Implementing a New CSR Strategy for New Balance
New Balance is a large company specialized in manufacturing footwear products at a global level. The case study reveals that New Balance is currently committed to formulating an integrated Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR), which will enable it to place itself in a good position in a highly competitive market (Veleva, 2010). In 2009, the company was still struggling to build a CSR, which would create a reputable name for its products in the global market. However, as Veleva (2010) illustrates, the firm faced various challenges such as lack of a CSR department, which would foresee the implementation of an integrated CSR. This calls for the analysis of the various strengths and weaknesses of the company and lay out the steps it should follow in implementing an integrated CSR strategy. New Balance Strengths and Weaknesses
According to Veleva (2010), even before the word CSR became a common word in the global industries. New Balance always insisted on being responsible for all its employees and the communities in which it was operational. Luo and Bhattacharya (2006) support this argument by explaining that for a company to have an effective CRS, it should start internally before going external. New Balance has strong values and governance system that ensures a commitment to responsibility both for internal and external components of its operations. Despite the fact that New Balance was so much committed to CSR, it left out important segments of corporate responsibility such as openness and accountability (Veleva, 2010). The company’s framework did not provide a basis for its leaders to analyze the risks and opportunities of CSR, and this explains clearly, why it was affected by the economic recession of the year 2007-2009.
Products and Services
From the case study, New Balance had many consumers in the global market. One of its main strengths was the designing and marketing of products. The company ensured that its products met customers’ expectation, and the same time ensured that these products were produced in an environmentally-friendly manner. According to Sen, Bhattacharya, and Korschun (2006), a company should focus on ensuring that its production does not compromise the capability of future generation to get such a product or even a better one. New Balance looked for materials and ensured that its production was socially and environmentally acceptable in order to increase the social benefits of its production. The case study shows that New Balance decided to take a different approach from other footwear companies by concentrating on recycling. This is one of its weaknesses in its production. Veleva argues that the company did not have a framework in place for accessing the impacts of recycled products. Some of the environmentally-friendly materials that the company used for its production did not produce quality and durable products, hence did not attract customers. Operations
New Balance has various strengths in its CSR strategy in terms of its operations (Veleva, 2010). One of the values of this company was to ensure that the working environment was safe for all its employees. By reducing the number of suppliers almost by half, New Balance was able to gain control over all its production, cut down on costs and hence improve efficiency. Another approach employed by New Balance was by getting rid of materials and production methods, which are harmful to the environment. This company focused on recycling most of its waste products. Therefore, it cuts down on waste, hence reducing cost on disposal and at the same time protected the environment from pollution. In 2008, a time when US focused on ensuring nil pollution to its environment, New Balance was among the first companies that adopted the green chemicals to replace the cleaners, which were used in previous years to ensure compliance with the set...
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