How would you characterize Timberland’s exercise of its corporate power in society? Timberland uses its corporate power in society not only to make a profit, but to help others. It is a rarity for a company to go as far as Timberland has gone to make a huge difference in society. Whether participating in its City Year to Service program that serves its communities; or becoming carbon neutral, Timberland has paved the way and reflects a company that not only cares about its communities, but also cares about the environment.
I would characterize Timberland’s exercise of its corporate power in society as “Corporate Social Responsibility”. That is, timberland is being socially responsible towards society and it is acting in a way that enhances society. By exercising its power, Timberland is practicing the “iron law of responsibility” which says that in the long run, those who do not use power in ways that society considers responsible will tend to lose it.
Moreover, by acting in the general public interest, Timberland is following the “Stewardship Principle” Yes, Timberland is engaging multiple stakeholders in its business operations, starting from Timberland’s management (CEO- Jeff Swartz) who is has managerial duties at Timberland and he is personally involved in the social activities sponsored by Timberland. Timberland’s employees are main stakeholders who in addition to their job tasks at Timberland are participating voluntarily in its social activities.
The community service organization (City Year) is another stakeholder which is supported financially by Timberland. Non-profit organizations which benefit from the grants Timberland makes annually are also stakeholders for the company. Other communities and society members who benefit from Timberland’s community services activities are another set of stakeholders to Timberland. Q2) Has Timberland balanced its economic and social responsibilities through its various programs, such the Path to Service program and sustainability goals? Are the company’s programs examples of enlightened self-interest?