Social Responsiblity in the Workplace

Though it is not one of the characteristics that most people associate with being a manager, being Socially Responsible is key when leading a group. Being “Socially Responsible,” as described by DePaul’s Student Leadership Institute, includes taking seriously the perspectives of others, and self- understanding. Being Socially Responsible means conducting business, but taking into consideration those whom the actions affect. In today’s world it is accted for companies to ship labor overseas where it is cheaper, but does that necessarily make it right? It is important for leaders to take into consideration social responsibility because it they can set the example for companies around them. More importantly, being socially responsible could mean that there is less injustice in business.

This begs the question, “Are we just in the business for the money or do we care about those who we affect?”

12 thoughts on “Social Responsiblity in the Workplace

  1. Interesting post, and I agree that Social Responsibility is becoming more and more relevant in the world of business, there are many stakeholders in the company that influence the company. Social responsibility allows the company to align with the social dynamics of growing generation and have a character. I also assume that the relevance of social responsibility to the Operational Management reflects in ethical dilemmas that arise from the decision making process? So I if would dare to add to this blog I would say that if you take our second class activity where we were discussing the triangle of cost, time, product, and building structures with spaghetti and marshmallows the ethical dilemma would be the hunger in Africa and waste of food resources that could be used for “better” good?

    1. Yes, Social Responsibility does come into play in ethical dilemmas because a Socially Responsible Leader would be someone who is ethical. Being Socially Responsible includes taking into consideration ethics when making decisions.

  2. Your writing made me form an opinion about the strategic directions businesses take to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. In order for a company to survive these days, it is essential that they incorporate social responsibility in their business models. Moreover, a company that demonstrates their care for people, the planet, and economic development will strengthen their customer base because more people will want to support them. In my opinion, a company’s motive for implementing such initiatives is strongly correlated with increasing profits for business rather than for the common good of society as a whole. In support of this view, economist Milton Friedman once wrote that, “social responsibility of business are notable for their analytical looseness and lack of rigor.” He believed that businesses could not have social responsibility due to their very nature and scope of practice. Corporate Responsibility is a building block for companies to expand their customer base and rise above the competition.

  3. I think that many business are just in business to make money, but should consider a bigger picture too. If they became more socially responsible the business environment would become better for everyone working. That would allow us all grow, creating more consumers to sell to.

    1. I agree with you on that businesses are just in business to make money. I acknowledge that we have to make a living somehow, but there is a point where we have to consider if it is really worth the money.

  4. I absolutely agree with you, companies should be more socially responsible. These days many businesses focus on maximizing profit and nobody is really concerned with how they are affecting the world. If every company stops caring about the effect that they have on the world, then we would have more harm than good being produced by those companies.

  5. Social responsibility is an extremely broad idea that should encompass every aspect of decision-making. For example, we all wear clothes that were made in sweat shops with countless human rights violations. In operations management one must consider the ethical costs of cutting jobs to make a process more efficient.Now I don’t know if our classes’ use of spaghetti and marshmallows was a total waste of resources since we all learned something, but I see where you’re headed with that point.

  6. Its all about perspective and separation to me.

    Perspective and Separation. It depends on what industry you’re in. I worked in the markets as a trader of options and futures. We didnt care to much about the workplace environment. People would swear and yell at each other all the time. But, when a client were to come by for a meeting, we would turn into civilized citizens with immaculate etiquette.

  7. Often times being responsible comes at the cost of profit. Some companies put in the extra diligence and many times consumers are attracted to these companies. I would shop more at a store which I know cares for the environment more rather than at a store which doesn’t. However the idea of stakeholders come into play. How far do we extend our responsibility and respect? Only our shareholders? Vendors? Clients? It’s an interesting challenge that is affecting the modern business world.

  8. I think it’s been proven time and again that many corporations are lacking in their social consciousness. They can engage in questionable business practices in order to benefit only themselves. The question is is it worth it in the end? While profitable, these type of business practices seem a little shortsighted because it does not take into account the ripple these decisions can make on everyday society. But if one company decides to “set the example” will that really change anything? It seems that the only thing that would do is decrease their profits and create a space in the industry for someone else who IS willing to disregard their social responsibility. I think there can be a solution but it has to be on a much wider scale than one lone company taking a stand.

  9. Social responsibility has been increasing in many businesses today. Company’s like TOMS donate a pair of shoes for every pair bought to those in need, and many other stores have programs that motivate and allow its customers to donate a $1 when they make a purchase. Some even go as far as discounting $1 and automatically donating it. I believe one of the reasons they do it is to promote a positive image, but one can argue that that they do it for the sales as well by prompting people to buy their products and feel good about it. To answer the question, businesses are in business for the money, but to continue to attract customers and/or remain in a positive light, they give to charities.

  10. This is often something that I struggle with when deciding which field I want to pursue in the future. IF you’re hired for a business, you’re there to do one job- augment the bottom line and nothing else. Honestly in a private business that is all they really care about, but where is the meaning in that? Unless you’re in the public sector, this is often a stark reality which people realize after they are faced with tough decisions- i.e. send jobs overseas, or lose your own job for not cutting costs. Although it sounds crazy, it reminds me of similar situations that gang members are dealt with but society judges them way harder for having to make tough decisions ( often violent) which may affect one other family’s future, whereas businessman or women make decisions on larger scales (often with thousands of jobs at stake) but face little social stigma in comparison.

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