Corporate Responsibility Essay Examples & Outline
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Correlation of Corporate social responsibility and unethical organizational behavior
Corporate social responsibility according to the business dictionary refers to: activities carried out by a company voluntarily in order to operate in a social, environmental and an economically sustainable manner. Most companies involve themselves in corporate social responsibility in their both their local and abroad markets. Corporate social responsibility comes in handy in companies which have international ties. This is because, in different nations, there are different rules that are in use (Michalos, 2013). Therefore, those companies that have international links have to adhere to the ever changing rules. Ethnicity, race, politics and religion are the main reasons why there are differences.
Most governments’ advice their home companies to recognize corporate social responsibility in their activities abroad. Firms are not only supposed to adhere only to international rules, but also involve in activities that show good will to the community. The term, social responsibility, started its use in the 1960’s and had been in use since then, to show moral and social responsibility that companies ought to cover. The effect of corporate social responsibility has, however, been under scrutiny, especially in the near past. There are critics that who argue that the use of this policy is not healthy for a business while others differ. This has been a reason for debate between the two sides, with every side wanting to win indefinitely.
Corporate social responsibility can be divided into four parts which are Environmental CSR, Human resource based CSR, Community based CSR, Philanthropy. Environmental based corporate social responsibility is about the environment (Crowther, 2008). It involves all kinds of activities that can be undertaken to ensure the environment is well taken care of like, planting trees and climate change. Human resource based corporate social responsibility refers to activities that undertaken in consideration of taking care of the task force of a company. Community based CSR is much more leaned on activities that favor the community and the public. The corporation engages in activities that are pleasing to the eyes of the local community, with care not to provoke their customers.
Philanthropy involves firms donating money for a good cause, especially for charity or a fundraising. This is similar to community based CSR since the charity money will help the community. The only difference is that, in philanthropy, the help might be offered to the immediate community. Most people go wrong by thinking that corporate social responsibility is only for large businesses or corporations (Hawkins, 2006). This policy, however, can apply for both small businesses and large businesses. The only difference is that small businesses do not have an arena for acquiring resources like the big businesses. Therefore, the contribution made by a small business may at times be insignificant compared to that of a big business.
Critics argue that the use of corporate social responsibility seems to derail a business from making money. Thereby driving the business in a dimension, that is far from the economic role of a business or a firm (Crowther, 2008). Research shows that the use of corporate social responsibility leads to a business achieving more long term profits. The benefits of using corporate social responsibility range and there are also negative effects. The major benefit that comes along with corporate social responsibility is that, responsible businesses manage to get more profits than irresponsible ones.
The increase in profits is because; investors get attracted more to a business that shows responsibility to its customers and also the community. The business also gets approval from the society since it is engaging in activities that are favorable to the community involved. Corporate social responsibility also involves activities that even the employees feel free engaging. This brings about positive results since most workers like to work in a place where they feel happy with what they are doing.
Research also proves that there is a reduction in costs when companies use corporate social responsibility. This is achievable through: more economical staff retention and hire, implementation of energy saving programs, reduced investments in traditional advertising and managing the arising risks and potentials (Hawkins, 2006). The business also has a long term future ahead of it if it uses corporate social responsibility policy. This policy provides better results when carried out in a long term rather than during a short term period. Corporate social responsibility is also about: the deliverance of a sustainable community, through which the business and involved parties can prosper in the long run.
The disadvantages of corporate social responsibility mostly affect small businesses compared to large businesses. This is because small businesses have a budget limitation; therefore, they may not have the financial capability to donate a large amount. This is because, if they donate a large amount of money, they will have put themselves under financial constraint. Some critics also argue that involvement in this policy is at times costly to the business and the involved stakeholders. This occurs quite often especially when it comes to giving money for charity and fundraising. This is also experienced when it comes to the search of raw materials and the manufacturing costs involved.
Further research has also proven that corporate social responsibility at times is void and does not work. This is because the running of a business depends on the stakeholders rather than the social responsibility (Crowther, 2008). Therefore, for a company to argue that it works on social responsibility is barely a misconception. Critics argue that even for the social responsibility rules to work, the rules have to pass through the top stakeholders. Therefore, the activities of the company depend with those in authority at the company.
Unethical organizational behavior can be explained as behaviors that are not accepted in the standards of a business (Gilliland, 2007). Each organization or business has rules that they expect their employees to follow. In case of an employee breaking one of these rules, this is termed as unethical organizational behavior. There are also standard ethics that every business or firm is expected to follow. A standard code of ethics is universal; therefore every business ought to comply with the rules. Unethical organizational behavior mostly involves how employees carry themselves at their work place and how they use the resources awarded to them by the company. The employee is expected to use company resources to the advantage of the company and also relate well with other employees.
There are various common unethical organizational behaviors that are rather common in most working places. First being the wastage of time by an employee. This involves employees getting paid yet they are not giving any results that the company can access. Other employees also waste the time that they should use when working just lazing around. For example, employees tend to extend their lunch or tea breaks and end up delaying getting back to work. Another common unethical behavior is the inappropriate use of computers. Most workers use the computers given to them by using them to run personal errands during working hours (King, 2012). This involves logging in to social sites and replying personal emails, rather than involving in things that would benefit the company.
Sexual harassment or bullying is also another common form of unethical organizational behaviors. No employee or employer has the right to sexually harass an employee under any circumstances. Bullying can be referred to as the activity of trying to intimidate another employee by saying personal things about him or her. Bullying involves the use of personal things or the fears of the involved person to intimidate them. Bullying in most cases leads to fight and violence between the involved parties. Anyone who is a victim of bullying or sexual harassment ought to sue the person who bullied them, even if it is the employer.
Another common form of unethical organizational behaviors is illegal acts. For example, an employee in the capacity of an accountant has access to the companies’ financial records. An individual; in this capacity might be tempted to misuse their power for selfish gains. That is using their access to the companies’ financial books to embezzle funds from the company and cover the traces of this theft (Sims, 2003). Another employee who has access to the employees’ personal details might also use them to impersonate staff and obtain credit cards fraudulently. These credit cards can then be used to rob the employees of the money that they have saved in their bank accounts. Above are examples of the use of illegal acts to acquire money from the company, qualifying as unethical organizational behaviors.
Unethical organizational behaviors can cause a business to shut down and lose its customers. This is if an employee or executive embezzles funds from the company causing it to drain into a financial crisis. However, there are some methods that have proven to be very effective when it comes to fight unethical organizational behaviors. Setting a code of conduct is the easiest of fighting this vice. Every company should come up with a set of rules that all employees ought to follow. The rules should be strict to ensure there is no room for an employee or executive to involve in an unethical activity without getting noticed. For any employee that breaks this code of conduct, they should face a very strict penalty.
The penalty should not discriminate on the basis of whether one is an employee or an executive (Michalos, 2013). As long as one has gone against the rules of the company, then they should face the punishment. The management of the business should lead by example since the rest of the employees look up to them. Therefore, if the management is involved in the unethical behaviors, the junior employees should not be blamed if they also follow suit. Therefore, the management should lead by example and also pay a very keen eye to its employees.
The employers should also show appreciation to those employees who act well and give their best. Most employers do not take time to appreciate the work that employees do even if they give extraordinary results. It is important for employers to appreciate their employees always since this works as motivation for them to work a little harder. The management of the company should also keep the work of all employees under watch. It is not advisable to leave all the tasks to one employee. This encourages unethical behaviors like laziness or stealing from the resources of the company. Division of labor and the creation of checks and balances are aimed at checking for any errors in the company system. This should be focused more on the companies’ financial books.
To discourage unethical behaviors in the company, the human resource department should re-evaluate the people that they employ. It is advisable that a company looks more on the side of experience rather than education when employing staff. This is because someone with experience can perform better than a person who is learned (Trevino, 2003). The experience of the employee who has applied for a job should be checked for any unethical behaviors that may raise a question. This is to avoid employing someone who has experience, yet has a habit of engaging in unethical behaviors.
The impact of unethical organizational behaviors is rather negative on the business. One of the impacts that may result due to embezzlement of funds from the company include, the company sinking into a financial crisis. The crisis may either be minor or major depending on the amount of money embezzled from the company and also the financial stability of the company. The impact can even force a company to crush and depend on return of the money to come back to its feet again. In the case of sexual harassment or bullying, an employee or executive can face a law suit. A lawsuit can lead to the employee or executive receiving a hefty fine for the damages succumbed by the complainant.
The relationship between corporate social responsibility and unethical organizational behaviors is quite a long one (Michalos, 2013). Corporate social responsibility can be used as a check and balance for the unethical organizational behaviors. This is because, corporate social responsibility acts like a cover for the vices that make up unethical behavior. Corporate social responsibility can be used as a lesson to deter employees and executives from engaging in behaviors that are not healthy to the business. In engaging in social responsibility, company managers must take care to ensure the activities are not viewed by the community as unethical.
Businesses must also put into considerations the needs of the rest of the community, not only catering for executives and the shareholders. This must be done in consideration that different people have a different way of thinking and different interests. Therefore, the company or business management must come up with strategies that favor both groups. In the case of the management leaning on the side of the majority and leaving the minority un-attended to, this can be termed as unethical behavior. The policy of corporate social responsibility is a very wide one and at the same time vague. However, there are four major components that make up social responsibility (Sims, 2003).
The four major components include economic, ethical, legal and discretional responsibilities. For all these components to be taken care of, there are three main circles in a business. The inner most circle represents the traditional economic role of business. The intermediate circle represents the ethical and social issue while the outer circle caters for the general social problems. Some of the ethical and social issues catered for by the intermediate circle include consumerism, ethics and moral issues, government relations and environment related issues.
Good ethics creates a background for the social responsibilities and this combination lays a foundation for the social marketing of the business. Unethical behaviors either by the employee or a company executive will have the impact passed on to the rest of the company (Trevino, 2003). This may affect the corporate social responsibility of the company forcing it to re strategize. For example, if the money that was to be used for charity is embezzled from the company, the company might fall into a crisis. The company would be left with no choice but to find another source of income for the money meant for charity. The management can also pull out of the charity which would not be very advisable move since the company can face public scrutiny. The last option would be to offer a less amount of money than the one promised.
Corporate social responsibility elaborates on the need for having a code of ethics in every business or company. This is the easiest of monitoring workers and ensuring that they adhere to the set rules. The rules should be set in a way that they favor both sides, the company and also the employees. The set code of conduct should not favor one side and oppress the other since this would be unfair. However, some critics argue that, in a business, there is no need for a code of conduct. Even though the rules are there, people are always meant to break them; therefore, there is no need for the conduct. However, this is not true, and research shows that workers behave unethically more when there are no rules compared to when there are rules.
To counter the unethical organizational behaviors, a business or company needs a unitary approach. The workers must work together with management to try and fight this vice. Strong leadership alone is weak in the battle against unethical behaviors and can, therefore, not be very successful (King, 2012). Another approach that would also be fruitful is the integration of all cultures and nationalities in the company. The second approach happens to be very tricky since people of different races have differing beliefs and traditions. Therefore, to satisfy all these needs would require diversity and it might take time before everyone feels satisfied. However, if the company puts its best foot forward, this might derail employees from engaging in unethical organizational behaviors.
In conclusion, unethical organizational behavior and corporate social responsibility are two general components in a business. The two components are un-avoidable, and all businesses or corporations should learn how to deal with them. Corporate social responsibility is a virtue that every business should adopt. It brings about the rise in capital, reduction in costs and other significant advantages that have been discussed above. On the other hand, unethical organizational behavior is a vice which businesses or companies should try to fight (Hawkins, 2006). This is because the vice has a lot of consequences that could end up harming the business.
Since unethical behaviors are unavoidable, companies should have penalties meant to deal with those who engage in such acts. Businesses are advised to set a code of conduct to avoid the employees getting themselves in unethical behaviors. Communication between the employees and the company management can also help avoid unethical behaviors. This is because if the employees have a place to raise their issues without the fear of losing their jobs, then the unethical behaviors can hopefully be reduced.
Crowther, D., & Aras, G. (2008). Corporate social responsibility. Frederiksberg, Denmark: BookBoon.
Gilliland, S., Steiner, D., & Skarlicki, D. (2007). Managing social and ethical issues in organizations. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Pub. Inc.
Hawkins, D. E. (2006). Corporate social responsibility: Balancing tomorrow's sustainability and today's profitability. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
King, D., & Lawley, S. (2012). Organizational behaviour. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Michalos, A. C., & Poff, D. C. (2013). Citation classics from the Journal of business ethics: Celebrating the first thirty years of publication. Dordrecht: Springer.
Sims, R. R. (2003). Ethics and corporate social responsibility: Why giants fall. Westport, Conn.
Trevino, L. K., & Weaver, G. R. (2003). Managing ethics in business organizations: Social scientific perspectives. Stanford, Calif: Stanford Business Books.