Strategic Thinking and Corporate Social Responsibility - Term Paper Example

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This paper explores the relationship between strategic thinking and CSR. Strategic thinking will be defined and the addition of CSR to strategic thinking and its effects on business and community will be explored. Examples of businesses successfully employing CSR…
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Strategic Thinking and Corporate Social Responsibility
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Download file to see previous pages A business that employs strategic thinking is searching for opportunities to add value and provide a positive direction for the company.  Strategic thinking is most successful when it is used to encourage dialogue between major players in the business. Strategic thinking gives leaders an opportunity to explore different ways of doing business that add value to the company. Strategic thinking requires thinking 'outside the box' and considering non-traditional ways of doing business. According to the Centre for Applied Research strategic thinking includes exploring the following:
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requires adding a key element to Strategic Thinking. CSR requires the business to look at the realm of social responsibility. CSR is the integration of the business into society. This integration requires that the company take a look at its 'neighborhood' and create and maintain a relationship that benefits both society and the business. The business has to look for opportunities to be a good citizen. CSR is all about building positive relationships within the community. These positive relationships can take the form of relationships with universities, ethical research, product safety, recycling, education and job training, safe working conditions, etc(HBR, 2006)
An example of Corporate Social Responsibility is Malden Mills. On December 11 of 1995, a factory in Massachusetts burned to the ground. Malden Mills employed about 3000 people from the local community and when the mill burnt down many thought their jobs were gone as well. Aaron Feuerstein was the owner of Malden Mills at the time and was faced with a monumental decision. What next Most would try to recoup costs and leave the community with 3000 unemployed people. Feuerstein chose the unthinkable route of keeping all 3000 people on the payroll while the mill was rebuilt. Aaron Feuerstein answered the 'why' question by replying "The fundamental difference is that I consider our workers an asset, not an expense."(Boulay, 1996) Feuerstein considered his investment in human capital as his most important investment. He was quoted as saying "I have a responsibility to the worker, both blue-collar and white-collar. I have an equal responsibility to the community. It would have been unconscionable to put 3,000 people on the streets and deliver a death blow to the cities of Lawrence and Methuen. Maybe on paper, our company is worthless to Wall Street, but I can tell you its worth more. We're doing fine.'"(Boulay, 1996). It is clear that Feuerstein felt that it was Malden Mill's corporate responsibility to care for its human capital as well as its structural capital (the mill). Feuerstein kept his 3000 employees on the payroll with full benefits for three months while the factory was rebuilt.
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