In today's fast-changing business world, companies are facing multiple new environmental, social, and cultural challenges that in large part determine their capacity to establish, maintain, and protect their business, and to deliver sustainable growth to benefit all (Quinn, 2013). Company Q, a small local grocery chain, trying to survive in a thriving metropolitan area, is in the midst of those challenges.
Based on the given scenario, evaluating Company Q's attitude toward social responsibility, is best achieved by identifying how the companies commitment, or lack thereof, is in line with the four aspects of social responsibility: economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic.
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Building customer loyalty is one the best advantages of a company's commitment to practicing ethical behavior. Company Q had been ignoring years of requests by customers to stock organic foods in their stores, seemingly without giving a reason as to why they refused to. They did eventually provide organic foods but only stocked a few products. Being ethical in business means applying principles of honesty and fairness to relationships with customers (Hill, n.d.). Company Q has not been honest or fair in regards to the years of requests for organic foods. Even if the company had no intention of ever stocking organic foods, they should have addressed the matter more promptly and professionally.
Philanthropically, Company Q has not shown any commitment to this aspect of social responsibility. When asked to donate day-old food to the community food back, they declined citing the potential loss of profits due to theft and instead decided to throw the food away. Whether or not the food was stolen or donated, Company Q would not see any profits from it and therefor their reasons for not donating the food are invalid. Community food banks rely on donations for the majority of the food they serve and the company's refusal to donate could be viewed as a lack of concern for the inhabitants of the community.
Overall, it can be concluded that Company Q has not met the minimum standards needed to operate a socially responsible business. A few small changes to the way they operate could have a huge impact on the success of their business.
Company Q's business has suffered mostly because of undesirable economic practices. They shut down stores without investigating the reasons for loss of profits. An investigation into the loss could have produced simple changes that might have kept the two stores open. Company Q could have conducted a survey in the neighborhood and asked the inhabitants why they were choosing not to shop at their stores. It is safe to assume that because the stores were located in high-crime areas that safety would be one of the top concerns. If the stores were equipped with extra outside lighting, security cameras, and metal detectors at entrances, consumers would feel safe and be more inclined to shop at the store. It is also safe to assume that theft of products by consumers is likely high. A theft alarm would deter any potential thieves from stealing. For a small business, the initial cost of installing these safety features could be significant but the potential increase in profits would be worth the cost in the long run.
Company Q definitely needs to reconsider their approach to operating an ethical business. Taking...