Paradigm, a health information start-up, is a joint venture formed in the second quarter of 2012 by two Fortune 200 companies for the purpose consolidating diverse technology portfolios and improving health informatics solution offerings to hospitals and health care providers. As a start-up, Paradigm is still in the process of building a company culture understanding its social responsibility role within affected communities.
Social responsibility is a form of corporate self-management that tightly integrates into the business model and operations of an organization. In practice, social responsibility encourages personnel at all levels of the company to not only consider the method of revenue generation, but that the supporting activities are performed in a manner consistent with social and ethical concerns (Feigenbaum, 2013).
In the following sections four components of a social responsibility strategy for Paradigm will be examined: environment, ethical leadership, organizational viability and the law. For each component considerations relative to Paradigm’s current operations will be offered and when specific action is required, a recommendation of the next steps to be taken that align with the objective of creating a socially responsible organization.
Environmental Considerations and Recommendations
Companies involved in social responsibility initiatives often seek to voluntarily eliminate operational practices that might negatively impact the environment, regardless of whether regulations exist compelling them to do so. Unlike production facilities where hazardous waste may be a concern, Paradigm’s product is composed of bits and bytes of machine code used to create health informatics software. That does not mean there are not important environmental considerations that should be included within Paradigm’s social responsibility strategy. In fact, three considerations relative to current operations should be examined: office facilities, consumable materials and non-operational green initiatives. In the next section the environmental impact of the current operational plan for office facilities will be examined.
The first consideration is the optimal use of facilities. Primarily based within the United States of America, Paradigm leases office space in multiple major cities. There are two specific concerns related to facilities that should be accommodated within an environmental component of a social responsibility strategy: efficient use of office space and energy. In one of the larger facilities Paradigm leases three floors of premium office space for approximately eighty employees – the leased space is designed to accommodate four times that number. This inefficiency leads to wasted energy used to heat, light and transport employees to and from the different floors. In addition to this space mismanagement, all facilities have computer equipment and lighting that remain active during non-operational hours, consuming additional energy with no operational benefit. Like optimal use of facilities, the next consideration examines how consumable materials fit into an environmentally friendly social responsibility strategy.
The second consideration is the efficient use of consumable materials. Primarily a software development organization, Paradigm employs nearly five hundred employees worldwide in offices where consumable materials are widely used. Two specific concerns related to consumable materials that should be accommodated within a social responsibility strategy are: provisions for recycling and greater utilization of reusable materials. In all of the facilities paper printouts, canned soda, Styrofoam cups, plastic utensils, cardboard bowls and plates are the norm. These consumable materials are used in large quantity, daily, by Paradigm personnel without provisions for recycling or non-consumable alternatives. These materials fill landfills and...