The Jack Welch Era at General Electric

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Jack Welch was the CEO of General Electric (GE) for 20 years from 1981 to 2001. Jack transformed GE, taking a solidly profitable manufacturing company and turning it into an exceptionally profitable conglomerate dominated by service business. As such a big company who was running businesses for decades, GE has a lot of social responsibilities. Corporate social responsibility is the duty of a corporation to create wealth in ways that avoid harm to, protect, or enhance societal assets. I will analysis the social responsibilities of GE from the following aspects.

First of all, GE had economic responsibilities to society and GE did well on it. GE paid taxes—5.7 billion in 2000. Taxes can be considered as the major income of government. Only if the government has enough money, the government can improve the basic needs of our society. Everyone could benefit from it. Since GE paid a lot taxes, it contributed our society. From the view of economic responsibilities, GE clearly fulfilled it. Secondly, GE clearly fulfilled a range of voluntary actions. The Elfun Society, a group of GE employees and retirees, undertook community projects, including tutoring, playground construction, repairing school equipment and recording machines for the blind, blood drivers, and Special Olympics. In 2000 current and former GE employees volunteered 1 million hours of community service. GE contributed a lot in the society construction which is really nice of GE. In some part GE fulfilled the definition of corporate social responsibility, because at least GE enhanced societal assets. However, there were a few things that GE has been done which were not quite fulfilling social responsibilities. Firstly, the pollution in the Hudson Rivers was really bad for our society, and it also proved that GE did not do well in complying general principles of corporate social responsibilities. In 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made the Hudson River a Superfund because more than...
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