Ethics and Social Responsibility today

Ethics and social responsibility are concepts that are fundamentally about the quality of our relationships over time. Many organizational decisions involve knotty problems where organizational interests affect the interests of others. The stock market scandals in the United States and Japan, the corruption between business and government in Italy, the possibilities and consequences of new technologies, and the increasing interplay of different cultures are just some of the issues that have brought questions about the social responsibility and ethics of business to the forefront.

Companies and managers that ignore moral concerns are saying to those affected, we don’t want to invest in making this relationship better. And even tough unethical behavior may sometimes pay today those who ignore ethical issues are heading of trouble over the long run. From the 60-year-old Credo of Johnson & Johnson to AT&T’s new statement of values, called our common bond companies are using their past experiences and values and the concerns of the present in setting new moral visions for the future.

Today there are many examples of how people can manage with corporate social responsibility and ethics in mind.

San Francisco bakery instituted a practice of hiring ex-convicts to fulfill the responsibility of business which has to play a large role in changing our society. Business people especially those in smaller companies know how to get things done. We tend to think outside the box. We need to bring that creativity to our community Disenfranchised people need on ramps into society. Those aren’t going to come from the federal government.

In response or the homeless situation one of Ben & Jerry’s answers was to open a store in Harlem and employ homeless people to serve ice cream.

For every UPC code mailed in by consumers, Scott Paper donates five cents to Ronald McDonald Houses. We get chances to spotlight worthy organizations and which create awareness among consumers too.

Paul Newman earmarks all of the profits from Newman’s Own food products for various charities such as the Hole in the Wall Gang, a camp for children with terminal cancer.

The Campbell Soup Company has sponsored a long running program. Labels for Educations that involves supplying equipment for schools based on the number of Campbell and Swanson labels sent in by consumers during the school year.

Burger King, along with IBM, operates a similar program. Through Burgers and Bytes computers are donated to schools according to the number of cash register receipts generated. Burger king also operates Burger King Academy to provide education and social services for dropouts and truants.

Colgate-Palmolive kicked off its Partners in Education program, which doubled as a marketing endeavor and a philanthropic measure. In return for retailers putting their display, the company gave the retailers Map Playground Kits, which included materials for students to paint their own maps. The stores then dispersed the kits to local grade schools.

Reebok ended up launching a new product in 1991 – the Black Top line of outdoor basketball shoes. Part of the profits from the shoes are used to renovate basketball courts, such as a court in South Dade County, Florida, devastated by Hurricane Andrew and renovated in 1993. Our involvement in Court Renewal gives us a lot more credibility for the [Black Top line] so I’d say it’s a major factor in the product’s success. But it started because they wanted to do something for inner city kids.