The main priority for any Corporation or business should be social responsibility. This is quite essential in the efforts to build up and sustain strong and equally beneficial connections with the immediate community. Business organizations or institutions that participate in active interests of the community welfare are more likely to create support, allegiance and good will from the community. This is a crucial objective for any institution or business often known as building a “social permit to function” (Persaud and Plender, 2007). A business institution that engages in community involvement or communal relations typically implements certain outreach programs to the society with an aim of preventing or mitigating problems, foster communal affiliations as well as contribute to the standard of the society’s welfare (NCTD, 2004). This article explores the various decisions made by the heads of different institutions and their consequent actions in corporate social responsibility to the community and workers. This paper holds Aaron Feuerstein’s view that the CEO of any corporation has a responsibility to take care of the community and workers as well as minding the welfare of the shareholders. In the business world today, this stand is highly contestable as every corporation’s main agenda is to maximize profits even when it means letting go off all business ethics and social responsibility. However, this does not mean that the idea of corporate social responsibility is inapplicable. Several top brands like Google and Citibank have clearly shown business ethics and social responsibility while maintaining good profits. This goes a long way to show that once a company gains communal loyalty and good will, then the same community will promote the company. This creates a mutual relationship between the community and the business. The case at Malden Mills is a perfect example to elaborate this. Even with the massive debts, the company did not die completely. Therefore, enhancing business performance, a good reputation as well as profitability is possible through a positive communal involvement.
The community relations priorities rely on the local situations and the business strategy, available assets and its competencies (NCTD, 2004). The management determines where to invest time and resources whether in local community or overseas. The CEO considers the accessibility, engagement of the shareholders and the social hiring before deciding on what vision to undertake (World Bank Group, 2003). At Malden Mills, the CEO Aaron Feuerstein had a vision of building the company as well as maintaining the welfare of the society. He focused a lot of efforts in creating good communal relations and even went as far as compensating workers after the fire tragedy. He has even rebuilt the company exactly where it was despite all the available exit channels of shifting the business to Asia or South America where labor is readily available and cheap. On the other hand, Jack Welch, CEO of the GE capital had the exact opposite vision. His main aim was to maximize the company’s earning and within several days in the office he decided to shift operations to Asia. The primary goal of any company is to make profits. No matter what good deeds and initiatives a company may have done in the past, it is still judged by its ability to stay at the top. No investor is willing to partner with a company that enjoys communal good will but is almost a bankrupt. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that Jack Welch had the company’s interest at heart with his vision and decisions to shift operations to an area that helps in reducing costs while increasing company’s profits. His vision is the best for the company, especially at a time that it was recovering from a bankrupt state and a near collapse of an empire. As much as social corporate responsibility must be considered, the survival of the company and its ability to make profits are fundamental and every CEO must consider this first.
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