This paper will first briefly discuss the CSR theory by reviewing its development history. Focus will then be paid on the study of organizational social responsiveness, which includes two basic processes, namely first monitoring external social demands and expectations and then developing internal social mechanisms (Bartol, 2011).
To be more precise, the author would like to study the social responsiveness from a CSR perspective. The following part of this research will make two case studies to further explain the theory abovementioned. 1. Definition of CSR
There is no clear definition of CSR. EC defines CSR as the responsibility of enterprises for what impact they can have on society. Since Oliver Sheldon (1924) first proposed the concept CSR, it has been defined as that corporate should not only shoulder economic and legal responsibility, but other social undertakings as well. Based on previous study, Carroll (1979) proposed CSR as a multi-leveled concept. This concept contains four interrelated aspects, i. e. economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibilities. In addition, Carroll put forward a pyramid which can be used to analyze the dimension of CSR.
The pyramid begins with economic responsibilities; people create companies to produce goods and services to the public while making profits. All the other three responsibilities rely upon this foundation. The next layer comprises the legal responsibilities of a company. As to the ethical responsibilities, they are practices belonging to what social public expect a company to do what is right and fair, but that are not covered by law. Lastly, companies have a philanthropic responsibility at the top of pyramid (Carroll, 1991).
What is Corporate Social Responsibility? Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulated system that companies use to ensure that their operations are in line with ethical standards, the law and the norms of society. CSR aids companies in taking responsibility for their actions and “encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, ...
2. Organisational social responsiveness Instead of Corporation Social Responsiveness, this term expands the main body f social response, referring to the development of organisational decision processes. Managers make decisions during the processes by anticipating, responding to and managing areas of social responsibility (Bartol, 2012).
Two aspects are included in the processes : First, monitoring social demands and expectations; Second, internal social response mechanisms. In order to be socially responsive, organizations need to both analyse and evaluate social environment and management stakeholders relations, i. e. monitoring external environment.
Apart from the first process, organizations need also create social response mechanisms. 2. Monitoring social demands and expectations The following methods can be used to serve this purpose: a. Social forecasting: often using futurists – systematically identifying social trends. b. Opinion surveys: polls and surveys – either generally available or specially commissioned. c. Social audits: study of an organisation’s social (rather than economic) performance. Some combine regular audits with surprise audits. d. Issues management: identifying specific issues for attention (to “reduce surprises” from environmental forces).
e. Social scanning: monitoring task-environment elements – less formal and systematic than issues management. . 2 Internal social response mechanisms a. Individual executives: often used by smaller and medium sized companies. This can be risky without appropriate individual selection. b. Temporary task forces: small groups to enforce orders and settle problems. c. Permanent committees: fix the process as a general conduct d. Permanent departments: make it one of the basic function of the organization e. Combination approaches: in practice, organisations generally use some combination of approaches. 3. Case Study 3. 1 Case Study 1: Conoco Phillips Company
Company Q is an organization working to achieve the goal of generating the most possible profit. The attitude of company Q toward social responsibility however, is an area that needs focused improvement. Based on the description provided the company uses a numbers only approach to decision making. There are intrinsic and fiscal benefits of applying a social philanthropic ethic that should be ...
ConocoPhillips Company is an American multinational energy corporation headquartered in Houston, Texas in the United States. It is the world’s largest independent pure-play exploration & production company and is also one of the Fortune 500 companies. Through the merger of Conoco Inc. and the Phillips Petroleum Company in 2002 ConocoPhillips was created and became the fifth largest integrated oil company then. 3. 1. 1 Analysis of Conoco Philips oil leak Incident Environmental analysis and evaluation This analysis is of great importance to all corporation because, in essence, only those who fit the environment survive.
Technical, legal, social, political and economical factors constitute key parts that impact the Penglai 19-3 Field Incident in Bohai Bay. To focus on the CSR aspects of the response mechanism, the author excludes technical, legal, and economical factors concerning this event. As the oil spill unfolded, society as a whole paid ever more attention to this issue and media kept making in-depth reports, all of which suggested a strong ecological protection awareness. The environmental factors played an important role in encouraging Conoco Phillips to pursue a better outcome of social response.
Stakeholder management This oil leak incident involved different sides of stakeholders, including China National Offshore Oil Corporation, National Bureau of Oceanography, Ministry of land and resources, fishing and marine culture units and individuals, non-governmental environmental protection organizations, media and social public. A clear and comprehensive understanding of stakeholders is a prerequisite to the effectiveness of social response. Conoco Phillips should take into account the long-term effects of the exterior stakeholders on itself.
Conoco Phillips can classify them into distinct types so as to take different measures. 3. 1. 2 Conoco Phillips CRS policies As a worldwide known multinational, Conoco Phillips promotes the idea of corporate citizen, with its spirit value being core principles of Safety, People, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation and Teamwork.. The environmental policy of Conoco Phillips is However, there has been absence of social responsibility at early stage of Conoco Philips’ social response. One was the incomplete investigation and disclosure of the causes of oil leak.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been highly regarded by most corporations. However, the exact reason why corporations implement CSR initiatives is often very vague and confusing to others. This paper will explore in depth how international corporations are motivated to incorporate CSR into the business strategies and how they deal with it. Based on academic references, the report firstly ...
The dishonest attitude has been doubted as an excuse to avoid responsibility. The other was that Conoco Phillips failed to fully meet the requirement of National Bureau of Oceanography. The inactive performance at early stage of dealing with this issue aggravated the harm of the incident, which reflected the deficiencies of monitoring social demands and expectations and lack of sense of social responsibility. Eventually, it is the concept of corporate citizenship that Conoco Phillips has always been promoting and social responsibility culture that played a guide role and set the company onto the right track.
The company made sincere apology to the China society and promised fair compensation while financing program of future environmental protection in Bohai Bay. 3. 1. 3 Conclusion Effective social response requires opinion surveys on certain issues and facilitating a provocative approach to surrounding changes. 3. 2 Case Study 2: Apple’s social response and CSR policies. 3. 2. 1 Apple’s conflicts Apple has made the headlines for several times during the last few years thanks to Foxconn, Apple’s supplier, which has seen employee suicide again and again.
The largest contracted electronics manufacturer in the world, Foxconn is the main manufacturer of apple products and employs more than 900,000 employees. Apple was once challenged by labor and human rights issues, which the author sees as a critical moment to test Apple’s social responsiveness. In 2006 Foxconn was reported by Chinese local media about the long working hours. Reports had also suspected the discrimination against mainland Chinese workers by their Taiwanese supervisors. In May 2010 several media sources reported several cases of suicide at Foxconn. A total of 13 young workers had committed suicide from 2009 to 2010.
Using individual executives as a social response mechanism, Steve Jobs, the former CEO , responded that ‘Foxconn is not a sweatshop’ when being inquired about the suicides at Foxconn (The Guardian, 2010) Steve Jobs’ over frankness invited heavy pressure later on. Yet, they didn’t make another mistake facing another issue concerning health and safety. With regard to safety and health conditions at the suppliers plant, an explosion at Foxconn killed two workers and sixteen employees were injured during in May 2010. An Apple spokesperson expressed his sadness toward this tragedy and claimed responsibility to this terrible event. The Guardian, 2011).
In the case “Apple Inc. in 2010”, we can see that between 1980 and 1996, the company struggled with different management style and strategies. During those 16 years, Apple was a computer-based company that was not trying to differentiate itself from its competitor. That is why, in 1996, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he started to focus on the social aspect of Apple but also on how to innovate ...
3. 2. 2 Apple’s CSR policy Apple makes sure that the Supplier Code be observed by suppliers by conducting audits.
The audits cover not only working and living conditions, safety and health but environmental conditions at the facilities as well. Apple has developed advanced internal social response mechanisms by conducting social audits. The company conducted 102 audits in 2009, to quote Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Report 2010. In 2011, Apple Supplier Responsibility team conducted a total of 229 audits-an 80 percent increase compared to 2010. Cristina, 2012).
Facilities Apple conduct repeat audits show fewer violations and a majority of them get higher scores year after year. Apart from scheduled audits at Apple’s suppliers, they conduct a certain amount of surprise audits every year. The intention of this method is “reducing surprise” (Bartol, 2011).
A surprise audit is when the audit team pays a visit to a supplier without former information and insists on inspecting the faculty and seeing employees at once. These surprise audits must start within short notice of the audit team’s appearance.
The combination of regular audits and surprise audits makes sure that the suppliers are not showing the surface of their management. The author found in the Supplier Responsibility Report 2010 a part of words responding to the suicides at Foxconn, published in February 2011. Besides, Apple reports in the Supplier Responsibility Report 2011 that Apple discovered ten facilities with underage labour violations during inspections. Among them one was found of employing a large amount of underage labour force. Apple terminated businesses with this facility simply because the management did not display their willingness to address the problem.
As long as they found underage labour, suppliers are required to provide education fee and living expenses and support them through shool until 16. In November 2010, a training program was set up by Apple to prevent the future employment of underage workers. The human resources managers are trained in Chinese labour law. Despite of that, the training will not address underage labour issues. The reason seems rather obvious. The past few years have seen the rise of the costs of labour, energy and raw materials, which resulted in a shortage of labour. To cut costs and find cheaper labour, factory owners are force to violate the code.
Ethics defined is simply principals of right and wrong, or good and bad. Many people believe that ethics are personal, religious and social behaviours, but this is not the case. In today’s business world ethics are critical to the work environment, as all members of organisations follow a framework including public acceptance, policies and procedures which are generally guided by law. Business ...
What’s more, to prevent child labour who want to work to support their families is rather difficult. The Supplier Responsibility Report of 2012 states that suppliers are supposed to return underage workers to school and finance their education through Apple’s Child Labour Remediation Program. Regarding abolishing underage labour. The CEO of Apple Tim Cook claimed that they would like to totally eliminate every case of underage employment (The Guardian, 2011).
Conclusion There have debates on distinction between Corporation Social Responsibility (CSR1) and Corporation Social Responsiveness (CSR2).
By looking into details of CSR management, The author finds more agreement on Carroll (1979), who believes that CSR2 is more of a action stage in managerial response. To put it more precisely, Wartric and Cochran (1985) argues that CSR2 provides a method to perform CSR1. The author tries to display how corporations perform in face of challenges, or “social issue”, and how they learned their hard way to shoulder social responsibility. The organizational social responsiveness theory is of great explanatory power in studying enterprise behaviors. Therefore, it also proves useful in corporation management.