wiseGEEK: What is Corporate Responsibility?
Every company or business usually starts out with its own set agenda, which differs from business to business. A lot of businesses exist simply to make money. There are others who seriously wish to provide a needed service to a community or to the world. Each of these businesses has a corporate responsibility to the public, its shareholders and the world it trades in.
In its most basic terms, corporate responsibility can come down to the ethics of a business. Each company has its own set of core values, but the company’s values also touch everyone that the business deals with. Years ago, a company’s corporate response was dictated by its government. There were set laws that had to be adhered to regarding financial and social responsibility. Today, however, responsibility has to take into account the world that we live in on a much wider scale.
The public has become much more globally aware, and there are a number of groups that monitor corporations closely. These groups have the conditions of the world in mind. They think about the social issues of the world, such as labor laws and the exploitation of workers. They are also concerned with environmental issues, such as the rainforests disappearing.
Corporations are now held accountable not just by the government, but also by the public. Corporate responsibility must now take into account how dealings with
customers, shareholders and employees are seen by the world. Large global corporations know that people are watching them and that any wrongdoing will not go unnoticed.
Many companies have a social conscience, treat employees fairly and try to do the best for their shareholders while trying to be socially responsible. There are, however, many other corporations who see nothing wrong with employing third world country workers to make their products. It is only due to groups who monitor such activities that these issues become public.
Many corporations have been forced into taking corporate responsibility. They know that it does not make good business sense to be seen as a company that is damaging the world that we live in. Huge penalties and fines also await corporations that break ethical and environmental laws.
Corporate responsibility has a huge impact not only on the local community, but also on the world. Its affects are social, economic and environmental. Bad and good corporate actions have effects that reach from the worker in the third world country to the air that we breathe.
A recent report stated that major investors are now more likely to invest in a corporation that has shown good responsibility. Investors are aware of the customer’s strength of opinion regarding unethical companies. The customer is now in a better position to shape corporate responsibility than ever before.Source: m.wisegeek.com