It has been rightly said by someone-“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Eternal vigilance for the citizen must take many forms. There are many varied definitions for Citizen, but in this context it can be said that Citizen is the person who represents the country-legally and Citizenship describes the status of belonging somewhere and it implies both rights and responsibilities (Graham, 1991). When a Citizen get the power to enforce his rights and responsibilities, then it can be said that “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”. A Citizen needs to take full responsibility towards Organization, Nation as well as Planet-main three forms towards which the Citizen should be eternally vigilant. Many Management literates have investigated the notion of Citizenship from three perspective-an Organizational Citizenship (where the efforts are undertaken by the employees to behave as good citizens within their organization); from a social perspective with the notion of Corporate Citizenship (where initiatives are undertaken by businesses to act responsibly in society in particular and the Nation in general) and last but not the least from the planet perspective with the notion of Environment Citizenship (where efforts should be undertaken by Individuals/entity to be responsible towards environmental protection).
Organization Citizens are employees in organizations who may or may not act as good corporate citizens. Organizational citizens behave in a manner that is helpful to the organization. In this case, the Company is always the main winner while the beneficiaries of Corporate Citizenship are mainly the Organizational Stakeholders. (Clarkson, 1995; Maignan, Ferrell and Hult, 1999). In as much as Corporate Citizenship may be desirable for society as a whole, it is unlikely to be embraced by a large number of organizations unless it is associated with concrete benefits. On the basis of managerial survey, Maignan, Ferrell and Hult (1999) have extended research to the potential effects of Corporate Citizenship on employees. They show a positive relationship between proactive Corporate Citizenship and Employee’s Commitment. Organizational citizenship is a concept that all companies wish to have but very few can actually achieve. It is rooted in individual employees’ view of the company and how they associate themselves with it.
Some of the examples of Organizational Citizenship are as follows: Assisting coworkers: An employee can take time from their work to help another to get their job done, as they know it’s important to the company and to the other employee. We have all potentially had situations where others pitched in to get a job done that had nothing to do with their specific job, outside of wanting to help the company and a fellow worker. Working for the future: So many employees look at what they are going to get right now and do not look far into the future. Those who practice organizational citizenship believe there will be rewards down the road and do not focus on the short-term; rather, they focus on the long-term. This viewpoint also makes them long-term employees, which are desirable to any company. Being a company representative: When some employees leave for the day, the company they represent stays behind them in the office. An organizational citizen represents their company 24/7 and has no problem talking to others about how their company might help them.
Thus, it can be said that organizational citizenship is the perspective that employees have whereby they extend their behaviors beyond the normal duties of their position. It is an extremely desirable goal for any company, and if we think about it, it shows how much a company cares about their employees. Corporate citizenship refers to an organizations responsibility to create business value by caring for the well-being of all stakeholders including the environment (Glavas & Piderit, 2009). Due to its voluntary nature, organizations engage in many different types of corporate citizenship from making philanthropic donations to establishing volunteer programs with non-profit organizations to preserving environmental resources to using core competencies to create products or services that help solve social issues. It can be said the citizenship towards the environment forms the subset of the Corporate Citizenship. In fact there have been studies which show that the Corporate Citizenship impacts the Organizational Citizenship via Employee Engagement. Research has found that engagement boosts operating income, increases employee productivity, lowers turnover risk, provides a greater ability to attract top talent and leads to higher total returns (Irvine, 2009). There is also confirmation that employees with favorable opinions of their organization’s socially responsible activities are more engaged, confident and likely to state an intention to stay with the organization (Kenexa, 2010).
Accordingly, some organizations are making long-term commitments to corporate citizenship as part of their pledge to increase employee engagement. More corporations will support their communities via employee volunteer programs instead of just writing checks during tough economic times (McPherson, 2012). Corporate citizenship opportunities often begin with someone who has an idea and puts it into action. An employee may decide that too many plastic cups are discarded daily and take it upon him/herself to put a sign on the water cooler asking co-workers to bring in reusable glasses. Another employee may decide that printing single sided is an inefficient use of resources and speak with the operations department about changing the printer default setting around the office to double sided. The possibilities are unlimited. And as a Good Citizen we need to explore the possibilities-so as to make a difference.
Does the following instances ring any bell:
A bird-watcher walking in the woods sees chemical waste flowing through a stream, traces the source to a neighbouring factory, and alerts government agencies to the factory’s violation of its emissions discharge permit. A local citizen group in a small town near a coal mine suggests to a state mining agency practical ways, based on the citizens’ own observations of the mine in operation, of making environmental standards for mines easier to administer and enforce. A city resident notices that municipal buses are emitting noxious fumes, sues the bus company, and wins a court order requiring the company to place pollution control devices in the bus exhaust systems. These are just a few examples of the many and varied influences citizens can have on the process of environmental enforcement.
In a hierarchy of rights associated with national citizenship, ordinarily the right to participate in governance (the right to vote and the right to hold office) is ranked at the top. The right to move internally within a country, the right to Protection also forms a crucial part of citizenship towards nation.
In fact there is another way of understanding the rights and responsibilities towards the nation and i.e. by educating the nation. The political history
of India has no dearth of examples to show how the importance of providing education has evolved over the period of time. Even the Constitution of India requires that the nature of education in the country be maintained as secular. In fact, Coal India is celebrating “Shiksha Diwas”this year.
Thus, the goal should be to balance environmental, economic and societal concerns. The ‘five capitals framework’ offers a way of thinking about these concerns so that action plans can be developed (Porritt, 2006). Resources required for human progress can be divided into five forms of capital from which we gain benefits: • Manufactured capital – all things made by humans, e.g. buildings, roads, machines etc • Social capital – all systems by which people live and work together, e.g. families, businesses, communities, parties, voluntary groups etc • Human capital – people’s knowledge skills, health, motivation etc • Natural capital – this consists of natural resources (both renewable and non-renewable) and services such as the powerful natural waste processing cycles • Financial capital – money and other financial assets that enable other types of capital to be owned and traded. In this model, investment in all five forms of capital is necessary for a sustainable society.
The above instances clearly requires the paradigm shift from Consumer to Citizens, People to Policies, Government to Governance, Charity to Justice and By-Chance to Choice to be able to form a Global Platform for balancing the act of a Citizenship towards Organization, Nation and Environment.
Courtney from Study Moose
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