EST1 Task 1
Company Q being a small grocery store chain in a big metropolis, faces many obstacles that larger state wide or national chain do not face. They include but are not limited to name recognition, disposable income, and price breaks on their stock, advertising and the ability to support a few stores that are facing hard times.
Being a small company they will have a different ethics code and they will have different areas of Importance. Where a large chain can put losses due to theft a smaller chain may not be able to. Company Q has recently has had to close two stores due to these stores not being able make a profit, with this closure they have had to make some changes to where they put their emphasis.
With the local food bank asking if Company Q could donate some day old “organic” foods. Company Q had to make a decision. The “socially responsible” decision would be to donate food to help out the locals within the community, however the company has many concerns about the employees stealing the food and taking it home instead of donating it to the food bank. The company decided to throw the food away instead of dealing with the possible issues of fraud and theft from employees. The food banks request for food that would otherwise be discarded is not an unfeasible one. I believe that the company does not want to spend the time, although very minimal, to develop a policy to safeguard the company from theft. They have put all their emphasis on making a profit and do not want to think about anything else.
Company Q has a total lack of any social responsibility; they don’t feel that they have any kind of responsibilities to anybody but the owner of the company. The closing of the 2 stores in the high crime rate areas stating the constant loss of money from these stores. The minimal and slow response to customers’ requests for “healthy” organic foods shows the company’s lack of concern for the surrounding community’s needs and wants. Along with the denial of the food banks requests solidifies the appearance of total lack of any social responsible cares the store has.
The total lack of any kind of care about the neighboring community that Company Q has displayed has to have a negative impact on their ability to succeed. If the company would put more emphasis on their social responsibilities, I believe they would see many benefits from that. Here are three recommendations I came up with to help them change their attitude toward the importance of social responsibility.
The first recommendation that I would have is to make a code of ethics, if they already have one then they need to print it out and post it and make sure that all employees, from the baggers to the managers and owners abide by it. An ethics code is “A guide of principles designed to help professionals conduct business honestly and with integrity. A code of ethics document may outline the mission and values of the business or organization, how professionals are supposed to approach problems, the ethical principles based on the organization’s core values and the standards to which the professional will be held.” (Investopedia.com).
The ethics code could contain the primary direction of the company, it could list the stakeholders and they responsibility the store has to them, it could have a moral code by which the by which the employees would have to conduct themselves in to stay employed. Having a written ethics code that comes from the owner everybody within the company will have a clear understanding of the moral and ethical direction of the company. If there was a posted ethics code the managers would know and have a pretty clear understanding the owner’s wish on this. They employees would have a standard set that they would have to meet in order for them to stay employed.
Secondly, there needs to be a list of primary stakeholders and they would be listed from most important to least. The primary stakeholders are the stakeholders that have some kind of transaction with the company. For example employees, customers, investors and shareholders would all be primary stakeholders. A list like this wouldn’t have to be posted but known by management, and then the decisions that are made would have to take this list into consideration. By having this list some of the tough decisions are a lot easier to make. For example if the most important stakeholder was the customers, which makes sence they are the ones that have to most direct influence on the success of the stores, when there was a request by enough customers to bring in the organic foods, the management and owners would have been able to act upon that quickly. If they had the needs and wants of the customers in mind when the first store was opening up they could have already had a policy written out on how to handle this situation. This policy would include the types of requests that they could persue, the guidelines that would have to be met for them to move forward with their requests. The list of stakeholders could and should contain guidelines for a wide range of requests and probable situations that each stakeholder could and would have.
The last recommendation I would have for these guys is to take a small group of employees and start doing service in the surrounding communities. By having the managers and the employees go out in the community and serving the public the publics and employees view will change of each other. The public will see that the company really does care about the neighborhoods, they will be grateful for all the help they get. It could be as simple as picking up trash in a neighborhood park, or donating hot food to a food bank or homeless shelter. The public will see that the store does care about the community and will show their appreciation by shopping there. The company could throw in some very cheap advertising by wearing shirts with the company logo on them. By serving those around you, you develop a new kind of respect for those you serve and with that respect will come the want to help them by donating day old food instead of throwing it away.
With these three simple suggestions, company Q could really turn around their view points on social responsibility and start helping those who are helping them. Company Q could see a huge increase in support and shoppers with just a simple tweak to their perspectives on how they run their company. The stakeholders would be happier and more loyal to them and that would lead to an increase in revenue for them.
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