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Est1 Company Q Essay

1320 words - 6 pages

COMPANY Q: A DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 1

COMPANY Q: A DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Objective 310.2.1-05

COMPANY Q: A DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 2 Overview of Business Ethics When considering a company’s responsibilities, it is easy to define responsibilities to owners, shareholders, and investors. Most businesses start up in order to make money. Being profitable is one of the fundamental responsibilities of a business. According to Dr. Milton Friedman (1970), profitability is a business’ first ethical responsibility. Customers, too, are an obvious area of responsibility of a business. Without customers, there is no income, and therefore no profit. So, it is ...view middle of the document...

In fact, communities at large can be affected by the success or failure and operation policies of a business. Businesses can have an effect on housing, environment, population, employment rates, and poverty.

COMPANY Q: A DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 3 In turn, business itself is affected by the well-being of the host community. For example, if poverty and unemployment grip the host community, the business will lack customers who can pay. Thus, as the community thrives, so does the business. Evaluating Company Q’s Attitude toward Social Responsibility In the case of Company Q, we can see an example of a company meeting some of its ethical responsibilities while failing to meet others. In an effort to maintain profitability, Company Q has recently closed two stores in higher-crime-rate areas of the city because they were losing money, taking active steps to resolve company problems. We can also see Company Q making an effort to be responsive to customers requests by adding organic food to its inventory. In these actions, Company Q is meeting some of its ethical responsibilities. However, when asked by the community to donate day-old food to the area’s food banks, Company Q declined, citing concerns of possible fraud and stealing by employees. It seems that Company Q may not be fully aware of the symbiotic relationship between its local store and the community as a whole: a healthy community means a healthy store, and vice versa. First, while Company Q was trying to meet fiduciary needs by closing stores in “high-crime” areas, it may not have recognized how those closings may have affected the areas in which the stores closed. Often, high crime areas are also high poverty areas (Sampson and Wilson, 1995). The closing of the Company Q grocery stores may have deepened the financial hardship for residents of those areas, inadvertently contributing to increased poverty in a couple of ways. Company Q leaving the struggling communities could reduce competition, removing part of the incentive for the remaining stores in the area to keep prices low. Worse still, if Company Q was the last grocery store in the area, the cost of food is increased just in the requirement for community residents to travel further to obtain basic needs.

COMPANY Q: A DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 4 Second, Company Q has opted to throw food away rather than donate it, citing concerns of fraud and theft. While Company Q has legitimate concerns, it seems that these concerns were not weighed against the needs of the community. If the choices are the food being donated or the food being destroyed, then it does not change Company Q’s profit on the items to donate them, and could instead, by so doing, benefit the community. Company Q is not considering whether the long-term benefits of a healthy community could outweigh their concerns associated with donation. Although Company Q’s business practices did not directly cause the problems faced by the community, Company...

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