It is a very sad moment for the citizens of the world when the companies only focuses their efforts on profit making without even caring for the people and environment around where they operate. It is a mere fact to every sensible mankind that the main objective of entering in to business is profit making. Consequently, this does not give the corporate world moral authority to use all means available to them to maximise their profits at the expense of failing to adopt social responsibility programs.
Even though the corporate sector may argue that it is the work of the government to ensure safety for their citizen by taking care of all environmental and social issues which may arise in the course of business undertaking by the corporate sector since they pay taxes to the government. This will not be a moral approach because various companies should be responsibly accountable for the consequences of their business activities which they undertake on daily basis.
Thus this call for all companies to put in place all possible programs of social responsibility and if this programs are implemented effectively then corporate sector will be in good terms with the various stakeholders and thus gain their good will which may be of great boost to their success.
In this case we are going to address various practices which the corporate world can implement to promote their social responsibility (Wood, 2001, p.699). We will are look at some examples of the companies and see what they are doing so far and the consequences which they might have faced or caused due to their failure to incorporate social responsibility programs in their management.
Some social responsibility practices
The social responsibilities entail the acts of companies to embrace the stipulations of law, standards which are ethical and global norms in their day to day activities. This implies that the companies should always be in a position to assume and take responsibility in case something wrong happens in the course of their service delivery.
The companies may need to compensate various stakeholders who may include the employees of the company, the local community, consumers of their services and the members of the public at large not forgetting the environment. Social responsibilities will not only be limited to what the companies should do in case of uncertainties in their service delivery but also include what the companies should attempt and do in order to better the lives of humanity at large (Windsor,2006, p. 95).
To attain this better life for every mankind the socially responsible companies should actively involve themselves with charitable programs. The companies can involve themselves with offering scholarships to the needy as a way of giving back to the society and also offering equal employment opportunities to all persons without any discrimination of any form.
The corporate sector should always put the interests of the public first in their key decision making and not just thinking of making big money without attaching value to the concerns of their customers and general public at large. Always the corporate sector should bear in mind that they stand to gain a lot if they stop practicing management system which is focussed on immediate and temporary profits (Handy,2002, p. 71).
This is because sustainability is of critical importance to the continuity of any given company and thus when planning for the activities of the business, the future generation should be taken in to consideration such that they are not affected in meeting their needs.
Companies in oil industry
The issues of social responsibilities have been of serious consequences most especially in companies operating in energy sector and specifically in United States of America.
This is because despite the global efforts to reduce the carbon emission which has brought adverse impacts on climate change and global warming the energy industry in United States of America has been so reluctant in implementing safer energy sources. This is very evident in the way the top five energy companies have contacted themselves in trying to address the challenge of going green in terms of energy sources.
Even some of the chief executive offers of these companies have been quoted showing a lot of pessimism on the global dream of going and instead saying that the world will for a very long time rely on hydro carbons in order to get or acquire energy. Some of these giant energy companies include the Shell, BP, Exxon, Conoco Phillips and the Chevron (Kotler,2005, p. 63).
Despite the fact that these companies have continued to enjoy abnormal profits they have shown very little concern on shifting to green energy. This is very evident since even after making huge profits due to global hikes in oil prices they have only invested insignificant amounts of this profits in other alternative sources of energy such solar energy and wind energy.
It is also a known fact that the energy industry companies have continued to neglect the implementation of social responsibility programs, and instead they have continued to suppress the interests of majority by working with corrupt politicians.
These oil companies have used all means to ensure that their interests are protected in the legislature in such a way that even if they pose great risk to the public they have very little to be accountable for. It is said these companies usually fund so heavily to the federal election so that they can get favours from the government of the day and also they at the same time corrupt some law makers to champion for their interests in the congress.
It is also said that despite the fact that this oil companies have continued to make huge profits at the expense of all other sectors of economy they have also continued to enjoy subsidies and incentives (Edwards,2006,p. 67). This fact has forced president Obama to propose taxation to these companies but the proposal is currently being fought by the companies who are arguing that taxing energy sector is like discouraging the growth of domestic industries at large.
At the moment we are experiencing a severe consequence with BP Oil Company as a resort of gulf oil spill. This has occurred due to practice of very dangerous methods of oil exploitations and most probably the insensitivity of companies such as BP towards the humanity, aquatic life and the environment at large.
This is a clear evidence that all what this company cares for is big money but not clean environment because it has not been involved in the clean up exercise effectively and tourists in various beaches are complaining about the waters and the safety of such environments not to mention how adversely lives of fishermen and aquatic animals have been affected. If the BP Company had taken the public interest in their decision making may be this could not have happened because they could have used safer methods to extract oil (Cochran, 2005, p. 767).
Consequently, such big loses as a result of pressure to compensate the affected people could not have occurred and the image of the company could have continued to be good but now even the shares have reduced price in the stock market due to that occurrence of oil spill and may be the company may undergo receivership.
Companies in banking sector
In the banking industry there has been some great hope and sincerity in implementing the social responsibility programs. This is evident with some banks such as the JP Morgan, Bank of America, City Group and the Chase bank companies.
These banks have implemented policies which restrict them from lending money to those projects which are destructive to the environment in accordance with the interest of environmentalists. The banks have implemented environmental policies which are very effective in order to reduce emission of green house gases despite the fact that this action will reduce their opportunities of making more profits (Handy,2002,p. 83).
It is evident from the above that the need to implement social responsibility initiatives is inevitable for each individual company for the sake of well being of mankind at large. Also it is seen that the benefits of implementing the social responsibilities programs are enormous in long run in terms of good will for the company from the public.
The costs of failure to consider the interests of the other stakeholders in corporate decision making are very severe in event of a disaster. Here we have illustrated the social responsibilities by using real and existing companies.
Cochran, P. (2005). The Evolution of the Corporate Social Performance Model. Academy of Management Review, Vol.10, p. 767
Edwards, T. (2006). Corporate Social Responsibility in Multinational Companies. Journal of Management, p. 67
Handy, C. (2002). What is a Business For? Harvard Business Review.
Kotler, P. (2005). Corporate Social Responsibility. New York. Barnes & Noble.
Windsor, D. (2006). Corporate Social Responsibility: Three Key Approaches. Journal of Management Studies, pp. 93-114
Wood, D. (2001). Corporate Social Responsibility Revisited. Academy of Management Review. Vol. 4, pp. 691-718