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Public issue has been thought to refer to issues of mutual concern to organizations and one or more of its stakeholder. It is worth noting that business entities whether profit oriented or no profit one in one way or another engages in an interaction with other entities and individuals. For instance customers, suppliers, transporters, the government, shareholders to mention but a few do associate with business entities either directly or indirectly. An example of the interaction between the organization and customers can take various forms for instance when the customer buys goods from an organization, the later is advertising among other issues (Lawrence & Weber, 2010).
It is worth noting that as thee individuals and entities interact, there are chances that the association is positive but at the same time can be negative. The out come whatever way it comes does have an impact on firms. For instance when an organization engages in advertisement campaign aimed at promoting the services and products it has there are cases where false information are given to the public. The organization when taken into legal battles whatever the outcome, modern organizations have learnt to rationally address such issue to avoid legal issues. To avoid such issues organization have resorted to having in strategies for instance formulating a committee that will over see compliance to various legal provisions as well as guidelines.
Concerning employees-employer relationship, there are a number of issues that arise from such an interaction. For instance, when employees' demands and requests are not properly handled, there is bound to be a problem that might even take an ugly phase of turning violate through strikes. This ultimately negatively impact on customer satisfaction, delayed delivery among others. To avoid this issues in future modern organization have encouraged a culture where the two; both employees and employers adequately share information in a democratic manner to avoid ugly incidences in future.
According to Lawrence & Weber, 2010 each and every organization despite the fact that it was established with the aim of making profit, they are also responsible in ensuring that their activities do not negatively impact on the general public especially the environment. Cases where the government, the local population as well a other stakeholders have brought forth concern concerning environmental issues, a number of modern organization have resorted to act responsibly towards he environment, train their workers on how best to be environment ambassadors, adopting energy saving strategies deemed to be green in nature and so forth. Last but not least, corruption issues and misappropriation of funds, inside trading, accepting kickbacks among others have been in the recent past brought to light as being issue of public concern. A number of steps have been made that has made it highly punishable. For that matter, modern firms have worked towards ensuring that such activities are minimized hence a competitive advantage.
At all time business entities do interact with other stakeholders. However, it is worth remembering that organizations do manage how their relationship with the varied stakeholders in different ways the driving reasons being normative as well as instrumental. Strictly speaking the characteristics of any given relationship is based on mutual interdependence. For instance, an organization relationship with primary stakeholders who are those whose operation if brought to a halt the former cannot survive. Examples of stakeholders to any given organization include customers, workers, suppliers, governments, other organization among others. Relationships are mainly pursued in order to reduce costs which ultimately translate to increased revenues.
Through such an arrangement there exist the relationship of an organization and the various stakeholders previously mention change with time and undergo various stages. In situations where business entities does not give considerations or is concerned with the issues raised by the stakeholders. It is worth noting this kind of relationship is not healthy and it is attributed to failure of various organizations. In situation where concerns for instance of customers are ignored, then they will definitely look for an alternative. This if goes unchecked it will at the end bring the organization in question down to its knees. The term used to describe search a stage is inactive relationship. In the current world, this strategy is not applicable in doing business.
In the reactive stage, organizations respond to concerns or issues from stakeholders only when forced to do it. This in most cases is attained while the organization acts defensively. This kind of relationship in most cases makes the organization rub shoulder the wrong way with relevant authorities such as government, customers, suppliers among others. The result might include legal battles that will make business organization incur extra cost in law suits. Additionally, its reputation in the eyes of the affected shareholders deteriorates.
A third stage dubbed proactive is where firms are positioned ready to handle concerns raised by stakeholders. For instance, when employees demand a pay rise of certain percentage, the organization responds timely with a proposal much lower than the said percentage. It is from such an initiative that negotiation begins aimed at resolving the problem at hand. Although this is a good initiative in ensuring that all stakeholders' concerns are addressed, it is indeed a waste of time as well as other resources waiting for an event to occur.
Lastly, an interactive stage is what has been adopted or being adopted by majority of present business entities. In this stage of relationship, organizations through an active approach indulge the various stakeholders in a manner that is open, respectful and true (Lawrence & Weber, 2010). Having such an approach has made it possible for organizations to incorporate the views of their stakeholders in making decision. The result is satisfied shareholders who will be at all times to being loyal to organization. Additionally such an approach can be a competitive advantage.
It is unanimously agreed by various scholars that organizations need to balance their economic, legal as well as social obligations. It is also acknowledge that striking a balance between the three key responsibilities is a challenge to many of the business entities. This has prompted research to be carried out in trying to establish whether organizations are trading off on some of the issues. It is no doubt the most successful and well known businesses in the world have master the way of creatively balancing the three responsibilities. Generally speaking failure to clearly balance legal, economic and social obligations will result to an organization sacrificing in one aspect majorly profit for other benefits such as social good.
With respect to striking a balance in economic terms, the organization for instance will engage in economically viable projects, cut down on costs for instance through outsourcing will ensure that the objective of revenue generation and profit making is realized. This will ensure that the organization is capable in meeting it bills and continue running. On the same note, when social responsibilities are executed to a level deemed fit and acceptable, the organization benefits by not over indulging in CRS issues. Such an initiative will definitely work well in improving the image of the organization in the public eyes hence a guaranteed future. For instance it will be irrational for a business organization to fully sponsor learning of a large number of students from a given location, sponsor sports, actively engage in environmental conservation with partnering with other organization especial when a greater proportion of the revenue it generates can likely be chandelled towards these activities. It will end up making losses hence closing up business.
More importantly, legal issues or battle has been attributed to the failure of a number of organizations. Successful business entities Have managed to cut down on legal battles which has ensured that the money that could have been spend in law suits are saved and used to expand its operations. Additionally, organization with limited legal issues is deemed in the eyes of the various stakeholders to be responsible and a good partner to relate with. This makes it possible for the organization to grow and attain the maximum growth level.
Generally it is appropriate for an organization to clearly establish which of the three obligations it has to concentrate more. For instance, it has been shown by some studies that corporate social responsibility, environmental responsibility can pay off. The leadership of a business entity is responsible in striving to ensure that true value to relevant stakeholders is optimized.
Corporate citizenship has been thought as responsibilities as well as roles to the society. According to Googins, 2008 there are five main stages of corporate citizenship and include; elementary, engaged, innovative, integrated and transforming. There are 7 dimensions used to measure each stage and are definition, strategic intent, leadership, structure, issues of management, stakeholder relationship and transparency.
In the first stage termed elementary also known as compliant the activities are not defined due to the fact that there is little knowledge about presence of corporate citizenship as well as top management participation. It is in small and up coming businesses that exhibit such a stage. They are only interested in being in compliance with relevant laws such as health, environmental as well as safety. The reason such organizations do not involve communities and employees in developing is attributed to inadequate financial resources. Management issues are addressed defensively while the relationship is unilateral. A typical example of such an organization is Starbuck (Chirantan Basu, 2011).
When examining engaged stage, relevant policies and guideline are formulated to help employees as well as other leaders and management officials to take part in activities going beyond what was being covered in stage one. Activity engaged in may include environmental protection. The relationship with stakeholders is interactive while management issues are reactive. An example of an organization in this stage is Tesco.
In innovation stage, the policies for corporate citizenship are a bit comprehensive compared to those in the previous stages. Through and active consultations are central in this stage. It is worth noting that the programs and funds aimed at promoting corporate social responsibility are launched at this stage. The stakeholder relationship is mutual influence; there is some level of transparency. The strategic intent is business case. It is worth noting that the concept is responsive to stakeholder.
The integrated stage is where organization incorporates and makes it formal all the activities regarding corporate citizenship. There is a close examination, monitoring and evaluation of indicators via scorecards. Organization drives this into their line of business. There are chances that board of directors especially of public companies actively monitors performance by for instance having in place committees that oversee corporate citizenship issues. Leaders are champion, management issues are proactive and the stakeholder's relationship is largely partnership (Chirantan Basu, 2011).
Lastly, the fifth stage, transformation involves changing the game with the intention of creating market or social change. The leadership exhibited is visionary. There is very high level of transparency at this stage. Organization fully realizes that corporate citizenship is responsible for expansion and growth of the organization. The aim is to attract consumers that are sensitive to environment. Example includes HP, Dell, Merck and Novartis among others.
According to Breiger, 2005 social networking is used to define a concept where technology has played a major role in ensuring people connect, explore interest and at the same time share issues, views and concepts geographic distance notwithstanding. There are numerous examples of sites that has enabled people a cross the globe to interact through technology. This has made the world to turn into a global village. The sites include, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, my space among others. There major issue of concern relates to ethical problems associated with these sites.
There is numerous ethical issues that arise with regards to social networking. The major one relates to privacy. For instance, in Facebook, the level of privacy is not guaranteed as personal information is shared. However, there is an issue which arises when individuals do not use their correct identities. On the same line, confidentiality is not guaranteed as anything posted is completely made public (Scherer & Palazzo, 2008).
Additionally, these social sites has infringed on intellectual and property tights as well as copyrights. This has taken several directions for instance the use of videos as well as sound recordings without gaining permission. Similarly, there are instances where there is unequal access to information's especially in YouTube. There have been cases where the accuracy and authenticity of data and information provided in these sites are not reliable. The sites have been successfully used in spreading rumors that has negatively impacted on lives of certain individuals. Last but not least, the traditional nature of conversation treasured by mankind characterized by openness, face to face, honesty and patience cannot be enjoyed any more. Hacking of people accounts and posting of threatening messages has been on the rise. Similarly, spread of virus on peoples PCs has been harnessed by these sites.
It is worth noting that this site has made some employees to lose jobs based on their postings. The big question that has elicited endless debate between employees and employers regards to having such sites in place of work. The later has argued that with presence of these site employees engage more in socializing other than working and some have disabled the cookies for this features. On the same note, employees have argued that they have been denied a chance to interact and socialize with other which is their constitutional right (Breiger, 2005).
To address these issues, there is need for instance for IT professionals to educate the general public on dangers associated with sharing pertinent information through these networks, passing strict laws, monitoring of the content of these sites among others. Additionally, there is need for people to learn how to fully utilize the security features in these sites. Lastly, innovators need to come up with sofwares that will help curb security and privacy issues arising from utilizing social networks sites.
Various organizations have employees with varied level of integrity. There are those who can be compromised and driven by greed to engage into illegal activities that might harm the organization or even customers, government and other types of stakeholders. On the same note some individual are principled and will take the bold step of reporting issues that seem to go against the law, laid down procedures and guidelines. Through such an activity, those reporting misconducts have been termed whistle-blowers.
By definition whistle blowing refers to a situation whereby a person reports to the public, a manger, or any individual in authority of a given activity deemed illegal or dishonest that is taking place within an organization. It is worth noting that the misconduct can be a violation of certain set of laws, rules, procedures, corruption, fraud and health concern (Miethe, 1991). The reporting can be internally or externally made. This means that one can report to authority within the organization in question or to other authorities out side the organization such as the public.
According to American constitution, the freedom of speech a time is in conflict with provision of the same in place of work. This is attributed to the fact that it does not specifically protect freedom of speech in place of work. Based on the fact that there is a legitimate interest inside of the business, workers are not allowed to speak on issues arising during their tenure in certain organizations. However, when the interest of the general public seems to override the interest, then worker feel the urge of reporting on such issue.
It is rational thus for one to clearly know when one is justified to blow the whistle. The for major condition that satisfy one to blow the whistle include;
§ The firm is engaging in activities that are harmful to other
§ Internal resolution of the problem by the workers has failed
§ When the issue is brought to the limelight it may bring to an end such an activity.
§ The harm is serious enough to justify the probable costs of disclosure to the whistle-blower
§ The employer is allowed to do the same by the organization code of conducts
An example of a case that warrants reporting to the relevant authority may include a case where a company finances officer engages in taking kickbacks to allow certain individuals to be allocated the tenders to supply certain goods. The danger here is that substandard raw materials can be brought to manufacture products that might be harmful to the customers. On the other hand, an activity such as diverting money to be used in the most agent and justified project within an organization does not qualified to be brought in the eyes of the public or any other relevant authority unless the allocation was done in secrecy with hidden agenda (Breiger, 2005).
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