Importance of corporate mission in relation to ethics and social responsibility By Cedric Tan
2nd October 2011
The reputation of a company determines whether stakeholders will grow, will stay, or will leave. With the speed of information and communication these days, a company's reputation quickly spreads, whether it is a good or a bad one. On the same note, expectations and standards of corporate behaviour increase due to fast spreading of ideas, influencing minds quickly, especially on ethical and social grounds. Incorporating ethics and socially responsible values into a corporate mission statements is a public declaration to both their people and the public what the company stands for. It helps to align how their people should think and act, and also what to expect in the environment and reward systems. For stakeholders, it gives an official picture what to expect from the company. In terms of ethics, it can be used to reflect against the actual outcome of the company's behaviour with its declared statements, to determine whether the company itself can be trusted on its promises. In terms of social responsibilities, it can tell how congruent the company exists with the economy and society itself. As a stakeholder, it will also reflect to me how competent and sincere the company is, by measuring the actual outcome of its operations against the statement that it claims itself to stand for. How much confidence I have in investing in this company depends on it, as well as how good I feel being part of it as well. A positive example of such a company to me is Google. Google's official mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". As such, it surpasses its then-larger competitor Yahoo! by focusing on this, cutting away clutter, and causing a mass exodus to their turf. Google indexes billions of web pages, so that users can search for the information they need, through the use of keywords and operators....
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