Describe the tension that exists in businesses today between economics and ethics. Do you think that there really does have to be a tradeoff between economics and ethics? What strategies can be implemented to avoid this tension? Provide examples and research to support your thinking. The reading by Tima Bansal describes the back and forth tension of economics versus ethics. The article states, “On the one hand, social programs come at an economic cost and firms should not engage in activities that do not have a clear return. On the other hand, economic returns create social costs (Bansal, 2005).” The author then proceeds to explain that this tradeoff between ethics and economics isn’t necessary and that companies should find the overlapping space where activities are both financially profitable, and socially and environmentally responsible (Bansal, 2005)
I agree with the author that companies need to be smart and make good decisions and it may take more effort, but if the effort is given the reward will be worth it. I don’t think a tradeoff is necessary if the effort is put forth like in the examples the author gives. By having cross-functional team meetings or involving the shareholders through community involvement in the two examples provided, the companies were able to meet the middle ground and maintain their responsibility (Bansal, 2005).
I work for a small company and every month a charitable organization is supported through donations and the company matches what the employees contribute. I think it’s nice to have this involvement. With so many options, the company may have a tough time deciding on where it should contribute to society, but by letting the employees have a voice, they can openly affect those organizations that the employees feel would impact the most.
Bansal, T. (2005). Building sustainable value through fiscal and social responsibility. Ivey Business Journal. Retrieved February 17, 2015, from http://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/building-sustainable-value-through-fiscal-and-social-responsibility/
Final Project Milestone #2: The Three Spheres
In a journal post titled 2-2: The Three Spheres, explain how your chosen company has demonstrated corporate citizenship in the economic, political, and civil spheres. Provide specific examples. Be sure to examine what the company says about itself, what you have experienced, and what other stakeholders have said or experienced. Cite at least two sources. This milestone will be graded using the Journal Rubric.
Be sure to clearly address the questions in the prompt in your journal entry. The post should be at least 350-500 words, applying relevant research, citing at least two sources in each entry. Be as clear and scholarly as you can in your writing style; and of course, be sure your entry is free of errors in organization and grammar.
2.2: The Three Spheres
The three spheres of corporate social responsibility include economical, political, and civic. To achieve and maintain profitability, it’s said that corporations must learn to operate successfully within all three. Economics includes initiatives that help increase profits to the shareholders. Politics includes abiding by rules and laws and business power in society. Civil surrounds enhancing lives of the shareholders.
Economically, Target has reduced it’s packaging on many levels of the items it sells. They also began using flexible envelopes in shipping online orders, which reduced packaging by 89 percent. As a result they expect to ship 50000 fewer pounds of cardboard every year. Other than offering lower prices Target wants its products to be made with integrity by qualified vendors who treat workers well, who obey the law, and whose processes minimize their effect on the environment. They’ve begun to do this by working closely with their vendors and setting clear expectations through Standards of Vendor Engagement. They require all vendors to behave to the principles they’ve established and they monitor their progress.
Target starts with the basics from the political standpoint, which is ensuring they are abiding by every law and regulation that pertains to the business. They also expect all team members to behave with personal and professional integrity. To support their team members they clearly list the requirements in the Business Conduct Guide, they have a dedicated Corporate Compliance and Ethics Team, have teams focused on building and sustaining business compliance programs and offer integrity training. All of these initiatives help ensure that everyone at Target is abiding by the laws and regulations.
Target’s civil responsibility is currently focusing on education. They have set a goal to $1 billion to education by the end of 2015. They have started doing several things like donating books, and providing food pantries for families to help set students, parents, and teachers up for success. They’ve decided to focus on education after gathering information from their customers indicating that that is a popular concern amongst. The EVP also expressed concerns about the reading level and that those who are unable to read by the age of three are less likely to graduate.