We’ve spent quite a bit of time this week reviewing not only the different types of social responsibility, but how it’s perceived by the public as well. Some people support it and others are against it. We’re going to look at one more aspect of corporate social responsibility before giving it a rest for a bit, and that is how organisations actually approach the issue themselves.
You’re going to find that most organisations take one of 4 approaches. They’ll either:
Companies who stand in the way of, or obstruct, social responsibility are usually those with the most questionable ethical practices. These organisations won’t take responsibility for the harm they’ve caused the environment and might even attempt to bribe others to support them, even if their goals don’t have the welfare of the general public in mind.
Organisations who take a defensive stance will make the smallest contribution to the public or environment that is possible but insist that they are in business to turn a profit, no support others. For example, in the US many casinos place advertisements about the addictive hazards of gambling within their buildings, which shows they care about the public at large. But do they? Those same casinos with buildings in other countries may not be required to place the same signs – so they won’t.
A company that merely accomodates social responsibility will particpate actively, but only when asked. In short, someone from the charitable organisation needs to physically knock on the door, pinpoint a contact, and make a plea. They’ll usually be met with a positive response, but would not have received the same support had they waited for the corporation to act first. In other words, don’t hold your breath waiting for these companies to wake up.
Proactive organisations are the best to deal with. They have strong missions and goals that support not only their own agendas but the public at large. One of the best examples is the McDonald’s corporation and it’s support of the public through the Ronald McDonald House and several other organisations have followed suit.
What type of stance does your organisation take towards social responsibility? As a manager, are you supportive of the stance your organisation takes?
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.