No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Topics: Corporate social responsibility, Business ethics, Social responsibility Pages: 7 (2178 words) Published: October 19, 2013


No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
A Case Study
In Partial Fulfillment of
MFC301 Ethical Foundation of Enterprise Management
Submitted by
Carmelita Nova M. Alcantara

I. Problem

Corporate citizenship, an advocacy of companies to maintain their business activity to act and behave responsibly in respect to environment for the common good. Despite the nobility of its goal however, some critics have regarded this advocacy with skepticism as a act of hypocrisy for indeed some companies had used it to that level. The challenge then is “How to lead a life of authentic corporate citizenship in face of financial challenges and frequent and venomous skepticism from anti-business critics as window dressing?”

II. Background of the Case

a. Objective

As a result of phenomenal ill effects of unethical corporate activities, corporate social responsibility is no longer a concept fostered by idealist on the fringe. It entered the mainstream. However, CSR has been susceptible to abuse by some top executives for window dressing, diversion to cover-up to charges of bad leadership and poor management practices. Moreover, a socially responsible company does not want to be penalized financially for being socially responsible. This paper is aimed to identify the ways with which corporate citizenship contribute to achieving the core business strategy.

b. Areas of Consideration

i. Business Situation
The corporate scandal like that of Enron has given a real-world demonstration that business without ethics collapses and that has given us an extraordinary opportunity to change the way we do business (Business Ethics Magazine). However, corporate citizenship has been highly debated on for CSR, regards corporations benefit in multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate, short-term profits. Critics argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing; others yet argue that it is an attempt to pre-empt the role of governments as a watchdog over powerful multinational corporations. Corporate Social Responsibility has been redefined throughout the years. However, it essentially is titled to aid to an organization's mission as well as a guide to what the company stands for and will uphold to its consumers.

ii. Industry Situation
In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions (known as ethicism) is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws (e.g. higher UK road tax for higher-emission vehicles). Corporations has taken different approach to this:

An approach for CSR that is becoming more widely accepted is community-based development approach. In this approach, corporations work with local communities to better themselves. For example, the Shell Foundation's involvement in the Flower Valley, South Africa. In Flower Valley they set up an Early Learning Centre to help educate the community's children as well as develop new skills for the adults. Marks and Spencer is also active in this community through the building of a trade network with the community - guaranteeing regular fair trade purchases. Often activities companies participate in are establishing education facilities for adults and HIV/AIDS education programmes. The majority of these CSR projects are established in Africa. JIDF For You, is an attempt to promote these activities in India. A more common approach of CSR is philanthropy. This includes monetary donations and aid given to local organizations and impoverished communities in developing countries. Some organizations do not like this approach as it does not help build on the skills of the local people, whereas community-based...
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