How does WPP Media fulfil its obligations to their stakeholders in terms of ethical business practice and socially responsible corporate behaviour Businesses have become increasingly aware of the need to manage organisational reputation and many business leaders take the view that reputation is best managed with due recognition to all stakeholders. The best companies are focusing on a host of social issues. They are serving not only stockholders but other stakeholders as well.
Stakeholders are persons or groups that have some claim on or expectation of how a business should operate. They don't necessarily have to be financial such as shareholders just general. A firm's stakeholders include employees, consumers, the community, government and even society in general. It is said that a social contract exists between a business and its stakeholders. The stakeholders agree to support the activities of the organisation as long as the organisation acts in a manner that is acceptable to the stakeholders.
WPP Media is India's largest media investment management group and one of the world's largest communications services companies. It has 70 offices in 51 countries throughout the US, Latin America, Europe, West Asia and Asia-Pacific. Specialist services are provided through its Advanced Techniques Group, M Digital, Media Consumer Insights Group, BroadMind & WPP Outdoor. Recently, one of WPP Media's operating units, MindShare, has won the Best Agency Office of the Year Award. This award was given for the strength of the firm's business performance, media innovation and new business record. The firm invested in large-scale research into consumer insights, tracking results and econometric modelling to determine RoI on advertisers'. It's not difficult to see that honesty, integrity and consistent ethical behaviour are set forth in these statements.
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After vast amount of research I have identified that WWP Media's main primary stakeholders are its shareholders, clients and employees as they have direct effect and interaction on business. The environment, community and the society in general are their secondary stakeholders as they have indirect or limited effects on business. After studying the Stakeholder Mapping theory, I understand that the shareholders within the company have greatest influence with high interest and power. Employees are those who have a high interest in the company but do not have much power within company because they are further down in the hierarchy of decision-making.
Business ethics involves a search for and commitment to meet appropriate standards of moral conduct in business situation. Ethics has direct effect in the running of WPP Media. Behaviours and standards set by the company affects many of their main stakeholders. They need to make sure that the relationship they build with their stakeholders is through honesty, tradition and discipline in order to protect their very good reputation as a multi-national company.
As in any global organisations, the shareholders are one of the key stakeholders. In the case of WPP Media, the confidence of the shareholders is so much more important then ever before because of the company's growth development programme worldwide, which needs the backing of the shareholders. WPP has a well-developed continuous program to address the needs of shareowners, investment institutions and analysts, supplying a regular flow of information about the company, its strategy, performance and competitive position. Their website www.wppinvestor.com has been created specifically for WPP's shareowners and the worldwide financial community.
It provides current and historical financial information including trading statements, news releases and presentations. WPP's customer service is convinent and quick, so that their shareholders are well informed with updated information and benefit from their investment. This result helps the shareholders to build up their confidence and trust in the company; therefore they will invest more money for a longer term. Eventually it will benefit both the shareholders and the company.
Clear ethical standards and direction foster more favorable and promising work climates. WPP's employment policies are designed to attract, retain and motivate the most talented individuals. It has been proven that when employees feel motivated and supported they can work more efficient. WPP's groups of companies invest significantly in communications, training and development programs at parent and operating company levels. Their training spend in 2002 was over 21 million, equivalent to 345 for every employee. The companies encourage an ownership culture through WPP's stock option and other incentive plan.
Employees at WPP Media have seen the best perks in recent years. Long-serving employee's i.e. over 2 years are given share options in the group. With the company ever growing, with take-overs and parent companies forming, employees will benefit from bonus dividends. Meanwhile the treatment of staff is very essential not only for WPP Media but every other large company. A strong code of conduct within the company is the protection of the staff and so the company will not tolerate any sort of discrimination whether it is race, religion or gender. If the business consistently rewards ethical behaviour and disciplines unethical behaviour, employees learn how central ethical values are to the company.
Logically, it is in their own best interests to practice ethical behaviour. Important stakeholders such as the board of directors stress the importance of good business ethics from the company as it allows them to see that they are taking an interest of not only the values of the company but also the needs of everyone affected by them. It also shows that they have good business practice and comply with their code of conduct of being ethical.
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