Organizations should be treated as an-ongoing concern. This is because; there are a lot of revisions needed whether it is through reengineering, information system or its workforce so that the organization would be able to stand against competition. Organizations are made up of people who are responsible for certain operations in different fields and are thus inherently complex. Since change or revisions are the basic things that are needed in the organization, it is imperative that leaders must understand that a change to one component will always generate a rippling effect on other surrounding components (Abraham et al, 1997). Therefore, decision making should be done carefully and accordingly.
Sustainability can be thought of as a way of protecting the options that are present. Sustainable development actually needs a fundamental shift from the traditional or routinely activities involved within the organization to a circular approach of borrow-use return. It offers a compelling strategic paradigm for guiding business in contributing to the society’s desire for balanced progress towards economic prosperity, social justice and environmental quality.
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If sustainability is accepted by the organizations, they should be able to understand the need of exploration and innovation as much as prescription and planning is needed. It frees the creative potential of the human mind and maximizes the potential for deeper learning within the boardroom. As a part of the business strategy, it has the ability to help the business performance of your organization to be superior and prosperous.
Currently, the world’s most popular chicken buckets restaurant is in hot water and being complaints by the animals’ activist called PETA for an inhumane method of killing chickens for their 850 million buckets supply of chicken. According to PETA, chickens are carelessly slaughtered everyday; chickens’ throats are slit and put into tanks of boiling water in order to be dressed while still alive and feeling the pain. KFC gets these slaughtered chickens from West Virginia slaughter house. Obviously, KFC is not taking the demands of PETA because after two years their promise to abide the animal welfare still remains as a promise (Curlee, 1994). Unlike, McDonalds, Wendy’s and other food chains serving chickens took the demands and followed by the book. According to PETA KFC should:
· Follow the “Animal Care Standards Program” Lessen the quantity of ammonia in the air of their factory farms, develop the living spaces and lighting in chicken sheds, stop starving the chickens deliberately and make sure that the chickens are given mental an physical encouragement.
· Stop the slashing of the chicken throats,
· Use mechanized chicken gathering.
There is actually no best approach for sustainability because it would depend on the certain goal that would be reached by the organization. Rather, superiors involved in the organizations must make their own decisions which are based on varying cultural and environmental factors that are present. However, in this variability, there are common entrenched behaviors and thought processes that have to be changed which is necessary in order to embrace sustainability.
The problem and complaints against KFC has two social issues to tackle, first, business ethics and second corporate social responsibility. In the first issue, since KFC is a multi-national company, seeking for profits globally and competitive advantage against their main competitors, there are a very huge demand of KFC’s chicken, and their current method is a very easy and fast way to cope up with this demand. The big question is, what will KFC do?
In search of customers and suppliers, individuals in business face a lot of challenges when they shift beyond their own business practice and culture in search of customers and suppliers. One tough question is: How do KFC resolve the conflicts between their business strategy and ethical principles and those of the country in which they are doing business? What to expect from other countries’ views of business ethics to be?
However, because of the demands of the ethical business conduct, more especially that some governments pass anticorruption laws and that more multinational corporations (MNCs) formalize ethic codes and programs to support their internal ethical climate, more companies’ managers are becoming aware of the risk of expensive legal entanglements caused by doing business with firms having lower ethical standards than their own. Ethical practices are evidently crucial to establish an ethical work climate in strong corporate guidelines (Farmer and Hogue, 1985).
These guidelines set the ethical tone of the corporation and let the employees know that management considers ethical behavior an important part of its business operations. It can be communicated through conduct codes which outline the company’s main expectations. Management stratagem, accountability structures, organizational policies, incentive systems, training programs, and decision-making processes should all work as one to strengthen the firm’s fundamental ethical beliefs. However, in the government sector, giving of preferential treatment is through numerical hiring and promotion goals and ratios, to women and minorities, is a critical affirmative action (Friedman, 1970).
Public managers must make a selection of ethical judgments and decisions in pursuing the policy tasks entrusted to them. The KFC management considers ethical behavior an essential part of its business operations and can be communicated through mission statements while the government sector on the other hand, some public employers may operate under legal obligations to permit preferential treatment, others may opt to do so. Both of the circumstances, preferential treatment require difficult and controversial ethical choices.
How important is competitive intelligence in KFC? Generally, competitive intelligence (CI) is applied to the decision-making and planning processes to improve the performance of the company. CI is the process by which KFC must gather actionable information about competitors and the competitive environment. It connects evidently unrelated signals, events, perceptions, and data into patterns and trends concerning the business environment. CI can be simple, such as inspecting a KFC’s annual report and other public documents (Blenkhorn & Fleisher, 2001). CI has its vital role in the business organization like KFC and in the government area.
There is no problem in focusing to profit and competitive advantage as long as moral ambiguities are going to remain because no one can formulate policies that are morally justified under all circumstances. Ambiguity in fact does not diminish the importance of the issue; the moral aspect of governance corresponds to the quality of public service and governmental conduct. If not, how can the general public trust that their businesses are fairly managed and that they haven’t conceded rights and freedoms to an irresponsible administrative state? Competitive Intelligence (CI) has been performed by most of the organizations in today’s business environment. Most senior executives practice CI in their daily activities as they try to understand how to make better position in their organization’s products or services in the marketplace (Krizek and Power, 1997).
Only few founders can obtain the needed financial resources to launch their firms without having done at least some environmental scanning and identifying potential competitive danger. Companies that lack the range of resources needed to launch and maintain complicated or automated CT networks, the fact that the chief executive officer and senior managers act personally and continuously on intelligence gives them a chance in the competitive market place.
The second issue, their corporate social responsibility, they stick to their current practice of slaughtering the chickens or switch to a more humanitarian way of method and will not put all attention to profits and competitive edge in order to fulfill their responsibility? Corporate social responsibility can be defined as the duty of organizations to conduct their business in a manner that respects the rights of individuals and promotes human welfare (Farmer & Hogue, 1985). While the level of social responsibility exhibited by multinational corporations is said to be improving, perfection has hardly been attained. Governments and people around the world seem to have an increasing interest in scrutinizing the actions of global corporations, in effect forcing international companies to be good corporate citizens.
According to Maclaren (1996), corporate responsibility is supported by the concepts of multidimensional definitions and social marketing. In the multidimensional definitions concept, the focus is on the major responsibilities expected from companies. These major responsibilities include economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic dimensions. These responsibilities must be performed in order to benefit not only the company operators but also their employees, customers, the community and the general public.
Social responsibility in business has been debated for a long time, and several sides of the issue have been presented by ethicists. This debate has been extended in recent years to include the operations of multinational companies. Thus, it is important to view some of the changes in the attitudes and behaviors of multinational companies and their perceptions of corporate social responsibility in light of the evolving nature and composition of global competition (Friedman, 1970).
Business culture has turned its focus when the businesses penetrate globally. There had been dispute, argument, confusion and debate towards the subject “social responsibility” in business arena. Many believed that it is a tool to change the business set up to promote a more well working environment. However, there are also cynical about the existence of social responsibility and its role in managing the business.
Even so in history, the topic of social responsibility has received so much attention when it first came into popularity in the developed world. It became controversial because of its inconsistencies with the free enterprise system. However, whenever we view today’s scenario, there are indications that social responsibility has become an obligation for any business, and that it is permanent fixture on the corporate business scene (Karake-Shalhoub, 1999).
In order for KFC to give the demands of PETA and social responsibility, the company may apply some methods in corporate social responsibility and this is sustainability-change-efforts. Change may start at all levels of the organization. However, the presence of strong leadership is essential to guide the changing processes that are needed for sustainability to push through. This is because, without the presence of good leaders and governance system that may support the movement, sustainability will never be achieved.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become the standard euphemism for the right social values that corporations oftentimes has neglected in their day to day practices and has the need to strive harder to achieve so as to solve the problem of those whom they have affected by their policies and actions. Its idea is; either radical nor is it new. The core belief is that the corporation incurs responsibilities to the society beyond profit maximization. Huge companies has the power to manipulate and influence the quality of life employees, costumers, shareholders and residents of local communities have in which they operate.
A single corporate decision may change the lives of thousands of people (Petrovich, 1994). Managers or people who are involved in the corporate world should always bear in mind that power also entails responsibility. Business responsibilities must include the known and foreseeable results of business dealings whether the results of their actions have been recognized by law or not. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the continuing commitment of the business to be ethical and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of their workforce, company and including the society.
The environmental demands are the ones that must not be overlooked. Every action that a corporation does always has consequences such as the cutting of trees for expansion. In this case, the corporate must reconsider and find different ways on how to manage this because it is very unethical and irresponsible of them to do this (Schwab and Brower, 1997).
The hand of government would then be there to put a hold to any actions that the corporate does which would be then considered to be harmful to the environment. Although many corporation disagree with the presence of the hand of government because for them it is not fair, it is quite appropriate if the corporation themselves would do a strategic analysis of what they are about to do because the government would never be tailing them if they have not done anything.
In this respect, it is illustrated that businesses from different countries do not show the same level of dedication to being perceived as socially responsible. Moreover, it is also attested that firms across countries have variety of principles, processes and stakeholder issues to express that they are responsibly committed. People expect firms not only to perform the traditional function of providing goods and services to all citizens who are willing to pay for them, but also to help society solve its problems. If these things are generally seen as desirable, and the firm does them, then it is socially responsible. If the firm does not, then some people may feel it is irresponsible.
Moreover, incorporating and promoting increased public participation in dealing with plans and projects toward progress and development illustrates an efficient and effective measure to achieve more possible success of economic and social growth. Since the public is the foremost concern of every institutional and national improvement, it is very logical that public consultation will be highly incorporated as inputs to come up with sound policies that will reflect the preferences and general welfare of the society. Public participation will ensure developments that are in synch with the needs of the society and at the same time increase the likelihood of long-term and continuous growth for the whole country.
Even though the issue is tackled in its complexity, it is no doubt that social responsibility has to play a great role in today’s business world. It may either contribute to efficiency, effectiveness, success or failure. What is important is that we are becoming more aware each day. No doubt that in this era, social responsibility should become every business’ obligation.
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Curlee, R. Waste to Energy in the United States: a Social and Economic Assessment, 1994.
Farmer, R. and Hogue, W.D. Corporate Social Responsibility. Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1985.
Friedman, M. “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase its Profits.” New York Trines Magazine, Sept. 13, 33, 1970.
Karake-Shalhoub, Z. Organizational Downsizing, Discrimination and Corporate Social Responsibility. Westport, CT. Quorum Books, 1999.
Krizek, K. J. & Power, J. A Planners Guide to Sustainable Development. PAS Report No. 467. Chicago: American Planning Association, 1997.
Maclaren, V. W. Urban Sustainability Reporting. Journal of the American Planning Association. 62, 2 (spring): 184-202, 1996.
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Schwab, A. K. & Brower, D. J. Sustainable Development: Implementation at the Local Level. Land Use Law & Zoning Digest (April): 3-7, 1997.
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