There has been a persistent debate concerning business ethics and corporate sustainability induced by the needs of the business community. The highly globalized, and the connected economy founded on the organized management of skills, set transformational patterns in momentum that increase the need for ethical and corporate sustainability (Moore 100). In this light, this section will offer an analysis of ten areas of ethics and corporate responsibility that are necessary for any organization that seeks to enjoy sustainability over time into 2020. These areas will include eco-centric management, legal responsibilities, philanthropic responsibilities, social responsibilities, risk-taking, transparency, integrity, quality, cooperation, and customer focus.
The need to protect the natural environment has become more vital than ever in an era of constrained raw materials and regulated waste disposal. Most of the large companies emerged in a period of many raw materials, cheap energy, and policy free business environment. Fortunately, the 21st century provides higher potentials for transformation in a business organization. While in the past many businesses used to view the natural environment as insignificant in business planning, today, a paradigm shift has emerged that integrates environmental values into sustainability and competitive approaches such as designing and the production of goods (Bateman and Snell 169).
The major reasons behind the motivation to go green have been to meet policy standards, comply with customer and suppliers requests, and ensure a competitive advantage. Since business activities pose the risks of pollution, global warming, nuclear dangers, and hazardous products among others, eco-centric management is inevitable to ensure sustainable economic growth and better living standards over time into 2020.
According to Stoll, the considerate and virtuous business leaders are always willing to forfeit their interest to the interest of the larger society regardless of the provisions of the local, state, or federal law (16). Proponents of corporate social responsibility claim that businesses have an array of responsibilities that goes past the provision of services and products at a profit. These legal aspects involve respect for human rights, labor laws, and human safety. As part of the community, businesses should responsibly take part in preserving human rights. Thus, organizations should support and respect the provisions of international human rights in all areas of influence.
Based on the high rate of competition needed for a business to stay relevant in the short-run, businesses have to strive beyond service delivery to incorporate additional activities that society finds beneficial (Burrow and Kleindl 63). For instance, initiating and funding community projects.
However, philanthropic activities might not only entail charitable contributions but also can add to shareholder wealth. Ideally, companies in St. Louis should target goals that balance personal interest with the responsibility to society. For example, the Ford Motor Company creates HIV/AIDS awareness in South Africa. Consequently, customers may feel more attracted to this brand because it gives back to society in a meaningful way.
Social responsibility can be referred to as ethical considerations that are not covered in the written law (Bateman and Snell 165). These responsibilities develop from requests or claims presented by clients regarding the desired change. Whistleblowers are credible agents who create attention if companies fail to meet the expectations of society. Thus, companies in St. Louis should build corporate ethical standards that nurture a positive image. Companies should always bear a sense of responsibility and manifest the courage to sanction members who are reluctant to adhere to the code of ethics. Companies should learn to avoid the danger signs such as a quick fix to ethical issues, and reluctance to take an ethical position. Despite the companies’ ethical perspective, members should always be accountable for their decisions.
Risk-taking does not only entail the financial factors that determine the success or failure of a business. Companies that thrive and remain competitive do so by taking great ethical measures. Successful companies do not tolerate people who lack good morals and human dignity. Similarly, St. Louis companies should target employees who are reliable and ready to take calculated risks. The code of ethics should take strict measures to attract employees who are ready to risks under strict measures.
To ensure corporate sustainability over time into 2020, companies in St. Louis must ensure transparency, which is becoming albeit at a slow pace and with some rivalry an important parameter of competitiveness on the markets. Access to information is a vital aspect of liberal life since it enables parties to make decisive choices and eliminate any form of malicious acts by some players over others (Bateman and Snell 168).
However, when organizations keep a clear flow of information, it becomes easy for the management team to identify the danger signs that may restrict sustainability and competitiveness. For instance, the failure to have a documented code of ethics as well as a lack of clear measures for addressing ethical problems can damage the reputation of an organization.
In business ethics, integrity is referred to as the state of being honest and presenting upright moral standards (Aras and Crowther 51). It is always challenging for companies to develop and adhere to their code of conduct. In some cases, an organization can act against ethical measures and conflict its integrity. Thus, it takes courage and deep understanding for anyone to take a stand that matches the ethics of the organization. The St. Louis companies should ensure that they are open to criticism, respect for diversity, and responds with integrity even under compromised circumstances.
Quality goes beyond the idea to manufacture and distribute a product or service that attains the set standards and the market expectations (Moore 103). Quality significantly influences the production ideas of the entire system, at each level of value addition. This suggests that any corporation seeking sustainability in the short-term or the long-term has to ensure greater levels of ethics. A corporation motivated by quality manifests aspects of composure creates an optimistic mentality, facilitates identification and acceptance of mistakes, and attempts to provide an optimal level of excellence.
The phenomenon of cooperation is essential to assess the ethical components of a business organization. Posting a debate on cooperation suggests solving problems of huge socioeconomic significance. Cooperation refers to various forms of conduct and mergers between business entities that have shifted from the model of complete independence and decided to meet their production needs as part of a wider entity (Engels-Zandén and Wahlqvist 176). Working as part of a wider system is essential to ensure sustainable growth and compete ethically with the optimism of survival in the unpredictable market.
Successful companies should be customer-based. This aspect suggests that if a business fails to offer what customers need and are willing to pay for, then that company is doomed to fail. Attending to customers’ demands strengthens the responsibility a company has to the society (Stoll 24). This assertion holds because of company decisions influence partners and customers. Meeting the needs of all of these people is an organization’s ethical obligation. Failing customers may not only risk denting company ethics but also compromises the company’s sustainability.
Prepare a SWOT analysis for Wish You Wood, based on the information given.
According to Bateman and Snell, SWOT analysis is a study done by an organization to determine its inherent strengths and weaknesses, and its extrinsic opportunities and threats (137). Wish You Wood presented three internal strengths that include selling goods directly to the customers, unmatched responsiveness to customer needs, and keeping prices at friendly rates. The internal weaknesses evident were the lack of partnership and the lack of e-commerce platforms.
The external opportunities presented to Wish You Wood included customer interest for one-stop shopping. Later, Wish You Wood identified the potential on the internet as a marketing platform and customer’s awareness about online shopping. However, there were external threats that Wish You Wood failed to explore. These threats included a strong brand name such as Amazon.com, in this case, and the powerful connection of competitors with suppliers (Bateman and Snell 136).
Wish You Wood manifested huge potential in meeting customer demands by ensuring that they could access products of their choice from the store. However, due to the high demand of these products, Wish You Wood decided to facilitate the company’s growth by selling toys online. Jim and Pam Klein, the company owners, failed to conduct benchmarking to verify the reliability of their decision to sell via the store’s website. Consequently, various weaknesses emerged. For instance, after several years, the traffic to the store’s website became uncontrollable. Wish You Wood was compelled to seek external opportunities and decided to collaborate with Amazon.com. Similarly, Wish You Wood failed to anticipate the external threat of signing a deal with a potential competitor.
Using the SWOT analysis, what general corporate strategy would you recommend for Wish You Wood? Should the store continue or change its current approach?
I would recommend that Wish You Wood change its current approach and make use of benchmarking strategies to increase efficiency. Wish You Wood should employ benchmarking to assess its potentials and improve the weak areas. For small businesses, the size of Wish You Wood, it is necessary to evaluate every circumstance keenly before making any decision. Prior analysis reduces the chances of making mistakes and depending on approaches that are doomed to fail (Aras and Crowther, 43).
Thus, to avoid these mistakes, it is essential to share views and examine activities of the leading industries in a given field of interest. Jim and Pam Klein should quit partnership with Amazon since Amazon seems to thrive on the weaknesses of Wish You Wood. Wish You Wood had grown fast, building on unmatched responsiveness to customers and selling products directly to consumers.
Core capabilities work well for Wish You Wood Company. Wish You Wood could benefit from the core capabilities presented in the case study. This case study shows that Jim and Pam Klein have been able to identify and meet customers’ demands.
This core competence should assist Wish You Wood to regain dominance in the market by identifying a new product that would impress customers more. Given that Wish You Wood can keep a competitive edge, it should be able to grow and enter new markets across the world. However, while partnerships offer an opportunity for growth, Wish You Wood should carry an analysis in case it intends to form collaborations. This move would help evade the risk of losing customers to competitors.
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Egels-Zandén, Niklas, and Evelina Wahlqvist. “Post-Partnership Strategies for Defining Corporate Responsibility: The Business Social Compliance Initiative”. Journal of Business Ethics 70.2 (2006): 175-189. Print.
Moore, Geoff. “Corporate Character, Corporate Virtues”.Business Ethics of European Revolution 24.1 (2015): 99-114. Print.
Stoll, Mary. “Backlash Hits Business Ethics: Finding Effective Strategies for Communicating the Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility”. Journal of Business Ethics 78.1-2 (2007): 17-24. Print.