Western Governors University
State Farm Social Responsibility
As businesses worldwide continue to transition from production focuses to service mentalities, so has the zeitgeist of business operation. Profit-maximization goals are no longer predicated solely on selling more products or services; these goals are now also predicated on social responsibility, also called social awareness. In order to maintain its reputation as the premier insurance and financial institution in the country, State Farm can no longer hold an agnostic position about social responsibility. Concerted efforts must be made to create a synergy between the corporate culture and the culture of its consumer base.
This report will provide treatment, inclusive of recommendations, to four social-responsibility abstractions: environmental, ethical-leadership, sustainability, and legal considerations. The ideal result will be to prove a correlation between corporate social responsibility and corporate profit-maximization goals. This substantiated correlation should, then, prove that corporate flourishing cannot be possible with an interest in human flourishing.
Social-Responsibility Definition and Motivations
Before undertaking a deep discussion on this subject, it will be helpful to offer a definition of “social responsibility,” which is “the obligation corporations, organizations, and individuals have to society” (Stengel, 2010).
The principal impetus for a focus on social responsibility is found within post-Baby Boomer generations, namely so-called Millennials, which comprise individuals in their 20s and 30s. According USA TODAY, this is a generation that is socially connected and, as a result, informed about what transpires in the world. As is the case with Alex Wells of Washington, this is a group that will excoriate a company for its inattention to social issues, especially with issues that of which the company may be culpable. This is a group of individuals who will refuse to work under the purview of companies it deems as malfeasant toward human dignity (Jayson, 2006).
An argument can be made that companies cannot be expected to meet every need of every customer with a complaint. However, this argument is superfluous when juxtaposed with both the physical and financial size of Millennials. It is estimated that Millennials comprise more than 80 million individuals—with more than $200 billion worth of buying power (THE REAL DEAL, 2011). This is one of the largest and most financial potent generations in United States history. The reality is simple: Any company that chooses to ignore the mandates of the Millennials does so at its own peril and will never achieve the competitive advantage needed to maximize profits.
All companies influence the physical environment in which they operate. These companies may be virtual or brick and mortar. They may be freelance operations or multi-domestic corporations. They may offer physical products or virtual services. Regardless, each of these companies creates a concerted impact on the environment in which it operates. This impact may be synergistic or antagonistic.
State Farm is no different. The company’s operations include insurance offerings, mutual-fund/investing solutions, and banking products for businesses and consumers (State Farm, 2013). All these lines of business offer nontangible services, but these services can be delivered virtually, such as purchasing insurance through the company’s Web site, or through a physical medium, such as a customer’s visiting a brick-and-mortar location to speak with a sales agent to make mutual-fund investment decisions. These activities influence the physical environment. For example, offering service through the Web site indicates that the data that comprise the Web site or that secures customers’ private information is often housed in...