Although the main objective of business organizations is making profits, it is in the interest of any business organization to observe high levels of ethical conduct. Many organizations have, in the past, set precedents of how unethical behaviour has detrimental effects on the welfare of the organizations.
Time has proven that companies that do not value Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are disadvantaged to a greater extent than their socially responsible counterparts. Thus it is clear that although social corporate responsibility is viewed to be for the benefit of the community, it arguably benefits the organization that practises it more than the community in which it is implemented. The area of concentration of social responsibility programs depend on the needs of the surrounding community and the operations of the organization (Kotler, 2005, p. 20). This paper highlights health, environment and living standards as the key areas that need to be addressed by organizations in the manufacturing and service provision industries. It is of great essence for any organization to operate in a way that safeguards the health of its customers and the surrounding community. Indubitably, any customer prioritizes his/her health in purchasing products.
This implies that any company or organization that supports the health of its customers will attract a large number of customers (Thompson, 2005, p. 1). This undoubtedly translates to greater revenue and less expenses since more customers mean more sales and thus more revenue is generated. On the other hand, more customers mean that less money will be spent on advertising and uncooperative consumer behaviour. For instance, a food manufacturing company will have many consumers purchasing their products if the products are manufactured in a healthy way (Werther, 2006, p.
13). This could be in terms of the level of cleanliness in the company, the ingredients that the company use to make their products and so forth. With this kind of a discussion, one wonders why some companies are still disregarding CSR. Some companies and organizations disregard CSR because it has some downfalls. During inception of companies and business organizations, it is hardly possible to engage in CSR since most resources are normally dedicated to the establishment of the foundations of the organization.
Such organizations can however exercise CSR by offering quality products and services to their customers (“Responsible Industry”, 2006, p. 1). Thus health is a component of CSR that can be easily upheld by virtually all organizations.
Another important component of CSR is the preservation of the environment. This is mostly a challenge to companies in the manufacturing sector although it also affects the service provision industry. There are a myriad of reasons why companies should do their best to operate in an environmentally friendly way.
First of all, the long term effects of environmental degradation affect every person (Maxwell, 2005, p. 34). One of such effects is the problem of global warming which results in scarcity of resources and gives companies and organizations challenges in finding raw materials and also leads to large costs. Additionally, if a company fails to operate in a socially responsible manner, its goodwill could be affected. This will lead to a bad reputation that will make it lose customers and prospective shareholders. Failing to operate in an environmentally friendly manner may also lead to collisions of an organization with the authorities and thus valuable time which could be used to generate revenue will be wasted (Hooker, 2003, p. 1). Despite the dire need for organizations to operate in an environmentally friendly way, people should not misuse the fact to voice out unfair and malicious claims to organizations.
This is because unethical competitors have in the past used the excuse of environmental conservation to fight companies that are environmentally conscious in their operations. Thus we should all take responsibility and conduct fair advocacy for environmental conservation as companies strive to operate in an environmentally friendly manner. Among the various areas that Corporate Social Responsibility addresses is the improvement of the living standards of the surrounding community.
Organizations therefore have a moral responsibility to uplift the living standards of their customers and the surrounding community in general in order for them to make a positive impact on the people to whom they owe their success. This is mainly achieved through the offering of quality products and services at fair prices and involvement in charity. Most companies therefore have policies of giving back to the community in which they participate in events meant to improve the living standards of the communities they serve (Fieser, 2007, p.
1). For instance, an organization may decide to construct a playing field for the community it serves in an effort to give back to the community. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the standard of living of the community since the youth will have something to do during their leisure time and thus they will not indulge in negative activities like abusing of drugs, immorality or formation of gangs. This way the youth will grow to be more responsible adults and thus their standards of living will be improved.
The stated facts are despite of the fact that improvement of the standards of living of communities or consumers of goods may prove to be a challenging task. This is because some consumers may be very resistant to change for a variety of reasons. For instance, a company may offer to raise the standards of living of small scale businessmen by offering them custom software for their businesses (Banerjee, 2007, p. 17).
This may be faced with a lot of resistance from some of the businessmen since they are used to managing their businesses without the help of software. This is often one of the challenges facing companies who want to successfully apply Corporate Social Responsibility. As it has been evidenced in the discussion above, Corporate Social Responsibility is very important for the success of any organization. It is clear that among the areas that CSR impacts, health, the environment and living standards are the most important. The choice of one or more of the three mentioned areas of CSR depends on the industry that an organization is in and the kind of community it deals with. It is thus the responsibility of organizations to evaluate themselves and see which areas of Corporate Social Responsibility they can make the greatest impact (Widmann, 2010, p. 1).
This is because, as it has been shown, CSR is more beneficial to the organization that practices it than the community in which it is implemented. This is because of the aforementioned ability of Corporate Social Responsibility to grow the client base of organizations and its ability to increase organizational revenue for companies that practice it (Carmichael, 1995, p. 71).
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