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Business Organization/ Management: Social Responsibilities on PARKnSHOP company in Hong Kong - Essay Example

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ParknShop Company in Hong Kong: Social Responsibilities Table of Contents ParknShop Social Responsibilities 3 References 6 ParknShop Social Responsibilities The current intense bidding war for ParknShop has social responsibilities implication for the supermarket chain, especially with regard to how the bidding will impact its customers and its employees, as well as the communities that it serves in general…
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Business Organization/ Management: Social Responsibilities on PARKnSHOP company in Hong Kong
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ParknShop Company in Hong Kong: Social Responsibilities Table of Contents ParknShop Social Responsibilities 3 References 6 ParknShop Social Responsibilities The current intense bidding war for ParknShop has social responsibilities implication for the supermarket chain, especially with regard to how the bidding will impact its customers and its employees, as well as the communities that it serves in general. It is said that the supermarket chain has very deep operations traction in Hong Kong and many parts of China and Macau, which translates to a large pool of employees and the employees of a large number of suppliers all depending on ParknShop and all potentially affected by any sale. At present all of the media coverage tends to focus on the financial aspects of the deal, and little if any attention is given to how the sale will impact its various stakeholders. It is noteworthy too that ParknShop commands a large share of the total market for fast moving consumer goods as well as of fresh food, at 19 percent, and this again translates to a host of social responsibility issues with the general consuming public relating to pricing as well as quality and safety for its food items. Because it deals with staples, the planned sale has to take into consideration how any sale impacts the purchasing decisions and the lives of the various stakeholders that the company impacts. Customers are chief among them. After wet markets for instance, which account for 37 percent of all fast moving consumer goods and fresh food sold in Hong Kong, only Wellcome at 15 percent is anywhere near the vicinity of the clout and reach of ParknShop with consumers. Now that the company has deemed that it has become less desirable to continue to operate because of the increasing wages and rents in Hong Kong, the planned sale has to take into consideration that the company has a responsibility to its various stakeholders too (Ho and Lee 2013). The indications are that even for top management, the sale is being done purely on the basis of financial considerations, and it can be said that there is a debate that can be made out of whether it is the social responsibility of companies to take care of its stakeholders or whether it is better off acting on its own financial interests and financial viability. After all, if a company is unable to make money and keep itself a going concern, then discussions of social responsibility become moot, because then a company is unable to continue as a going concern, It closes shop. On the other hand, for sure a case can be made for a company also taking into consideration that its business is a public concern, and that any move it makes must take into consideration how that move affects at least its employees and immediate customers and network of suppliers. This is a tricky balance, but the absence of discussions on the fate of workers certainly needs to be balanced with talk about how the move impacts society in general and its representatives in its employees and customers (Lee and Ho 2013). For instance it is unclear that the sale is being done to benefit any of the stakeholders due to the fact that the sale is primarily being considered from its financial aspects. On the other hand an argument can be made too that one social responsibility of supermarket owners is to make sure that it is viable based on market forces. Prices are being pushed down by competitors and the natural need of consumers to buy products at the lowest prices. On the other hand high labor costs translate to ParknShop considering selling its operations because such high labor costs impinge on its ability to keep prices low. ParknShop’s responsibility in this regard is to pay fair wages but at the same time make sure that it is able to survive in a market where consumers and competitors push prices down (Lee and Ho 2013). Some of the latest news to come out about the bidding is that of four remaining bidders, three are foreigners to Hong Kong. One is Japanese, one is Thai, and one is Australian. One can say that even in considering who among the bidders will get control of ParknShop, there has to be some element of considering the welfare of the employees and general community thrown into the discussion. That is one side of the social responsibilities debate. Who will take care of the employees? On the other hand, one can also argue that if things are left to market forces, then naturally the welfare of everyone relying on ParknShop, especially customers and to some extent employees, will be taken care of. This is because market forces as they stand have already pushed prices to the low levels that have been achieved, to the point that ParknShop now considers selling the entire company because of thinning margins. Competitors and the drive to lower prices are all part and parcel of the market forces that rule this industry, and such forces have worked well to secure the benefits of society. Meanwhile, market forces too may be partly responsible for the relatively high wages of the employees, securing the social benefits of workers. Now that the bidding is being undertaken, again a purely financial perspective on the deal may have some value in securing the social benefit of many in the long run. This does not mean though that present discussions on the bidding should not take into consideration what will happen to the workers (Lee and Ho 2013; Ho and Lee 2013). References Lee, Yvonne and Ho, Prudence. 2013. Four Bidders Left in Running for ParknShop. The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324577304579058920631984870 [Accessed 14 October 2013] Ho, Prudence and Lee, Yvonne. Buyers Show Appetite for Hong Kong’s ParknShop. The Money Beat, The Wall Street Journal. http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/08/21/buyers-show-appetite-for-hong-kongs-parknshop/ [Accessed 14 October 2013] Read More
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