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Essentials for Marketers and Marketing Communications

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Introduction

During last decades the notion of corporate social responsibility has attracted much attention in research and practice, and its importance and influence on companies’ operations has been rising. Although there are many definitions of CSR provided by different scholars, majority of them state that companies are responsible for economic well being of internal stakeholders as well as social and environmental well-being of external stakeholders. All recent notions and theories are based on Caroll’s Pyramid of CSR, which distinguished four dimensions CSR dimensions, such as economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic. Some aspects o ethical dimensions, such as environment, social, consumer, and employment relations are analysed in current report. Furthermore, some examples of ethical dimension of CSR are provided in order to show how CSR can affect and change the business.

Ethical dimension of corporate social responsibility

Physical environment

Nowadays, there is a trend to study environmental impacts and ways how everything exists in our environment. Due to the issues of global warming, pollution, energy, recycling, and opportunities of non-wasteful packaging, environmentalists are working on protecting environment. Furthermore, more consumers consider buying environment-friendly products. Consequently, companies are forced to consider physical environment and eco-friendliness in production and marketing of their products (Jobber 2010).

According to the interview, number of oil managers and engineers were pleased and satisfied with environmental actions and policies at their companies. Among the initiatives undertaken by an energy company, there were reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and change of materials for tubes used in operations. During the interview, one of engineers stated that that steel tubes could were more economical and cost efficient, they could be damaged fast. At the same time, chrome tubing could be more expensive but would last for longer time, for at least twenty years, thus decreasing harm to the environment and reducing company’s costs in the long term (Frynas 2009).

Social and consumer

In highly competitive markets, companies need to provide products and services that satisfy customers’ needs in outstanding ways. However, companies also should not disregard contributing and supporting local as well as world-wide communities through various kinds of charities (Jobber 2010). Marketing concept of charities, however, can also pose a threat to business in regard to its profitability.

Tyson Food, an American company, became involved in wide communities and realized  social involvement within the society by giving 50 million pounds of their products to Hunger Relief (Tyson Food 2010).

However, different social marketing efforts may have ambiguous effects and influence relationship between the company and various stakeholders. For example, in 2008, Starbucks faced a boycott from Christian groups for its bare-breasted mermaid logo (Firth 2008). Another consumer-driven boycott was organized againsed Amazon.com after it published a pedophile book (Grinberg 2010). These examples demonstrate the power that consumers and the society have in changing policies and marketing of companies.

Supply Chain

Corporate social responsibility should be concerned not only with external stakeholder, but with internal constituents, too. Company’s supply chain is an important aspect of company’s CSR. Nowadays, companies are often caught in and considered to break labour as well as human rights of their employees. Thus, companies need to ensure that abuse of human and labour rights is eliminated at the workplace completely. One of the initiatives undertaken by number of companies in their production-source countries of the third world was cancellation of child labour (Grant & O’Connor 2005).

An example of societal action against business that was unsuccessful in performing CSR within its supply chains was a boycott of German NGOs against Nepali carpenters in 1996 (Hopkins 2003). The boycott was organized in order to draw attention to the issue of using child labour for sewing rugs that were later supplied to Germany and its people. The major concern of using Nepali children as the workforce was escalated by the fact that working conditions and materials, such as dyes, caused health problems in children as well as in adults. The social action of NGOs and grassroots resulted in Germany instituting a ban on rug from Nepal (Hopkins 2003).

Employee relations

Company employees are its greatest assets, and one of the major factors contributing to overall marketing strategy, and CSR specifically. However, companies need to be responsible to the employees and provide adequate training, motivation, and remuneration for them. Namely these factors influence employees’ satisfaction with their job and determine overall performance and success of the company (Jobber 2010).

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