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Corporate Social Responsibility

Essay by review  •  October 30, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,061 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,731 Views

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Customers are the end users of a company's goods and services (1). They are possibly the largest stakeholder group that can be greatly affected by corporate social irresponsibility. They depend on businesses to meet their expectations, and businesses depend on them to bring them revenue. When customers place a value on a company's goods and services, they trust that the business will give them what they are paying for. If the company does not perform to customers' expectations, they will place a reputation on the company, and possibly spread that reputation amongst other customers of that same company. An example of how a customer can be affected by corporate social irresponsibility is the Odwalla Inc. e. coli outbreak. In 1996, there were many bottles of apple juice infected with bacteria that was manufactured by Odwalla Inc. (2). Nearly sixty-six individuals were infected with the bacteria and there was one death of a sixteen month old girl (2). Odwalla wanted to be known individually for being a natural juice manufacturer, but since this unfortunate incident they have begun to pasteurize their apple juice similar to most other companies in their market (2). The families that were affected are most likely boycotting the Odwalla Inc. products, along with their friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Even the customers that were not directly involved with the e. coli poisoning will think twice before purchasing apple juice from Odwalla. Although Odwalla agreed to pay for the surviving victims' medical bills (2), some will suffer kidney damage for the rest of their lives. Another example of how social irresponsibility can affect customers is by being taken advantage of through a company's technological know-how. One of our group members brought their computer to a Compaq store to get fixed. She didn't know anything about computers then, and was not exactly sure what was wrong with it. The Compaq computer technician looked at it, and wrote a report on what needed to be fixed, however the report contained huge technical words that she didn't understand! After taking the same report to another computer store, the technician had told her that those terms don't even exist! She was misled by Compaq into paying for "fake technical problems" that don't exist. It is very easy for technological companies to cheat customers out of their money because most people are not technical savvy and they trust in what the technician says. As a result, customers pay more than what they are supposed to and they lose trust in that company's service.

Employees are another large stakeholder group that can be affected by corporate social irresponsibility. The traditional role of the employees in a company is to contribute their skills and knowledge in exchange for wages, salary, benefits, and career development opportunities (3). The traditional role of employees has since evolved, however some companies have taken advantage of the employer-employee relationship. Socially responsible companies encourage diversity in their workforce, socially irresponsible companies will hire based on discrimination practices. Women are widely known to be discriminated against in the workplace. Some employers will see women as a weak link to the company, incapable of defending themselves in the workplace, or lifting heavy objects. As a result, many women are not hired based on this stereotype. On the flip side, men can also be discriminated against in the hiring process as well. Hooters Restaurant is known for their attractive waitresses. Management adheres to the policy to hire women that fit the "Hooters Girl" look (4). In 1991, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunities Commission) charged Hooters for discriminating against men in the hiring process (4). This case was dropped, however Hooters was faced with yet another charge for

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