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Strategic Management Language - Essay Example

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There were few corporate acts of charity at the start of the twentieth century. Instead, wealthy business people engaged in philanthropy as they gave as individuals from their personal wealth to charitable and other worthy causes. How, then, did corporate commitment to social responsibility evolve Two principles provided the foundation for contemporary views on social responsibility…
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Strategic Management Language
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Download file to see previous pages Under the influence of this principle, individuals in the business community increasingly decided to use some of their corporate power and wealth for the social good. These voluntary community obligations to improve, beautify, and uplift were quite evident by many business leaders. One early example was the cooperative effort between the railroads and the YMCA immediately after the Civil War to provide community services in areas served by the railroads. Although these services economically benefited the railroads, they were at the same time philanthropic (Shalhoud, 1999). In another example, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie put much of his great wealth to work for education. Henry Ford adopted a paternalistic style of management and made recreational and health programs available to Ford employees. The company town was one of the most visible examples of paternalism. Although business's motives for creating company towns (for example, the Pullman/Illinois experiment) were mixed, business had to do a considerable amount of work in governing them (Shalhoud, 1999). Thus, the company accepted a form of paternalistic social responsibility. ...
Because corporations control vast resources, because they are powerful, and because this power and wealth come from their operations within society, they have an obligation to serve society's needs. In this way, corporations and their leaders and managers become stewards, or trustees for society which forms an image of trust about the organisation among the society member. Under the influence of this principle, Congress, the popular press, and other factions started to attack many large and powerful organisations whose attitudes they perceived to be both anticompetitive and antisocial. Antitrust laws and other legislation began to place constraints on the actions of organisations. In general, there was a shift in the public perception of a corporation's place within and obligation to society.
CSR & Strategic thinking
To understand better why some organisations fall ethically, we can explore organisational attitudes toward stakeholders in the form of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the relationship between the CSR and a firm's strategic management can be found from various definitions of CSR. For many organisations, commitment to CSR is shown in references to stakeholders and "triple bottom line" thinking (i.e., financial, environmental, and social responsibility bottom lines). One useful definition of CSR is that it requires "the continuing commitment by business to behaving ethically and contributing to economic development while improving the quality of life of the work force and their families as well as of the community and society at large" (Anderson, 1989). The economy could only be improved in the long run and so strategic thinking is critical. Criticism of business ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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