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Corporate Social Responsibilities, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 966

Essay

Introduction

This paper looks critically at the three different aspect of social corporate responsibility. This will involves briefly analyzing the companies that have initiated very successful social corporate responsibility, the company that have not done so well in their social responsibilities and thirdly, the industry those have made it impossible for the companies in the sector to come up with social corporate responsibilities. The Social cooperate responsibility has become very imperative to all business in every sector (Greenhouse, 2000). It has become important for the business executives to be concerned about the environment and such other activities that include the human rights issues, welfare of the employees and participating in the community development where the industry is located. One of the advantages of having successful CSR activities is that companies expect to gain competitive advantage by appealing to the large number of customers who are increasingly becoming concerned about the environment. Additionally the investor and employees are also drawn to businesses that have good corporate social responsibilities in place.

Successful CSR efforts

Wal-Mart is one of the firms in that are adapting social corporate responsibility in its operation. Being one of the biggest retailers, Wal-Mart has completely changed its image from that of unethical slimy company to one that is very serious about its CSR activities.  The company has adopted such strategies it its greening efforts like investing in energy efficient trucks to transport the goods and putting mechanism in place to reduce waste in all the areas of production and provision of service.  The firm has signed contract with the Greener electric products company to only sell Energy star air conditioner to its customers (Manning, 2010). Another unique CSR plan instituted by Wal-Mart is one that involves conducting evaluation to all the electronic products brought by the over 60,000 suppliers. The intention is to select 0only the products that are energy efficient, durable, and how the product uses innovation to reduce substances that are hazardous to the environment. The critics of the Wal-Mart corporate social responsibility argue that the big size of the firm makes it difficult for energy use to be efficiently monitored. While the process of monitoring smaller suppliers will make them comply, the baseline for monitoring is vague (Mark-Herbert, & von Schantz, 2007).

Poor CSR efforts

Nike which is an acclaimed international sport wear company is an example of a company that has had very poor social corporate responsibilities activities. The company has been accused of exploiting the workers in the factories that are located in overseas countries like Vietnam Indonesia and china (Greenhouse, 2010). These workers, majority of who are women are not only paid extremely low wages but are made to work in very hazardous environment in addition to being harassed by the factory managers. The employees in the Honduras factory are faced with health concerned like amputation from the unprotected cutting machines and respiratory illness. Due to Nike slowness in dealing with the plight of the workers in the sweatshop, the company has encountered wide international condemnation for not protecting the rights of the workers. The effect is number universities that were procuring apparels from the company has reassessed their ties and severed the contracts. According to the European union, the CSR activities by companies involves the process of integrating environmental and social concerns to the main business operations and in their dealings with shareholders on a voluntary basis(Mark-Herbert, & von Schantz, 2007). The company responded to critics from the university by revoking the 30 million dollars it was giving the Oregon University in the USA. This shows that the CSR is seen by Nike Inc. as simply a philanthropic activity done to ensure profits and not improving the working environment of its workers.

Industries making it difficult for successful CSR

The oil exploration and marketing industry has made it very difficult for the industry players to effectively use the social corporate responsibilities. For example considering the some two companies in the industry, Exxon –Mobil and BP provides the challenges of CSR. It is very difficult to decide on which company between the two is responsible and which is irresponsible. While BP has been more responsible in terms of reducing global climate change, the Exxon-Mobil is one of the profitable companies and has the reputation of contributing to global climate change by concentrating fossil fuels (Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmakers Support, 2007).

Critics for social corporate responsibilities

Business scholars hold the view that the argument that successful CSR activities pay is simply seductive and that there is no evidence of the companies with good social responsibilities being rewarded and the one with poor social responsibility programs being punished. While it is true that there are companies with very superior social responsibilities that have been successful in the market and other firms with poor corporate social responsibilities reputation that have done poorly in the market, there are as well equally many companies with very impressive CSR records and have failed to perform while other firms have very negative CSR reputations made a lot of profit and rewarded their share holders (Manning, 2010).

Some of the reasons put forward for the failure of the impressive CSR activities is that only a few of the customers actually care about the social records or even the environmental issues in the production process. It is important to note that most of the products and services are purchased with priority on the price, quality and convenience. The ethical products are for a few niche markets.

References

Greenhouse, S., (2010). Nike’s Chief Cancels a Gift Over Monitor of Sweatshops. New YorkTimes.

Manning, J., (2010). Universities pressure Nike to assist Honduran laborers .Oregon Business OregonLive.

Mark-Herbert, C., & von Schantz, C., (2007), Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility, Brand management.  Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies.

Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmakers Support. (2007). The Current Landscape of Corporate Social Responsibility. WINGS. New York.

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