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Company Q Social Responsibility Essay

Company Q Social Responsibility
Social responsibility is often viewed as an inconvenience that cuts into shareholder profits. An organization that with this outlook on social responsibility is missing a significant opportunity to improve public perception and drive profits. This is clearly the view of company Q. When twice presented with the opportunity to create both social and monetary capital, they failed miserably. This likely contributed to the closure of 2 stores due to low performance. Not only are they harming their stakeholders (the communities in which they operate) but, they are also harming their shareholders by not capitalizing on revenue opportunities. (Ferrell et al., 2013) There are three clear answers to their deficiencies. The first and most obvious is to begin donating the items that are expired to the local food bank as requested. The second is to implement a code of ethics in the corporate guidelines. Lastly, they should be expanding the current selections of healthy and organic foods. If these steps are followed, can the Company Q dig itself out of the loss column and see some profits? The answer is yes.

Company Q was recently approached by the local food bank, and asked to donate the day old foods that Company Q had been throwing away. Management declined, opting instead to to continue to write the food off as a loss and throw it into the trash. The reason that was cited was concern for fraud and employee theft. This is an example of the company taking the short term bottom line approach. They have completely ignored an opportunity for positive public relations and social capital. Both of which have been shown to have a positive impact on monetary capi-

Running Head: Company Q Social Responsibility

There are few opportunities that a business is given where the benefits are so obvious with very little capital investment.
How does Company Q accomplish this without risking fraud and employee theft. The answer is simple. Management is clearly not showing a commitment to ethical behavior and it has trickled down to the employee level. An organization cannot expect individual ethics to self govern organization ethics. (Ferrell et al., 2013) If Company Q were to draft a corporate code of ethics, there would be clear guideline to follow when it came to employee expectations. In a perfect world company would draft provisions within this code of ethics for positively impacting the communities they operate beyond offering goods and services for sale. This would send a clear message to employees of expectations give the company a more positive outlook on social responsibility.

Thereby, benefiting both stakeholders and shareholders alike. (Ferrell et al., 2013) Company Q has a fiduciary responsibility as well as a social responsibility. Their fiduciary responsibility is to their shareholders. Management has missed out on opportunities to grow the business in market segments that had been previously ignored. It is not often that customers give direct feedback that translates to higher profits. In the case of healthy organic food options being requested by customers, this is the case. Not only have customers stated that they will buy these items, but these are high margin items that will drive profits, and allow them to increase value for their shareholders. At the same time their social responsibility obligations are being fulfilled by offering these healthy foods to customers.

Running Head: Company Q Social Responsibility
In a time when many small local businesses struggle to compete with large mega corporations such as Wal-Mart, they cannot afford to ignore an option for strengthening their business. Even if it is different than what they have traditionally done.

Reference
Ferrell, O. (2013). Business Ethics 2009 Update: Ethical Decision Making and Cases [VitalSouce bookshelf version]. Retrieved from http://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781285279985/id/ch2-L1


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