence towards the implementation of CSR for
corporate citizenship. However, NRZ like Econet clearly indicates in their company policy that
they are committed to assist the community as part of CSR. The CSR at Econet and NRZ is
guided by Kotler and Lee (2005) five C’s namely conviction, commitment, communication,
consistency, continuous and credibility. Econet and NRZ in their CSR are committed to assist
their publics and communicate effectively to them through their websites, in-house publications
and local media. At Econet CSR programs such as Joshua Nkomo Scholarship and Capernaum
Trust are implemented year after year and have benefited thousands of ordinary citizens of
Zimbabwe. NRZ also has maintained consistency of their CSR by implementing them year after
year. The NRZ scholarships which are meant to cultivate talent are some among the programs
that can be indicated.
From the information gathered it is clear that Econet and NRZ fully implement CSR to benefit its
public. The effort by two corporate organizations maintains “credibility’ which is one important
C’s as asserted by Kotler and Lee (2005). This is a good example of open system approach
between corporations and the publics. The organizations effectively communicate and respond
well to the needs of their publics.
5.3 A Comparative Assessment of Econet and NRZ
Econet and NRZ are two corporations with effective PR departments that have CSR to benefit
their stakeholders. Unlike at Econet where PR department has clear indication that their
corporation will meet most of their stakeholders needs, NRZ have no clear policy for that,
despite the fact that they implement CSR programs and corporate philanthropy. Corporations,
Econet and NRZ’s PR departments are part of management and are involved in implementing the
CSR programs. Again both PR departments at Econet and NRZ practice reciprocity in their PR
practices through the use of modern technologies such as internet, website, emails, chat rooms,
blogs and so forth. PR departments at the above mentioned corporations are responsible for
creating news about CSR programs and also to disseminate information to all their stakeholders
through modern technology.
Furthermore, in their CSR/CSI both Econet and NRZ partake in education, healthy, environment
and sports. Econet unlike NRZ, have more CSR programs on health issues and education that
benefits all stakeholders nation wide. The PR department at Econet is more effective than NRZ
in implementing CSR programs Again unlike at NRZ where PR department started in early 80’s,
at Econet PR department started in the early 90’s. In terms of CSR programs implemented
Econet is in the lead as compared to NRZ.
5.4 Distinction between CSR and Corporate Social Philanthropy (CSP)
CSR can be defined as long-term commitment in a project focus on returns that according to
Carroll’s (2003) CSR model. In Carroll’s 3C-SR model commitment, connections and
consistency is important in implementing these programs. Commitments represent the value
element of social resources. They comprise the ethical standards and social objectives, strategy
programs, organizational policies and corporate culture. Econet and NRZ as corporate
organizations fulfill CSR by sticking to ethical standards through assisting the publics. Programs
at NRZ such as NRZ scholarship, HIV/AID Capacity Building, supporting sports such as soccer
and environment fulfills the commitment value of the corporate policies. Econet also fulfills
commitment through implementation of Capernaum Trust, Joshua Nkomo Scholarship, Anti-
Cholera, HIV/AIDS, Buddie Boys, and Harare Athletic Club (HAC). From the research findings
it emerged that both corporate organizations, Econet and NRZ has shown their commitment
through assisting their publics. More articles in The Financial Gazette, web sites and in-house
publications has been produced which support the claim.
Connection as the second “C” from Carroll’s (2003) refers to the “values” in a business network
results from a value creating system, within which different actors suppliers, business partners,
allies, customers work together for corporate value. From the findings of the study Econet like
NRZ has connected themselves with various publics in implementing CSR programs. NRZ has
CSR programs that meet the needs of various public such as workers, community members and
other organizations just like Econet. This differs with corporate social philanthropy which is
giving when the corporate feels has generated more income. Such giving is not regular and is not a fulfillment of the company policy.
Consistency as the third “C’ refers to the behavioral element of social resources overtime and
across all facets of an organization operation. Through consistency, the organization should
“walk the talk”. Hence from the findings collected it is clear that what Econet and NRZ is
practicing through their PR is CSR and not Corporate Social Philanthropy (CSP). NRZ and
Econet have walked their talk by implementing CSR programs that assist their public. Bothe
Econet and NRZ have CSR programs in education, health, environment and sports.’ Railroaders
magazine” is a good example of NRZ in-house publication that has highlighted CSR programs
implemented by NRZ such as NRZ scholarship that has benefit the Maphisa Primary school
pupils in Bulawayo. Econet has fulfilled consistency through their community programs that
benefited the entire nation of Zimbabwe through their Capernaum Trust, Joshua Nkomo
scholarship, Stop Cholera Campaign and HIV/AIDS policy. From the findings gathered Econet
has walked their talk and published a number of articles in The Financial Gazette and in their
Econet web site
In a comparative assessment of understanding of the term “Corporate Social Responsibility”
(CSR), out of 20 questionnaires emailed to Econet and the other 20 emailed at NRZ, the
respondents reflected a better understanding of the concept and its role in PR practices. All PR’s
employees from the two corporations have similar understanding of CSR concept, only that at
NRZ five out of 20 questionnaires were not clear on the differences between corporate
philanthropy and CSR. At Econet almost 80% of the respondents clearly distinguished the
differences that exist between corporate philanthropy and CSR. This questionnaire keeps the
researcher updated on the difference that PR practitioners and their subordinate hold in CSR and
In the responses collected through emailed questionnaires all respondents gave wide range of
options on CSR which can be summarized as;
(i)Providing cash to the public as an assistants
(ii)Offering grants for education or research
(iii) Awarding scholarships
(v) Offering service for free to the community
(vi) Providing technical expertise for free to the community or publics
The study deduced that Econet and NRZ PR practitioners are the part of management and
implements the CSR programs that fulfil the 3C-SR model initiated by Carroll (2003). The PR
departments show a deep insight of the activities that they practice in assisting the society as
The question about the definition of Corporate Social Responsibility was meant to assess the
knowledge of PR departments from two corporations, Econet and NRZ about their understanding
of CSR and also as to whether they are aware of their activities in dealing with stakeholders
through giving to the community or publics. CSR is modern PR that is dialogical and creates
mutual understanding and good will. CSR as PR concept assisted the researcher to assess
whether all PR departments for two corporations Econet and NRZ are quite clear about the
meaning of the concept and how they should implement CSR for the good of their organisations.
CSR is an ancient phenomenon that started in the Western countries in the early 1970’s. In early
1980’s most PR departments for corporate organisations were already practicing it. For instance,
Johnson and Johnson’s classic handling of the Tylenol poisoning in 1983 became a textbook case
in how to respond to a crisis.
It can also be noticed that while the two organization Econet and NRZ fully implement CSR for
good citizenship with their public they also practice philanthropy by giving directly to the
community when need arises. Econet in August 2009, donated US$20.000 to Apostolic Faith
Mission and NRZ in 2004 donated food and cloths to Hwange community. The donations were
mere giving to assist the publics for the challenges they were facing. It is again within the
findings of the study that the researcher deduced that both Econet and NRZ practices
philanthropy and CSR to meet the needs and objectives of their organisations and their publics.
5.5 Historical implementation of CSR at Econet and NRZ
The research findings of the study deduced that NRZ as a non-profit making oragnisation is
largely controlled by the government and started implementing CSR programs before Econet. In
a comparative assessment about the establishment of CSR programs at Econet and NRZ, it
emerged that while NRZ started CSR implementation in 1985, Econet started CSR in 1995, two
years after Econet was established by Strive Masiyiwa in 1993. NRZ is one of the oldest
parastatal that has operated in Zimbabwe for more than a century. In fact, NRZ grew out of a
number of different companies most which were originally formed by British South Africa
Company (BSAC) in October 29 1889. Unlike Econet which implemented CSR programs
through PR department two years after its establishment, NRZ implemented CSR 98 years after
its establishment. Again NRZ and Econet clearly stated in their core values that their
relationships with their customers are enthused with warmth and a genuine desire to meet their
needs. Econet unlike NRZ through its core values reflect that they reached out their customers in
a holistic and organic way that makes them true stakeholders by involving them in the
implementation of CSR programs..
Judging from the above statement it is clear that Econet as a corporation has clear policies to takecare of its publics, unlike NRZ which do not have clear policies to assist its publics.NRZ in theircore values unlike Econet states that;
“We believe that safety is every employee business. Where there existed a conflict of interest
safety will take the precedence over all other considerations”
Judging from the NRZ “core values”, it is clear that only internal publics are valued by NRZ and
external publics are not valued.. It is observed from the research assessment that while NRZ is
older than Econet, in terms of CSR program, Econet has more CSR programs. The most salient
issue about NRZ is that it practices CSR to their workers by providing them with enough health
and safety. This indirectly boost the production since having a health body is entitled to health
mind which boosts the level of production
5.6 Corporate Social Responsibility programs at Econet and NRZ
Puth and Lubbe (1994:179) define CSR as a generic concept referring to business organisations
concern and active two-way involvement with the social, economic and political forces which
influence the environment. Both corporations Econet and NRZ have a CSR program that covers
wide ranges such as education, health, sports, environment and so forth. From the assessment
deduced from questionnaires, interviews, documentaries and content analysis. Econet unlike
NRZ have 8 CSR programs that benefits the publics, while NRZ have 5 CSR programs that
benefits the publics
Comparative CSR programs between Econet and NRZ
BAR GRAPH 2
5.7 CSR programs on Education at Econet and NRZ
Econet has two CSR programs for education that benefit the public nation wide while NRZ
has one educational program to benefit the entire nation. However, unlike Econet, NRZ has
one education program that provides grants to the employees children. This program is meant
to cushion the financial constraints faced by the NRZ employees’ nation wide to send their
children to tertiary institutions. Since the implementation of Joshua Nkomo Scholarship Fund
(JNSF) more than ten thousand students have benefited out of it. Yet at NRZ only less than
five hundred students have benefited out of the NRZ scholarships. Unlike Econet where
JNSF benefit external publics, NRZ bursary benefits the employee’s children. Again NRZ
through its corporate social philanthropy more than five hundred students have benefited.
Econet unlike NRZ has scholarships meant for external and internal publics. This clearly
shows that PR department at Econet; unlike at NRZ have an effective approach to CSR
programs as reciprocal communication with the publics.
Econet CSR programs such as “The Capernaum Trust”, which was formed in 1996 was
implemented and controlled by the PR department. This clearly shows the effectiveness of
PR department at Econet as compared to that at NRZ. Capernaum Trust has a vision to
transform the lives of orphans in the most economically distressed communities into self
reliant and socially vibrant individuals through the provision of food training and education
support. The trust has so far catered for more than 12.000 orphans through out the country.
Most of the education fund at Econet is meant to benefit students from tertiary institute.
Midlands State University has more than 100 students who benefit from this trust. There are
ten students in the media department at MSU who are beneficiaries of the Capernaum Trust.
In The Financial Gazette 2005:14, the Capernaum Trust Director Ms Stembeni Chirume
asserted that the Trust was assisting children with educational support up to tertiary level
throughout all the provinces in Zimbabwe. Ms Chirume further indicated that over 40 000
children have benefitted from the scholarship program since 2005. Among the beneficiaries
in 2005 120 were students doing A “Level and 167 doing O”Level. Talented children
through Capernaum Trust are allowed to pursue their dreams by sending them to universities
where they studied in various faculties.
From the findings of the study on CSR through education the researcher realized that
program at Econet and NRZ fulfils the open system theory that asserts that the organization
should interact with the environment for it to function well. Econet and NRZ are interacting
with the environment by responding positively to the need of their publics which may be
cause by an unfriendly environment. For instance, during the Cholera Campaign of 2008
Econet circulated the messages to their subscribers about cholera, while NRZ offered
transport freely to the Cholera affected publics to health centers.
5.8 Supporting the Community through Sports sponsorship
As part of CSR both Econet and NRZ sponsor sports. Econet PR department provides
sponsorship for the annual Harare Athletic Club (HAC). The company also supports sporting
activities in the country, which include football and cricket. Econet has gone further to form
its soccer team, the “Buddies Boys”, which takes part in the country’s communication
League. NRZ on the other hand sponsor soccer and “Rail stars”, one of the vibrant team that
was relegated from Premier Soccer League is still sponsored by NRZ. NRZ consistently
sponsors Railstars and reflect consistency that has been discussed by Carroll (2003) in her
3C-SR model of CSR.
The Financial Gazette 2005:16, Econet through its PR department sponsored Harare Athletic
Club (HAC) 20 Miler Road Race, where over 180 athletes of different backgrounds and ages
convened to run until 5 December 2005. South African racing legend Bruce Fordyce, a nine
time winner of the Comrades Marathon, and Zimbabwe’s own Freddy Kashiri were also part
of the field. The race started off at the 11 km peg along the Shamva road just outside Harare,
with the athletes heading towards the city center, finishing at Old Georgians Sports Club.
In this athletic race sponsored by Econet in 2005 Sipho Ncube won the men’s open section,
while Munodaani Munyaradzi won the ladies open section. In the veteran category (40-49
years) Morgan Sithole of Turnall Athleticcs Club in Bulawayo won the men’s section and
Debbie Lambourn won the women’s section (50-59 years). This is one good example in
sports that Econet sponsors athletes through their corporate social responsibility programs to
create mutual understanding with their publics.
5.9 NRZ and Econet CSR program to soccer
The research findings of the study indicated that Econet and NRZ extend their arm to soccer in
their CSR programs. Econet in their CSR like NRZ which sponsored Rail stars, Econet boosted
the fortunes of local football with $10 billion sponsorship in 2005. Econet in February 2005
unveiled a landmark Z$10 billion five year soccer sponsorship program whose budget was going
to be inflation adjusted every year to take into account rising costs.
The sponsorship, arguably the single largest sports sponsorship by Econet in the country’s
history, was aimed at bringing professionalism into the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and
ensured that the country developed and nurtured soccer talent and regain its status as a
continental soccer powerhouse. This sponsorship was however terminated at the end of 2005
because of the administrative and other challenges that affected the local league. It is clear from the given example that Econet PR department have done a lot to assist their publics.
5.10 Investing in Community Health
As part of CSR Econet has played a vital role in assisting its public to stay healthy. In 2008
Econet took a more direct and urgent role under health and welfare programme to assist the
publics who were affected by cholera. Econet in cholera health crisis provided financial and
logistic support to teams of dedicated health workers that were involved in fighting the cholera
epidemic that affected the country during the later part of 2008. Using printed documentaries
about Econet, the PR department at Econet offered wide airtime distribution network to spread
awareness by printing anti-cholera SMS messages that were forwarded to every mobile phone
with Econet lines. A Healthcare Trust Zimbabwe in December 2008 was established as an
attempt to assist the publics affected with cholera.
On health issues Econet also took care of its internal publics that are HIV/AIDS affected. Both
internal and external publics benefit a lot from Econet HIV/AIDS program. Econet Wireless
continues to provide anti-retroviral drugs for the infected employees and other members of their
immediate family. The Econet Wireless publication online through their website indicates that
Econet care for its publics through the “Live 2 Love” programme. Econet on HIV/AIDS
encourages the publics to avoid the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS victims. NRZ like Econet
on the other hand have two programs for health issues and tackles HIV/AIDS and cholera. NRZ
CSR programs assisted internal public (employees) to stay healthy by providing free transporting
of drugs and passengers from one area to another for medication. Apart from that through their
web site and in-house publications, NRZ has published health programs that were implemente through their PR department.
5.11 CSR on Environment at Econet and NRZ
This study finding reflected that Econet through its CSR programs implemented
environmental programs. Through the PR department’s approach to CSR Econet in the
community programme was launched in 2004 and part of its intended focus was to target
environmental awareness initiatives. From time to time, the company has supported activities
aimed at changing the community’s attitude towards disposal of litter.
In the Financial Gazette dated September 1-7 2005, Econet published its corporate
community responsibility article entitled “Econet supports environmental programmes”. The
PR department at Econet partnered with the Harare Junior City Council, to conduct clean ups
on the Eastern part of Samora Machel Avenue, one of the city’s busiest thorough fares. The
initiative was supported by the Harare City Council itself, which provided implements that
were used for the exercise. The Junior Council mobilized scores of volunteers from various
high schools around the city, who displayed a unique sense of discipline and civic
spiritedness. Econet through its CSR program supported clean up initiatives ties in closely
with the company’s desire to see users of its preferred services becoming more
environmentally conscious, through appropriate disposal of used recharged cards in bins
around the city.
NRZ like Econet is also concerned with the environment as part of their CSR programs
implemented by PR department. NRZ PR department through its CSR programs installed a
fume absorbing plant for the metalling shop to prevent workshop personnel from exposure to
toxic fumes emitted during the smelting process. The metalling shop is one of the key
sections of the engineering workshop at NRZ and its main function is to recondition plain
bearing for use on locomotives and bearings. The process entails re-melting white metal from
worn out plain bearings and shell. However, the process emits leads fumes which cause a
serious health hazard to the workforce if there are no mechanisms to extract the fumes from
the building. Fumes produced at NRZ workshop polluted the environment surrounding.
Therefore NRZ PR department had to implement measures that assisted to reduce pollution
that can affect the public. Again in February 2005 NRZ organized a health campaign that
cleaned up the 5th Street in Bulawayo with the Bulawayo City Council.
5.12 Econet in Community
The research findings also indicated that Econet PR department launched CSR program
called the “Econet in the community”, and this program represents the Group’s new social
investment thrust in 2005. Special privileges have been placed on the underprivileged
members of the society. Organisations like Jairos Jiri Centre, Emeralds Hill School for the
Deaf, and Capota School of the Blind, Muchemwa Leprosy Centre and 9 Giles
Rehabilitation Centre have benefited from this programme Econet Wireless in partnership
with its subscribers raised $250 million towards Tsunami Disaster Fund
Econet maintained its policy of supporting Capernaum Trust whose mission is to facilitate
the transformation of disadvantaged orphans through education support and training in life
skills so that they become self reliant individuals who are able to realize their God given
potential. Capernaum continues to run a scholarship program for vulnerable orphaned
children in Zimbabwe. Since June 2004, the Trust has expanded to 20 000 children. Of this
figure, 83% are children in rural schools and spread throughout the country. Capernaum
projects that the number of children it would be assisting will increase beyond 25.000 by
An analysis of the research findings highlights the fact that PR departments at Econet and
NRZ have CSR programs that benefit their publics, but have to increase these CSR programs.
Again NRZ unlike Econet should implement more CSR programs that benefit the external
publics more than internal publics. Most CSR programs implemented by PR department at
NRZ are for internal publics. Furthermore, CSR programs at Econet and NRZ should be
centered on the needs of their publics and should be based on research. However, the PR
department from both corporation (Econet and NRZ) should be commended for its success in
communicating reciprocal with their external publics and in achievement of the corporation’s
first corporate objectives that is taking care of the publics and meeting their needs.
Financial Gazette September 2005:24 Audited Financial Result for the year ended 30 June 2005
5.13 Two-way symmetrical Communication at Econet and NRZ
The study findings also indicated that the two corporate organization studies Econet and
NRZ PR departments adopted the Two-way symmetrical model to communicate with their
publics through the use of their organization web site. The architecture of the web site at
NRZ has a forum for comments. Here clients can enter their views which the company can
use as feed back about the positive and negative impact about their CSR programs. Econet
web site is friendly user and allows the publics to enter their opinions about their CSR
programs. The use of weblogs fulfills the “public Opinion model of PR that allows
stakeholders to be engaged in a dialogue with the PR department employees at Econet.. A
reciprocal relationship was built and this was facilitated by feedback channels opened by
both organisations. The few public members interviewed by the researcher indicated that
they have communicated with the two organizations through their websites. This indicates
the commitments of Econet and NRZ through their PR department to reach mutual
understanding and goodwill with all their publics. PR manager at NRZ Mr Fanuel Masikati is
a professional PR practitioner, who communicates affectively with the publics. Masikati uses
two-way communication and he listens to the public, although they have limited resources
but his effort with his PR team is emulated by the publics. Corporate Communications
Manager at Econet Mr Ranga Mberi is an excellent PR practitioner. All their programs for
CSR are based on research and address the needs of the publics nationwide. Their web site is
updated with all CSR programs and the budget spent for CSR programs.
5.14 Assessment on the use of new technology by Econet and NRZ for CSR
In response to the above question NRZ just like Econet asserts that their PR departments have
implemented various measures to improve effective communication with all publics. New
technologies such as weblogs, teleconferencing was installed to be used at both Econet and NRZ.
However, Econet unlike NRZ have acquired new technology to be integrated with their mobile
phones such as GPRS, 3G, Wi-Fi and Wi-Max. These new acquired technologies are used to
improve communication with the publics. All the new technologies implemented by Econet and
NRZ are affective to enhance dialogical communications with the publics.
Weblogs/blogs is a journal which consists of “articles” or ‘postings” in chronologically sorted
order. These postings can be easily viewed by any web browser, and the content of many blogs
can be read by RSS Newsreaders. The findings of this study indicates that Econet like NRZ uses
weblogs within their web site for dialogical communications that allowed publics to speak out
their views about the CSR programs they look forward to see. The idea of a corporate blog could
be to have conversation with the publics and to inform them on current developments that affect
their lives. Blogs allowed the corporations to engage in a dialogue with its publics and hear the
problems that they wish the corporate to address. The PR department from both Econet and NRZ
have web site that are updated regularly about CSR programs and other news.
Furthermore, Econet unlike NRZ has implemented internet facilities to connect with all their
publics through their mobile phone facilities. Econet have invested a lot in technology for
effective communications. Econet is the frontiers of communication through the deployment of
relevant technologies such as GPRS, 3G, Wi-Fi and Wi-Max. Econet believed in accelerated
growth programme that unlocked values to all their stakeholders especially with regard to
programs for mutual understanding and goodwill. Econet unlike NRZ is in touch with their
publics who are in remote area like Matepatepa and Binga. Econet program of selling Econet
lines to old age with reasonable cost is an attempt to enable all people in rural area to have accessto their mobile network for easy communication with them.
NRZ PR department on the other hand, establish new communication facility that network its
publics in two-way process. NRZ installed the teleconferencing service of communication as an
attempt to improve its communication with its public. Cutlip (1994:273) argues that
teleconferencing saves travel time and costs, meeting facilities, and boarding of participants can
more than off-set the costs of using this new technology. Teleconferencing installed at NRZl
enabled publics from various areas of the country to link with NRZ PR department. This modern
technology is efficient and effective in communication and enhances two way communication
process. NRZ PR department uses this facility effectively to communicate with its publics from
all the corners of the country. This boosted the image and reputation of NRZ as an organisation,
the community, employees and investors. Again, this enabled all CSR programs implemented by
NRZ through its PR department to be easily disseminated to both internal and external publics.
Econet as a telecommunication organisation specialising on telecommunications and mobile
phones are introduced “Audio-Conferencing” as a move to network with its publics for CSR
programs. The Econet range boosters constructed around the country assist the rural populace to
have access of this facility. Audio-Conferencing maintains two-way communications and uses
the telephone system to provide multiple parties with a chance to meet electronically. To
supplement audio by facsimile devices at each location, a white board is used to supplement
audio conferencing, illustrations, charts, or other graphics that may be shared by facsimile device
at each location. The Whiteboard facility in audio-conferencing will enable publics for Econet
with access to the communication facilities to capture the writing on a board in digital form and
uses the telephone system to transmit the date to television screen at the remote locations.
5.15 Technologies used by Econet and NRZ to communicate with publics
about their CSR programs
Bar graph 2
Judging from the above bar graph ,Econet PR department like NRZ used blogs as effective way
to communicate with their publics. Blogs are reciprocal and allows both end to communicate to
each other dialogical. This helped the two corporate to know the CSR programs that addresses
their publics need and update them about their weakness in corporate citizenship. Econet unlike
NRZ have mobile phone programs that they use to communicate about their commitment to the
community. This is because Econet unlike NRZ specialises on telecommunication and is
currently one of the leading telecommunication corporate in Africa. Econet is operating in South
Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Angola, Lesotho, Nigeria, Morocco, New Zealand and United
NRZ on the other hand unlike Econet, established the teleconferencing communication as an
attempt to improve their communication competence with their publics. Teleconferencing
assisted NRZ to link with its publics and to communicate all their CSR programs they are
conducting and hear whether the publics are satsfied about them. The publics on the other hand,
communicate the programs that they want to see NRZ assisting them with. Teleconferencing like
electronic mail enhances two way communication.
Econet again unlike NRZ have constructed the range booster to improve the network system for
its publics for effective communication. So far Econet has 1 200 000 subscribers since the
beginning of the year. Econet at the moment is issueing the 0915 line to their publics and this is
intentionally to enable all their publics to be able to communicate with them. Mobile phones
apart from being portable are reciprocal in their communication. Images, messages and figures
can be sent to all publics through the mobile. For instnce, in 2008 Econet used the mobile phones
through their lines to send information about cholera to all their publics. Mobile phones are
modern technology that can be integrated with internet for easy realiable communication.
YEAR 2005 YEAR 2006 YEAR 2007 YEAR 2008 YEAR 2009
Bar graph 3
The above bar graph indicate the Econet subscribers since 2005 when there were far less as
compared to 2009. The bar graph show how serious Econet as telecommunication corporate
continues to the evolving needs of their customers; hence the investments in new technologies
such as GPRS, 3G, WI-FI AND WI-MAX. Econet’s move to expand its communication
technology show the seriousness or them as an organisation to improve the communication
facilities of their publics in order to meet the organisation ‘s needs as well as their publics needs.
Moreover, Econet unlike NRZ through its telecommunications system intends to integrate
internet and mobile phone facility for audio-conferencing. This enabled the Econet publics to
communicate with the PR department at personal level and also to attend the meeting while at
their respective places. Audio-conferencing processes data in charts , graphs and can
communicate even across the globe just like mobile phonesand teleconferencing communication
facilities. Audio-conferencing assisted Econet to communicate and display their CSI programs
to the community such as building shelters for the handcapped peoples and also to show the
student from tertiary institution their commitment to nurture talent through Capernaum Trust
Fund. All publics across the globe through audio-conferencing meet and discuss about the
importance of the Econet CSR programs and what they wish to see implemented for the benefit
of both the organisation and its public.
Econet’s effort through their PR department to exapnd the frontiers of communication is working
relentlessly to achieve sustainable growth through innovation and network expansion. Econet
through its PR department are committed to extend the frontiers of communications through the
deployment of relevent technologies such as GPRS, 3G, WI-FI and WI-MAX. They believe that
while accelerating growth programme will unlock value to all their stakeholders and open new
horizon for the customers this will also improve their communcation competence across the
globe with their publics
Econet unlike NRZ can be argued to have increased the visibility of the organisation through
new technology and CSR programs. At the moment in CSR programs and technological
adavncement for effective communication with the publics at Econet is in the lead as compared
to NRZ. Corporate social responsibility programs implemented by PR department at Econet
unlike at NRZ occurred to meet the organisation’s objectives.Econet unlike NRZ have benefited
he entire nation through its CSR programs for education, health, sports and environment. CSR
programs at Econet are allocated a better budget as compared to NRZ. In fact, at times NRZ
confuses corporate philanthropy with CSR. At Econet corporate philanthropy is clear
destinguished from CSR and philanthropy does not reflect the seriousness of an organisation.
Again it can be observed from the graph that while Econet has 6 technological measures put in
place to improve the communication competence with its publics , NRZ has only 2 technological
measures to improve its communication with its publics. This clearly indicates that PR
department at Econet is more advanced and effective in improving communication facilities for
their publics that NRZ PR department. The main weakness, however of NRZ PR department as
compared to Econet is its failure to incorporate all the needs and interest of organisation’s public.
This is essential in making the publics to feel they are part of the organisation thus making the
publics to feel as part of the organisation and work towards the same goal and vision with the
5.16 Negative and Positive Impact of Practicing CSR by Econet and NRZ
Information elicited through interviews and questionnaires in this study revealed that CSR is
also known as Corporate Social Investment (CSI) because the organisation invests in a
specific cause to uplift the community, and in the process, increases its profit. Mersham et al
(1995:78) say that PR practitioner manages CSR programs of organisation in order to create
a favourable corporate image for the organisation. Econet indicated that at time CSR
programs conflict with the government policies. NRZ indicated that CSR impact them
negatively, especially when their budget allocation is limited.
All corporations Econet and NRZ PR department indicated through their responses from
questionnaires that they encounter negative impact from top management to fully
implement CSR programs. NRZ as a parastatal with government having major shares has
faced financial constraint to implement public centers CSR programs. Both Econet and NRZ
in the questionnaires and interviews conducted admitted that CSR/CSI contribute positively
to their organisations.
The responses elicited through questionnaires indicated that Econet and NRZ have gained
positively after implementing CSR programs to benefit the publics as indicated below;
Increase community participation in cause-related activities by providing promotional
support and use of distribution channels
Enhance corporate image and clout.
Build a strong corporate reputation.
Create a strong community relations
On the other hand, Econet indicated that to them CSR rewards positively in that it
Increase sales and market shares.
Strengthened brand positioning.
Enhance corporate image and clout
Increased ability to attract, motivate, and retain employees.
Increase appeal to investors and financial analysts.
Unlike Econet, NRZ states that to them CSR decrease operating costs.
Contribute to overall business goals by opening up new markets. For example, it
provides opportunities to build long-term relationship with distributors and suppliers
5.17 COMPARISON’S BETWEEN CSR PROGRAMS AT ECONET AND NRZ
The finding of the study proved that Econet has more positive impact than negative of practicing
CSR in their organisation through their PR department. While Econet have 5 positive impacts for
practicing CSR, NRZ have 2 positive impacts for practicing CSR. This is probably because
Econet unlike NRZ has a budget for CSR and CSR is one factor listed in their corporate policies.
However, both corporate, Econet and NRZ admitted that they have more positive impact on
practicing CSR than negative.
Econet and NRZ PR departments admitted that positive impact of practicing CSR out weighs
negative impact of CSR. It is clear from the respondents through interviews and questionnaires
that CSR to both Econet and NRZ enhance public awareness and concern for the cause through
support of promotional communication support. Again it can be argued that CSR support efforts
to influence individual behavior change and industry business practices that improve public
health. Mr Fanuel Masikati PR manager at NRZ viewed 2004 as a year of success in
disseminating HIV/AIDS information their employees at a Capacity Building workshop held at
Griffin Hall. Capacity Building was an exercise being undertaken by the NRZ AIDS Awareness
programme to re-equip AIDS Coordinators and Peer educators with new awareness techniques
and approach. Dumisani Sibanda, one of the first pupils to go public about his HIV/AIDS status
was the driving force behind the NRZ awareness campaigns. Such CSR programs by NRZ have
improved the turnaround of NRZ.
Econet CSR programs assisted its employee and other members of their immediate family with
anti-retroviral drugs. Econet CSR programs like “Live 2 Love” encourages members of society
not to discriminate and stigmatise fellow citizens affected by HIV/AIDS and help to fight any
prejudice against them. The PR department at Econet is convinced that HIV/AIDS have the
potential to waste valuable trained human resources and reduce productivity.
In addition, some researchers and PR practitioners in the U.S. refer to this as "Media
Measurement “and/or "Publicity Tracking" research. In the United Kingdom, the technique is
often referred to as "Media Evaluation;" and in Germany as "Media Resonance." Whatever the
terminology used to describe this particular technique, more often than not its prime function is
to determine whether the key messages, concepts and themes that an organization might be
interested in disseminating to others via the media do, indeed, receive some measure of exposure
as a result of a particular public relations effort or activity. In the study the standards for
Measuring PR Outputs effort at Econet and NRZ through assessment of published article for
CSR to the publics for consumptions as indicate in the above bar line.
As important as it might be to measure PR outputs and outtakes, it is far more important to
assess PR outcomes at Econet and NRZ in implementing CSR programs for good corporate
citizenship. These measure whether the communications materials and messages which were
disseminated have resulted in any opinion, attitude and/or behavior changes on the part of those
targeted audiences to whom the messages were directed. It is usually much more difficult and,
generally, more expensive, to measure PR outcomes, and to some extent PR outtakes, than it is to
measure PR outputs. This is because more sophisticated data-gathering research tools and
techniques are required. Measuring PR outputs is usually a question of counting, tracking and
observing, while for PR outtakes and PR outcomes, it is a matter of asking and carrying out
extensive review and analysis of what was said and what was done. The researcher had to ask the
PR managers Mr Mberi from Econet and Mr Masikati at NRZ whether the publics phone back
appreciating their hand to them. Both organisation’s PR managers gave the positive response.
This chapter presented the data accumulated in the research and analysed it to reach the
conclusion that answers the research question needs. However, PR department at both Econet
and NRZ played an essential part in approaching CSR programs for the corporations reputations
and objectives. Although NRZ had a few loopholes that the organisation need to address to meet
the publics needs for mutual understanding and goodwill. Econet’s CSR programs outweighs
NRZ’s CSR by wide margine. Again in communication Econet is advanced as comapred to NRZ
and this could be the fact that Econet is a telecommunication organisation while NRZ is a
transport oriented organisation. The salient idea in both organisations is that their PR
departments are part of the management and are the one that implement CSR programs.
Recommendations for improvements in both corporation for envionment can not be over
emnphasised. NRZ unlike Econet need to implement more programs for CSR to meet its publics
needs. Unlike NRZ that has been operating for more than a century, Econet has operated for 25
year only. The next chapter discusses in details the summary, conclusion and recommendations
for CSR approach by PR departments at Econet and NRZ
CHAPTER 6: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This chapter seeks to summaries the research and concludes all the proceeding made to deal with
the problem at hand. The research highlights the loopholes in corporations, especially in the PR
department in practicing excellent PR and communicating reciprocal with the publics. The
implementation of CSR as modern PR practice which is two way-symmetrical communications
is vital for mutual understanding and goodwill with the publics. The research therefore map the
way forward, both for organizations under study and the future researchers on CSR programs
that need to be conducted. However, further research on the practice of PR in corporate
organizations and their application of two-way communication process are areas that need
further investigation. This study investigated on the CSR approach by PR department at Econet
and NRZ. Econet is a telecommunication organization which started in 1993 by Strive Masiyiwa
and has more CSR programs as compared to NRZ. On the other hand, National Railways of
Zimbabwe (NRZ) grew out of a number of different companies most of which were originally
formed by the British South Africa Company (BSAC) in terms of the Royal Charter granted to it
on October 29 1889. Over the years these underwent amalgamations, change of ownership. NRZ
is controlled by the government of Zimbabwe and has programs that are meant to benefit the
community (National Railways of Zimbabwe: Historic Milestone). The study gives a
comparative assessment of CSR programs that are implemented by PR department at Econet and
NRZ to meet the objectives and goals of their organizations as well as the publics.
In a comparative assessment of the application of CSR approach in PR practice at Econet and
NRZ, the researcher looked at CSR programs run by the two organizations. Public relations
departments from corporate organizations are there to communicate effectively with the internal
and external publics. Effective communication with the publics should be reciprocal and has to
allow the publics to answer back on some of the issues that require clarification from the
corporate. Corporate Social Responsibility or Corporate Social Investment (CSR/CSI) is one
concept through which excellent PR and effective communication by corporate organizations can
be achieved for mutual understanding and goodwill. CSR must be planned and implemented
through PR department for corporate citizenship, good image and reputation of an organization.
In the study PR department at Econet under the leadership of Ranga Mberi (Econet Corporate
Communications Manager) and at NRZ the PR Manager Fanuel Masikati have differences and
similarities in their approach to CSR programs through PR departments that the researcher
investigated. Both companies have CSR programs for education, sports, health and environment
that have been discussed.
The research assess comparatively the approach of CSR programs by PR department at Econet
and NRZ and how that improves the corporations image and reputation.PR deals with the
creation of mutually beneficial relationship between an organization and its publics. The aim of
the study was to comparatively assess the approach of CSR programs by PR department at
Econet and NRZ. The study revealed that the PR department at Econet and NRZ are part of the
management which participated actively in planning and implementing CSR programs for
mutual understanding and goodwill with the publics.
A company’s reputation or the essence of how it is viewed by all of its publics is the leading
factor in its ability to achieve success. However, Johnston (2000) claims that;
A company’s reputation is paramount to its success, if not its survival.
Today with distrust of the corporate world at an all time high rate, corporate
credibility is an over-riding factor. Whether they like it or not, companies are
at the mercy of the public constituencies. There is growing recognition of the
need to foster a good reputation by developing positive relationships with
Judging from the above quotation one can argue that the performance of Econet and NRZ as
corporate organizations depends on the image held by its public and thus the PR department had
a crucial role to play through implementing CSR programs to create citizenship responsibility to
the publics. CSR programs from corporate organizations like Econet and NRZ assist in building
the organisation’s image, reputation and in developing substantive relationship with the
organisation’s publics.The research revealed that the PR department at Econet and NRZ
managed to bridge the relationship and goodwill gap between their organizations and its publics
and advanced the achievement of corporate objectives. Public relations department at Econet and
NRZ played a salient role in the achievement of the organization’s first objectives of
communicating effectively with their publics, maintaining mutual understanding through
implementing of CSR programs that addresses their public needs. NRZ unlike Econet should
implement more corporate CSR programs for external publics just like it does for its internal
public. Again as effective communication tool NRZ web site need to be updated to include all
the CSR programs that the PR department implemented for the benefit of the publics. While
Econet displayed all their CSR programs on their website and in newspapers such as, “The
Financial Gazette”, “The Standard” and so forth, NRZ limited their programs to their website
and to “The Railroader Magazine”. Hence new measures should be taken by the corporations to
improve their communication competence for effective communication with their publics in a
The other weaknesses revealed by PR departments from the studied corporate organization in
this study are failure to involve rural publics on a first-term base to establish a mutual beneficialrelationship. Econet and NRZ PR department failed to accord necessary recognition and
prominence of the rural publics in establishing appropriate communication channels that ensures
dialogical communication. Most publics in rural areas have no electricity and do not have access
to the internet. Again those with mobile phones, especially in remote areas encounter the
network problem and can not link themselves with PR departments either at Econet or NRZ.
Moreover, PR department at Econet and NRZ at times are generally viewed as a luxury than a
necessity by top management, hence this explains the limited budget that is sometimes allocated
to PR departments for CSR programs to benefit the publics. NRZ unlike Econet is more into
corporate philanthropy than CSR/CSI and this confuses the PR department subordinates who
perceive and treat philanthropy and CSR as the same. From an interview conducted with the PR
department at NRZ most subordinates in the PR department used the terms interchangeably
without noticing the distinction that exists between the two. Giving generals to the public
without clear budgetary allocation is social philanthropy and allocating budget and fulfilling the
company social investment policy is corporate social responsibility. Hence Econet as compared
to NRZ have clear policy for CSR, perhaps their problem is that they do not indicate how much
they spend in these social investment in their published end of year financial audits. This could
be that the company has secrecy policy of not showing people their corporate social investments.
Furthermore, both Econet and NRZ in their response to question 6 from the questionnaire is
vague. From the response it is not clear who exactly are their publics and who are they intending
to communicate with. From the response the publics for the two organisations, Econet and NRZ
are in urban areas than in rural areas. The new technologies they are looking forward to
implement to improve effective communication with their publics only applies well to the urban
population with electricity and better networking system for mobile phones. Econet as compared
to NRZ has recognition to the rural publics, but in their CSR program it is not clear among the
beneficiaries how many have benefitted from rural areas.
However, the most remarkable aspect is that Econet and NRZ communication measures if fully
implemented enhances dialogical communication which is part of excellent PR as state by Hunt
and Grunig (2004). Dialogical communication enabled the publics to discuss the area of concern
which the feel need a hand from this corporation for the strong rapport between corporations and
their publics. NRZ have less CSR as compared to Econet and need to add its programs to
immensely benefit its public for the good reputation and image of them as an organization.
In an attempt to comparatively assess the approach of CSR program by PR department at Econet
and NRZ, several theories from CSR and PR which among includes 3C’s-SR model of Carroll’s,
Kotler and Lee (2005)’s 5C’s CSR model, two-way symmetrical communications, Open System
approach, agenda setting and so forth were extensively discussed in the research. The above
theories explained the communication with the publics through giving for good corporate
citizenship. Research methods used to assess excellent PR practice at Econet and NRZ included
questionnaires, interviews, observation and document analysis. The data that has been presented
above shows that PR department at Econet and NRZ has played an important role of approaching
and implementing CSR programs.
In assessing the results of the research about a comparative assessment of CSR approach by PR
department at Econet and NRZ, the researcher recommends that PR department at Econet and
NRZ should enhance dialogical communications. As excellent PR Grunig and Hunt (2004) say’s
that excellent PR should be reciprocal and all stakeholders need to be communicated with
effectively. Dialogical communication can be achieved through new technologies that allow the
PR practitioners to disseminate ideas to the publics about CSR programs to benefit them. At the
same time, PR practitioners need to listen to the publics before they could implement programs
to benefit them. Eventually, the publics and the corporate objectives and goals can be achieved to
enhance good corporate citizenship.
The researcher recommends that future research in this area should be explored and the approach
of CSR by corporate organisations through their PR department should be conducted. The
current roles of PR practitioners in boosting the image of an organisation through CSR as
modern PR in corporate organisation need to be assessed. Most corporations are expanding their
wings to the global world because of the implementation of corporate social responsibility
programs. Econet as compared to NRZ has extensively involved itself in implementing CSR
programs and the organisation has spread its wings to seven countries in Africa.
Unlike Econet that budgets for CSR programs to benefit the public (both internal and external),
the researcher recommends that NRZ should allocate more budgets for CSR programs to benefit
all their publics. Again instead of implementing the programs to benefit the internal public, NRZ
should implement programs through their PR department to benefit both the internal and external
Moreso, the researcher in the study recommend that both Econet and NRZ should ultimately
involve all their stakeholders in implementing CSR program. The CSR programs at Econet and
NRZ should be research based and corporation should avoid imposing programs from their
publics without hearing from them. Both Econet and NRZ PR department revealed that most of
their CSR are implemented by their organizations without consulting their publics. This can be
achieved through effective communication that allows information to be disseminated to all
stakeholders and at the same time listening to the feedback that the publics provide.
Unlike NRZ, Econet implementation of CSR programs fosters accountability, transparency,
responsibility and trust to the corporations by the public. Trust can be developed through
effective communication. Econet corporate social investment programs such as Joshua Nkomo
Scholarship Fund (JNSF), Capernaum Trust, Harare Athletic Club (HAC), Buddie boys and so
forth has made the organization to be trusted by all their stakeholders.
Basing to the outcome of the research, the researcher recommends that NRZ unlike Econet
should use modern technologies such as internet, blogs, teleconferencing, audio-conference and
mobile phones prominently to communicate reciprocal with its public. The new technologies
mentioned above, apart from being efficient, effective and fast, they ensure two-way
communications between the corporate and the publics.
6.3 AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
The research also recommends further in-depth study of the topic. The study period for the
research was limited which forced the research to focus on comparative assessment of
approaches and practices of CSR by Econet and NRZ. Furthermore, research on the role of PR in
modern world in Africa and their involvement as part of management is an area per se which
needs thorough investigation. Again the importance of new technology to communicate
dialogical with all publics about CSR programs and online research is another area related to this
study that needs to be investigated extensively.
This Chapter presented the major research finding, and summary of the whole study. It also
highlighted what emerged from the study and provides recommendations on the approach of
CSR programs by PR department at Econet and NRZ
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APPENDIX :A QUSTIONNAIRE FOR ECONET AND NRZ PR DEPARTMENT
My name is Caven Masuku, a Masters of Science in Media and Society Studies student at
Midlands State University. I am doing a research on ; “ A comparative assessment of the
application of Corporate Social Responsibility approach in Public Relations practice at Econet
and NRZ from year 2000 to 2008. May you kindly respond to this questionnaire to help me
complete my research. The results obtained will be held in strict confidence and will be used for
academic purpose only.
NAME OF THE ORGANIZATION..................................................................
NB: ALL RESPONSES WILL BE TREATED STRICT WITH CONFIDENTIALITY
AND WILL BE KEPT FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES ONLY
(Tick appropriate box to the following questions where applicable)
ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS RELATED TO PUBLIC
1. What do you understand by the term “corporate social
2. When did you start corporate social responsibility (CSR)
3. Please list CSR programs that are conducted by your organization through PR’s department
4. What has been the impact( both negative and positive) 0f practicing CSR on your
5. Which department is directly responsible for implementing CSR?
6. What measures has your department put in place to enable your various publics to
communicate with the organization”?
7. How do CSR assist your organization to maintain mutual understanding and good-will with
8. What challenges does PR department face in implementing CSR?
9. Do you think CSR assist in enhancing the positive image and reputation of your organization?
10. If your answer to the above question is yes please show how?
THANK YOU FOR CO-OPERATION
APPENDIX B: Interview Guide
My name is Caven Masuku, a Masters of Science in Media and Society Studies student at
Midlands State University. I am doing a research on ; “ A comparative assessment of the
application of Corporate Social Responsibility approach in Public Relations practice at Econet
and NRZ from year 2000 to 2008. May you kindly respond to this interview to help me
complete my research. The results obtained will be held in strict confidence and will be used for
academic purpose only.
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS for Econet and NRZ PR Department
• What do you understand by the terms corporate social responsibility and public relations?
• Does your organization practice corporate social responsibility?
• How old is your organization in practicing PR?
• When did you start corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs?
• What has been the impact of practicing corporate social responsibility (CSR) on your
• Can you distinguish to me between corporate social responsibility and social
• Which department in your organization is responsible in implementing corporate social
• What are the main activities that your PR departments carry?
• Do you think PR should be considered as a management function especially in policy
formulation for CSR?
• Can you outline your donation criteria and the list of your beneficiaries and comment on
the budget allocation for your donation?
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CORPORATION
APPENDIX C : Econet Corporate Social Investment
CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT (ECONET)
Econet in the Community
“Technology which does not change lives is not
Econet Wireless launched its network on the back of
overwhelming support from people of all walks of life, and
the company’s market dominance since the network was launched in July 1998 is
testimony of the continued support that Econet has and still continues to enjoy up to
this very day. In recognition of this support, we adopted a customer-centric corporate
pay-off line, "Your cellular network". However, we understand that times change and
in keeping with the technological needs and expectations of our customers in particular
and other stakeholders in general, we subsequently changed the pay-off line to
"Inspired to change your world". This pay-off line recognizes that we need to make
communications technology a truly relevant and positive transformative tool on society.
We have therefore decided to go beyond transforming peoples’ lives through our
innovative products by also investing into the same community from which we emerged
by supporting a wide range of corporate social investment initiatives primarily aimed at
the disadvantaged such as orphans, as well as other sectors as education and sport, as
well as business and religious bodies and organizations. This support is based on the
firm belief that, as a company guided by Christian principles, it is better to give than
receive. The company’s key social investment initiatives are as follows:
Joshua Nkomo Scholarship
Econet is humbled to associate itself with the launch of a
Pan African Scholarship in honour of one of the country's
founding fathers, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. The
scholarship will sponsor 100 of the country's brightest high
school and tertiary students, irrespective of race or
financial background. The recipients of the scholarships
are expected to have a strong community spirit and are
required to volunteer to assist others by working with
charity organisations during their holidays.The Scholarship
is administered by a registered Trust, governed by a board
In 1996, the Capernaum Trust was formed to transform the
lives of orphaned children in economically destitute
situations,to help them to become self-reliant individuals. It
offers love, hope and inspiration through the provision of
scholarships, food packs and life skills training to over 25 000 orphans nationwide.
The JNSF, which was launched in 2005, and issued its first scholarships in 2006, is
administered through a registered trust that is governed by a board of trustees who are
independent of Econet and its Management. Administratively, the JNSF is run by a
general manager appointed by the trustees. The fund will annually grant 100
scholarships to students who will be expected to have a strong community spirit and
maintain the highest academic as well as personal/moral
standards in their community.
In line with its vision to bring communication to all people of
Zimbabwe, Econet has invested massively in community phone
shops and payphones. In the process of bringing convenience to
those communities, it has also assisted in empowering the
community by giving them a chance to be entrepreneurs and running these phone
shops and payphones which operate under the "YourFone" brand.
Econet provides sponsorship for the annual Harare Athletic Club
(HAC) Twenty Miler Road Race. The Twenty Miler, which has
been held every December for the past three decades to raise
funds for charity, is one of Zimbabwe's most prestigious sporting
The company also supports various sporting activities in the
country, which include football, cricket and athletics amongst
others. Econet has gone further to form its own soccer team, the Buddie Boys which
takes part in the country’s Communications League.
Company HIV/AIDS Policy
Econet is convinced that HIV and AIDS have the potential to
waste valuable trained human resources and reduce productivity.
It also has a big impact on its employees’ well being, because
outside the workplace it can take its toll through the effort and
resources needed to care and provide for sick family members.
Policies and structures have therefore been put in place to
address this concern.
Firstly, the company undertakes to provide anti-retroviral drugs for
the infected employee and other members of their immediate family. Secondly, the
Econet Human Resources Department has launched an HIV/AIDS programme for
employees and their spouses, entitled Live 2 Love. This programme provides an open
forum for staff members and their families to share information, and is at their disposal,
should you require support on how to deal with the challenges associated with
HIV/AIDS. The company would like to play its part in encouraging members of society
not to discriminate and stigmatise fellow citizens afflicted by HIV/AIDS and help to fight
any prejudice against them.
APPENDIX D: NRZ Corporate Social Responsibility
NATIONAL RAILWAYS OF ZIMBABWE
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY POLICY
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) defines its corporate social responsibility as
• Conducting business in a socially responsible and ethical manner;
• Protecting the environment and the safety of people and goods; and
• Engaging, learning from, respecting and supporting the communities and cultures
with which we work.
This policy applies to all activities undertaken by or on behalf of NRZ.
All employees of the NRZ will adopt the corporate social responsibility considerations in
this policy into their day-to-day work activities. This policy is built on the following areas
that reflect existing and emerging standards of corporate social responsibility.
1. General Responsibilities
1.1. We acknowledge that whilst our statutory function is to provide, operate
and maintain an efficient system of public transport of goods and
passengers by rail and by road, we have other obligations beyond those
by law provided. We are a corporate being and an integral part of society
and have an interdependent relationship with society on whose licence we
operate and get our longevity. We derive our livelihood from and are there
to serve society;
1.2. We recognize that our social, economic and environmental responsibilities
to our stakeholders are integral to our business and that we must integrate
our business values and operations with the economic, environmental and
social concerns of and in order to meet the expectations of our
stakeholders. We aim to demonstrate these responsibilities through our
actions and within our corporate policies;
1.3. We value and take seriously all the feedback we receive from our
stakeholders and, where possible, maintain open dialogue to ensure that
we fulfill the requirements outlined within this policy.
2. Specific Responsibilities
2.1.1. We shall endeavor to reduce the impact of our operations on
the environment through a continuous improvement to our
processes and work methods and implementation of our
Safety, Health and Environmental Policy.
2.1.2. We are committed to environmental protection and
2.1.3. We recognize that pollution prevention, biodiversity and
resource conservation are key to a sustainable environment,
and will effectively integrate these concepts into our
2.2. Health and Safety
2.2.1. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of all
individuals affected by our activities, including our
employees, contractors and the public.
2.2.2. We will provide a safe and healthy working environment, and
will not compromise the health and safety of any individual.
Our goal is to have no accidents and mitigate impacts on the
environment by working with our stakeholders, peers and
others to promote responsible environmental practices and
2.2.3. All employees are responsible and accountable for
contributing to a safe working environment, fostering safe
working attitudes, and operating in an environmentally
2.2.4. We will create a safe environment free from physical and
psychological threat and the opportunity and resources for
our employees to continually develop and advance
2.3.1. We will ensure that employees are treated fairly and with
dignity and consideration for their goals and aspirations in
line with the organisation’s mission or vision.
2.3.2. We will apply fair labour practices, while respecting the
labour laws of the country.
2.3.3. We shall maintain a clear and fair employee remuneration
policy and share maintain forums for employee consultation
and business involvement.
2.3.4. We shall assist staff to develop themselves to their full
potential to enable them to advance themselves in the
organization in their chosen careers.
2.3.5. We shall operate an equal opportunities policy for all present
and potential future employees and offer them clear and fair
terms of employment.
2.3.6. We shall provide safeguards to ensure that all employees
are treated with respect and without any sexual, physical
and/or mental harassment.
2.4. Business Ethics and Transparency
2.4.1. NRZ is committed to maintaining the highest standards of
integrity and corporate governance practices in order to
promote confidence in our governance systems.
2.4.2. We will conduct its business in an open, honest and ethical
2.4.3. We recognize the importance of protecting all of our human,
financial, physical, informational, social, environmental and
2.4.4. We are committed to measuring, auditing and publicly
reporting performance on our corporate social responsibility
2.5. Stakeholders Relations
2.5.1. We will engage stakeholders clearly, honestly and
2.5.2. We are committed to a timely and meaningful dialogue with
all stakeholders, including shareholders, customers and
employees, local people, governments and regulators
2.5.3. We take seriously all feedback that we receive from our
stakeholders and, where possible, maintain open dialogue to
ensure that we fulfill the requirements outlined within the
2.6.1. We are committed to being socially responsible as a
corporate citizen and will contribute to the well being of the
communities where we operate by supporting innovative
programs and initiatives in health, Education, Social
Services and the Environment as well as cultural and civic
188.8.131.52. Consistent with the foregoing, requests for
donations or sponsorship, which shall include
those from the following, provided they are not
political, sectarian, immoral, illegal or socially
unacceptable, shall be eligible for
• Government Ministries and Departments for
activities at National level, the Metropolitan
Province of Bulawayo where the
organization is headquartered as well as
the Metropolitan Province of Harare which
is the seat of government.
• Charity and church organizations.
• Cultural/arts and civic projects.
• Colleges and universities.
• Media organizations
• Deserving and less
privileged/disadvantaged members of the
184.108.40.206. Where requests for donations and sponsorship
are received they shall be passed on to the
Public Relations Office which shall consider
each request on the basis of its own merit and
appropriateness in terms of the Railways
Corporate Social Responsibility Policy and
recommend the form of donation deemed
appropriate to Senior Management for
2.6.2. We recognize that our business activities have varying
direct and indirect impacts in the communities in which
we operate. We endeavor to manage these in a
responsible manner, as we believe that sound and
appropriate performance in this area is linked to our
2.6.3. We shall encourage community involvement and
participation in all those business activities with potential
for mutual benefit.
2.6.4. We shall support and encourage our employees to be
socially responsible and feel motivated to contribute and
assist the local community programs and initiatives.
2.6.5. We stress collaborative, consultative and partnership
approaches in our community investment programmes.
2.6.6. We will integrate community investment considerations
into decision-making and business practices and will
assist in local capacity building to develop mutually
beneficial relationships with communities.
2.6.7. We will strive to provide employment and economic
opportunities in the communities where we operate.
We regard our suppliers as our partners and shall work with them
to help us achieve our goals and corporate objectives.
2.8.1. We acknowledge that the people of Zimbabwe as
represented by the Government, own the NRZ.
2.8.2. We shall endeavor and ensure that we conduct our
business, taking full cognizance of the interests and
aspirations of the Government of Zimbabwe.
Provision for expenditure on corporate social responsibility to cater for
community projects, activities and initiatives shall be made in every Financial and
Operating Budget of the organization.
The corporate social responsibility policy applies throughout the NRZ, to all
employees and at all times.
5. Responsibility For Performance
The General Manager has the primary responsibility for the implementation of
this policy. Every employees of the NRZ also has a responsibility for ensuring
that they perform and conduct themselves consistent with the provisions of this
M T KARAKADZAI ‘psc’ rcds MSc MCIPS
20 JUNE 2007