Test Dilemma Essay
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Q1) How would you characterize Timberland’s exercise of its corporate power in society? Is Timberland engaging multiple stakeholders in its business operations? If so, hw? Answer: 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? Answer: Yes Timberland has balanced its economic and social responsibilities through its programs. Timberland holds accountable for its stockholders and at the same time recognizes its responsibility towards society and environment through the programs it implemented. This is clear in the statement of Timberland CEO “…While we are absolutely accountable to our shareholders, we also recognize and accept our responsibility. The programs implemented by Timberland are examples of being “enlightened self-interest”.
Timberland recognizes the long-term rewards to the company from its global involvement through an enhanced reputation, customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, and global community support. That is, it is Timberland’s self interest to provide true value to its customers, to help its employees to grow and to behave responsibly as a global corporate citizen.
Q3) What impact do you think the current economic recession may have on Timberland social programs? Answer: Probably the social programs will continue; however, with less grants and donation amounts and more careful expenditures on sustainability issues & environmental programs. Please note: the case is old and from my reading on the internet, it was mentioned that Timberland continued to give money and service work to City Year during the financial trouble.
Q4) How would you improve Timberland’s corporate social responsibility program? Answer: •Create a set of Key Performance Indicators through which CSR can be measured. For example, employees’ satisfaction could be one measure of how Timberland is acting towards its environment. Another measure could be the gas emissions from their factory to see how they are affecting environment…etc. Improve communications with stakeholders, as an example, awareness sessions could be held with stakeholders to explain the importance and benefits of corporate social responsibility. •Involve stakeholders in the social responsibility programs and listen to their opinions on how to make it better. •Improve communications with employees, explicitly explain separation between layoffs and City Year donations, Improve internal affairs •Involve in some social programs targeting developed countries in the Middle East especially those which have just undergone backlashes and needs assistance to recover.