Sample Essay on A Current Issue or Social Problem Related to Management

A Current Issue or Social Problem Related to Management

Introduction

Companies are empowered to reduce and prevent negative impacts by achieving appealing and positive impacts through corporate social responsibility (Shamir, 2011). Corporate conscience and citizenship are management regulations integrated in a business model to achieve various policy functions. These functions involve understanding, embracing, and complying with environmental and stakeholder’s policies and needs respectively. However, a company ought to monitor and ensure ethical standards on local and international levels are managed through self-regulation. Thus, corporate social responsibility involves managing active laws, norms, and compliances. It engages use of actions to ensure the firm appeals to the society beyond the commercial interests. Corporate social responsibility involves actions undertaken by the firm through employees, employers, partners, investors, and consumers. These parties ought to formulate and implement policy functions encouraging positive impacts on commercial, social, and environmental levels. More so, they should appeal to stakeholders on moral, legal, and commercial responsibilities. However, several controversial firms have been accused by RepRisk for neglecting their corporate social responsibilities (Becker-Olsen, 2012).

Statement Problem

Controversial companies have failed to conduct their functions and practices through honesty and integrity. Thus, they have failed to observe corporate social responsibilities, cultures, customs, traditions, and values due to lack of conscientious management. As a result, they have failed to enhance corporate and stakeholders values. More so, they continue to undertake functions hindering sustainable environmental developments. Some have been accused of infringing labor and human rights, conditions, and freedoms. Conversely, others were found guilty of fraud, corruption, and money laundering tainting their corporate brand.

Statement of Purpose

This research proposal therefore aims at recognizing and discussing the significant importance of corporate social responsibility. According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, corporate social responsibility attributes to development and enhancement of sustainable growth and development. These developments are experienced on economic, governance, social, environmental, and legal policies. Surrounding communities and environments ought to acknowledge firms operate to achieve ecological, legal, and social responsibilities. This assists firms in expressing their citizenship while focusing on stakeholder’s needs. Thus, failure to achieve corporate social responsibility can lead the firm to record various negative effects. Some firms fail to build brand differentiation to achieve consumer loyalty. This can lead to stiff competition, low retention rates, and increased firms risk management expenses. Thus, managing corporate social responsibility is vital for the growth and success of a firm, community, nation, and the world.

Research Objectives

  1. Define corporate social responsibility
  2. Discuss the business, governance, and social aspects of corporate social responsibility
  3. List and discuss potential benefits of implementing corporate social responsibility
  4. Define the relationship between corporate social responsibility and the law
  5. Identify the importance of corporate social responsibility for the firm and stakeholders
  6. Develop strategies firms can apply to achieve corporate social responsibility

Research Questions

  1. What are the purposes of corporate social responsibility?
  2. Which aspects can be achieved through corporate social responsibility?
  3. Can corporate social responsibility be regulated?
  4. Is corporate social responsibility mandatory or voluntary?
  5. Which is the current issue affecting corporate social responsibility in major firms?
  6. Which major corporations are affected?

Literature Review

Milton Friedman asserted that, firms ought to identify their purposes. This is crucial in ensuring their attempts to maximize returns, impress stakeholders, uphold legal requirements, and operate responsibly based on social, economic, and environmental aspects are achieved. In developing countries, firms upholding corporate social responsibility are hardly accused of exploiting employees and surrounding societies. This is because corporate social responsibilities impose ethical values and principles to respond to predictable and unpredictable outcomes positively. Governmental regulations are mainly enforced on a legal basis to ensure they are binding. Thus, they are neither voluntary nor alternatives to firm’s internal and societal regulations. They affect organizational decision making procedures and allocation of resources as an attempt to ensure firms are responsible (Friedman, 2013).

However, they do not ensure corporations achieve corporate social responsibility. Firms are expected to make ethical decisions to ensure they are responsible members of a larger community. Thus, they ought to undertake corporate social responsibility to improve their reputation. This can however be described as hypocrisy or an attempt to divert public attention from a firm’s harmful and dangerous practices. Currently, industrial companies involved in production of alcohol, cigarettes, and other legal recreational drugs have faced controversies. Consumers assert they produce harmful products affecting health and environmental conditions adversely. However, the companies undertake regular environmental clean-up programs. The public claim these companies attribute to high levels of environmental pollution. Thus, their efforts to clean and conserve the environmental are meant to distract the public. Members of the public assert the controversial corporations ought to identify new production procedures that reduce and prevent environmental pollution (Banerjee, 2008).

According to Branco and Rodrigues, stakeholders among the controversial corporations should understand aspects of corporate social responsibility. Consequently, they ought to set normative models and views acceptable to the firms to achieve corporate social responsibility. However, they currently fail to acknowledge maintaining firm operations, functions, complex network interactions and partnerships should also involve undertaking corporate social responsibilities (Branco & Rodrigues, 2007).

Methodology

In 2012, RepRisk listed controversial industries based on their corporate social responsibilities. They included Tazreen Fashions’ factory in Bangladesh, Reebok International Ltd, and TeliaSonera AB among others. More than ten organizations were accused of ignoring their corporate social responsibilities on various aspects. For example, some were accused of violating labor and human rights as employees worked in poor, unsafe, and unhealthy conditions. Conversely, some pharmaceutical and telecommunication firms were accused of engaging in money laundering, fraud, and bribery especially. Several companies across Europe and United States were also accused of causing more than thirty deaths coupled with severe injuries among employees (RepRisk, 2013).

The RepRisk reports acquired from a database provided facts criticizing the controversial corporations for harmful environmental, social, governance, and commercial practices. Both private and public corporations were therefore accused of achieving broad economic and stakeholder’s interests. However, they failed to manage environmental and societal risks affecting surrounding communities. Thus, they were accused of breaching domestic and international legislations, jeopardizing employee relations, engaging in anti-competitive behaviors, and tax evasions. Others were accused of corruption, fraud, violation of labor conditions, environmental pollution and degradation. Few corporations engaged in environmental conservation, practices to ensure employees were growing, and procedures to help and uplift surrounding communities. For example, ING Bank in Netherlands was accused of engaging in drug trafficking without providing employment opportunities among locals (RepRisk, 2013).

Limitation

The main limitation in authoring this research proposal involved lack of RepRisk representation and/or warranty to affirm the results acquired from various reports. RepRisk reports are distributed with disclaimers. The readers therefore cannot regard RepRisk reports as original, accurate, complete, mercantile, or fit. The disclaimers therefore limited the research proposal’s attempts to provide accurate and reliable results affirming controversial firms ignore corporate social responsibilities.

Conclusion

Economic, social, and environmental aspects of corporate social responsibility develop from firm interests, functions, and operations. An organization should therefore appoint a team of representatives to manage corporate social responsibility. The team should be tasked in ensuring the firm is accountably invested to achieve corporate social responsibility. This should involve upholding and respecting labor and human rights. Coupled with collaborative efforts to develop local communities and conserve the environment, an organization can build brand recognition. Consequently, the firm can improve consumer loyalty, achieve competition advantage, and motivate employees to expand the firm’s operations based on quality and standardized procedures.

Recommendations

To help controversial firms provide structures to achieve corporate social responsibility, the following managerial improvements can be applied. Foremost, an organization should formulate policies aligned towards environmental conservation. They should advocate for reduction in levels of pollution as well as community development. Consequently, a firm should identify environmental and societal impacts from organizational functions and operations. For example, industrial firms producing cigarettes should identify measures to reduce air, water, and noise pollution. Pharmaceutical, banking, telecommunication, and other corporations should also identify mechanisms to assist surrounding communities to reduce levels of unemployment. Consequently, qualities of education can improve encouraging reduction of crime rates with regards to drug trafficking and terrorism (Armstrong & Green, 2012).

Organizations should also set corporate social responsibility objectives and targets. They ought to establish programs to achieve the set objectives and targets. However, it is vital to plan, control monitor, measure, correct, audit, and review corporate social responsibilities. These steps can ensure corporate social responsibility policies are met, maintained, utilized, and improved. Development of procedures to train organizations to control and monitor corporate social responsibilities can also assist in achieving the set objectives and targets. Lastly, the firms should continuously improve corporate social responsibility processes to record growth and development (Shumate & O’Conner, 2010).

 

References

Armstrong, J. S., & Green, K. C. (2012). Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility and Irresponsibility Policies, Journal of Business Research.

Banerjee, S. B. (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Critical Sociology 34(1): 51–75.

Becker-Olsen, K. L. (2012). The Impact of Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility on Consumer Behavior, Journal of Business Research.

Branco, M. C., &Rodrigues, L. L. (2007). Positioning Stakeholder Theory Within the Debate on Corporate Social Responsibility, Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies 12(): 5–15.

Friedman, M. (2013). The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits, The New York Times Magazine.

RepRisk. (2013). The Most Controversial Companies of 2012: Putting Environmental, Social and Governance Risk on the Radar, RepRisk Report.

Shamir, R. (2011). Socially Responsible Private Regulation: World-Culture or World-Capitalism? Law & Society Review, 45(2).

Shumate, M., & O’Conner, A. (2010). The Symbiotic Sustainability Model: Conceptualizing NGO-Corporate Alliance Communication, Journal of Communication 60(3