While a corporation exists solely to sell a good or product and to make the most amount of money possible, there is a societal expectation that corporations provide additional resources to the community. The community expects an organization to provide jobs so the economy will remain stable and for the organization to pay taxes that will in turn go back to the community for various projects. Is this enough? Many consumers have high expectations on the businesses that they choose to purchase goods and services from or organizations that they donate to. Society places a great deal of pressure on organization to do more than to provide an income and to pay Uncle Sam. Many organizations choose to go above and beyond this call of duty. It may start with the creation of a code of ethics for employees to adhere to or organizing time for employees to volunteer at a local food shelf. Many high profile organizations such as Target and Starbucks now create social responsibility reports in addition to their annual financial earnings report to highlight what they have done to contribute to society and feature these on their websites. Some of the most common things that companies do is to donate money to various charities, sometimes even starting their own. A company with fairly limited resources may choose to donate time by organizing an event for employees to go to a charity to provide services either outside of work or within the working hours. Companies may also choose to donate services such as medical, legal or other types of aid for no cost as a way to get their name out there and gain additional skills for their employees. An organization called the Nerdery, located in Minnesota, has an annual event where programmers help local charities design better webpages at no cost. Companies may also bolster their efforts by going green by instituting recycling, better emissions above legal requirements, and offering free passes for public transportation. There are many ways that an organization can give back to the community above and beyond jobs and taxes and is highly beneficial for them to do so.
The benefits of providing efforts in social responsibility are limitless in regards to the external and internal effects. Recognition in the community is one external effect that can have a positive effect on business. Members of the community will want to do business with a company that has a good reputation for acting ethical and those that donate to schools for example. By providing donations, free services or greener efforts a company will also gain good PR because newspapers and local news will generally run stories about additional efforts made by an organization. While some may say any PR is good PR, we all know that is not the case in a company such as Enron that was a part of extremely unethical and illegal activities. In addition to these positive effects, a company will generally experience growth in sales because members of the community will refer their family and friend to that organization because they have built a brand of trust.An organization will also experience positive effects internally. By volunteering at a community event, many coworkers will bond and build a better team at work which will drive up employee morale. It also demonstrates an organization commitment to ethical behavior and employees will want to emulate that behavior while at work. In addition to these effects, an organization will see less turnover because team building and a strong sense of social responsibility while work will foster a sense of importance and employees will want to stay. Many studies have shown that employees with high morale will be more productive and earn the company more money and waste less time. An organization should try to align their social responsibility efforts by focusing their concentration on charities that align with the company’s mission statement and values. This would be so employees would not feel as if their efforts were wasted or misappropriated and the company can gain the many benefits that go along with corporate responsibility.
Blizzard Entertainment is in the business of making video games. They also employ core values that give a nod to their commitment to act morally and ethically at all times. The values that demonstrate this are: play fair, play nice; think globally; and lead responsibly. Blizzard has a large focus on ensure that their employees treat each other and other members of the community with respect, making sure their business decisions have a positive impact and that they are providing a good example to the community at all times. This type of attitude and company worldview is why they go above and beyond just providing jobs. In 2011, they put up equipment used to make their game World of Warcraft playable around the world up for auction. This auction raised millions of dollars for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Blizzard responded almost immediately to the Japanese Tsunami Relief effort by providing a digital item made for their World of Warcraft game with 100% of the proceeds going to the Relief Fund. These types of actions help employees to feel connected and understand that their organization has a commitment to the global community and in turn that members of the global community can trust Blizzard to act with integrity.
Johnson and Johnson have a long history of upholding their credo of being socially responsible in their communities. “We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work and to the world community as well. We must be good citizens--support good works and charities and bear our fair share of taxes. We must encourage civic improvements and better health and education. We must maintain in good order the property we are privileged to use, protecting the environment and natural resources.(jnj.com, 2012)” This credo is demonstrated by Johnson & Johnson’s many efforts within the community. The Healthy People 2010 project was created to help their work force live more healthy lifestyles by providing resources in smoking cessation, ways to lower blood pressure, ways to lower cholesterol and promoting physical activity. Johnson & Johnson provided the initial funding for the program SAFE KIDS as part of their commitment to health and safety. SAFE KIDS purpose is to prevent childhood injuries because that is the lead cause of death in persons 14 and under. They are still large contributors to this program. Another effort that Johnson & Johnson has are 100 programs in over 40 countries to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. They provide monetary donations to various charities that provide medical resources in prevention and treatment, counseling, and new medications. The many philanthropic efforts by Johnson & Johnson ensure that their employees feel as if what they do makes a difference. This could be the key to why they have been a successful business since 1886.
Keeping Palm Beach County Beautiful is a non-profit organization designed to ensure that Palm Beach County stays a desirable place to live and visit. Their goal is to improve the quality of life in Palm Beach County through litter prevention education, beautification efforts and environmental stewardship (Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, 2012). They maintain this focus by organizing community events and obtaining corporate sponsors to achieve their three goals of litter prevention, recycling and waste reduction and community greening and beautification. The community events may focus on planting more trees to enhance public spaces; provide training on litter prevention or recycling; and organizing cleanups for the beaches and neighborhoods. Keeping Palm Beach County Beautiful has a large emphasis on environmental efforts. In addition to their efforts in being more green by providing recycling training and picking up litter to prevent further pollution they also beautify their neighborhoods by painting over graffiti. All of these activities and efforts help foster a sense of importance and ownership in the community.
Sports in the United States have always been part of our lifestyle and it is very impressive how an organization of a professional level can have a big impact on the community. The Phoenix Suns take the game outside the court and support the community in many different ways. Promoting education in the community is one of their biggest goals. One of the Phoenix Suns Educational Programs is the Book the Gorilla in which children get to write an action-package story with a positive message and the phoenix mascot (the gorilla) come to perform at the schools of selected winning students. As part of their literacy program, the Suns partner up with Stone Cold Creamery to collect more than 6,000 books and donated them to children in need. Other educational programs include the Suns Nite Hoops for young adults with discipline difficulties. Another great initiative for this organization is partnership with non-profit organization to reach the community. They recently team up with the Arizona Public Service (APS) to give back to the community. According to the Phoenix Suns Official Site, one of the latest events with APS is the vision to build and improve basketball courts in the state of Arizona. “APS and the Suns refurbish two basketball courts per year”. The Phoenix Suns also lead the way with more than $1.36 million in grants to 178 different charitable organizations throughout Arizona this year, Phoenix Suns Charities marks a milestone of more than $11.6 million in donations since its 1988 inception. The factors that have influenced the social responsibility strategies of the organization are the support of the fans and the ethical values of the team. These efforts make both the members of the Phoenix Suns and members of the community to feel more connected and demonstrates that both parties are willing to support each other.
When corporations promote social responsibility the effects on the community are positive. The members of the community and organization together have the sense of ownership in what they do and what they are contributing to their communities. This also fosters a sense of pride because both parties are taking ownership of various situations. When different groups come together it also creates a sense of togetherness and connectedness that makes others want to participate and contribute to the cause. Social Responsibility also enhances people’s want to be altruistic and contribute to their communities. This also makes people act ethically and morally because they are apart of an effort to do good within their communities. When partnerships are created between corporations and community organizations it creates support networks for the members of both parties. These support networks may give way to knowing where to get more resources for additional services or the ability to create more programs. When corporations contribute more than just a job it creates a snowball effect that is positive on everyone involved and is extremely beneficial to both the community and the corporation.
Corporate Social Responsibility
CORPORATESOCIALRESPONSIBILITYBy Melissa Juliette-Bernard, QuintaMiller, Steve Patterson, and EfrainRios-LujanETH/316April 23, 2012Michelle Clark-Washington
CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY What is a corporation expected to provide? Jobs and stable employment Taxes Going above an beyond Monetary Donations Donations of Time Providing Free Services Going “Green”
BENEFITS OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY External Effects Recognition Public Relations More Sales Internal Effects Morale Promotes moral and ethical behavior Less turnover Productivity
BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENTCore ValuesDonation to St. Jude’s Children’s Research HospitalJapanese Tsunami Relief
JOHNSON & JOHNSONCredoHealthy People 2010SAFE KIDS100 Programs to address the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
PHOENIX SUNS BASKETBALL TEAM Educational Programs Suns Nite Hoops Book the Gorilla Book Drive Partnership Team up with Arizona Public Service (APS) Partner with Cold Stone Creamery Charities Donation milestone
EFFECTS ON THE COMMUNITYOwnershipPrideTogethernessAltruismSupport Networks
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