Ethical and Social Responsibilities of a Business Ethical and Social Responsibilities of a Business Introduction Social and ethical responsibility is a key aspect of business management today. Regardless of factors such as scale of operation, every business entity has social and ethical responsibilities to act, always, in a way that increases its positive effects on the society while minimizing its negative effects. The social responsibility theory proposes four levels of social responsibility; economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic. This paper seeks to discuss a case study involving company Q, a small local grocery store chain located in a major metropolitan area.
The paper will evaluate company’s current attitude toward social responsibility and further recommend three actions that the company could take to improve its attitude toward social responsibility. Evaluation of Company Qs Current Attitude toward Social Responsibility From how it operates, company Q seems to lack a close relationship with its immediate community. The company offers limited amount of health-conscience and this only comes after years of requests from customers. A socially responsible business by any standard should prioritize the health of its customers and take necessary measures to ensure that customer health is upheld (Griseri & Seppala, 2010).
Health is a paramount aspect of human life. To demonstrate its value for life, the company bears the responsibility of offering healthy goods to its customers. Equally important is the need for the company to there is prompt response to the needs of customers at all times. In this sense, company Q fails to its legal social responsibility that requires it to abide by all laws and government regulations. The company’s refusal to donate food equally highlights its unwillingness to give back to society and consequently fails to observe the philanthropic social responsibility of a business.
By failing to give back to society, the company misses on an opportunity to distinguish itself from its competitors. Additionally, this move may drive away customers and demoralize employees. From the reasons it cites, the company seems to be more concerned with the financial costs that would involve giving back society. However, such costs are only short term since increase in customer loyalty and good corporate reputation can offset this cost in the end. Actions that Company Q can take to improve its Attitude toward Social Responsibility One of the steps that company Q can take to improve its attitude toward social responsibility is creating a custom volunteer plan (Griseri & Seppala, 2010).
Through this plan, the company will need to evaluate its strengths and identify volunteer services that it can offer to the community based on these strengths. Since it deals in grocery products, the company could choose to offer free products to needy people in the community and in so doing, build a positive image.
For this action to be successful, however, it is important for the company to put into consideration the amount of free products it can offer on annual basis as well as the operation demands of the company. Another possible action would be building relationships within the community that allow customers to have their opinion put into consideration before the company makes major corporate decisions (Griseri & Seppala, 2010). Doing so helps increase the level of trust among customers and further creates good reputation of the company.
Although it is difficult to factor the opinions of all customers, it is necessary that a business indicate its willingness to work closely with customers and more importantly the immediate community. Company Q could also take part in sustainable investment as a way of improving its attitude toward social responsibility. Sustainable investment involves adopting green technologies, replacing consumption of nonrenewable energy with renewable energy as well as investing in environmental conservation projects (Griseri & Seppala, 2010). Apart from increasing customer loyalty, sustainable investment helps a company to increase its operational efficiency.
Considering the increasing number of people concern with how a business invests in sustainability, this step could has the potential to produce long term benefits such as providing pricing power to the company. Conclusion Social responsibility remains a critical issue in business management. Despite most companies realizing the importance of remaining socially responsible, some companies are yet to realize the benefits of this practice. However, there are steps that these companies can take to improve how they deal with this issue. Some of these steps are creating custom volunteer plan, building relationships within the community as well as investing in sustainability.
Through these steps, a company can expect to not only create customer loyalty, but also realize long-term benefits such as increased efficiency in management, reduction in operational costs as well as creation of pricing power. References Griseri, P. & Seppala, N. (2010). Business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Australia: South-Western Cengage Learning.