FUNDAMENTALS OF MANAGEMENT
Part A:Social Responsibility
1. Understanding Social Responsibility
Social responsibility refers to the notion thatevery individual should be concerned about the environment they liveand the social issues that affect it. I believe that it is notmorally upright for a person to ignore the issues that surround himor her just because they are privileged to avoid adversity. Humanbeings are bound to feel empathy for the suffering of others evenwhen they themselves are not affected in the slightest bit. Empathyis a virtue that is cultivated in human beings because it is sociallyacceptable. Since social responsibility has more to do with empathythan money, I think it is a necessary human requirement.
Social responsibility to me is not all aboutcorporations and the poor or the environment I prefer to includepersonal efforts under the label. If I walked down the street andhelped a group of homeless children to secure, I would have beensocially responsible at a personal level. If I desist from throwingplastic on the roadside, that too is social responsibility. Socialresponsibility to me is an individual effort that seeks to better thesociety.
2. Should Businesses be Socially Responsible?
Businesses should be socially responsiblebecause as much as they are recognized as independent entities, theyare still run by human beings who happen to harbor empathy (Reeves,2012). Human beings running these businesses cannot turn a blind eyeon the suffering around them under the pretext that a business is aseparate legal entity from its owner. The owners have a moralresponsibility of channeling part of their profits to alleviatesocial issues facing the society around the business.
Since businesses attribute their existence tothe society, it is only fair that they play a role in making the samesociety better. The business gets raw materials, labor, and marketfrom the society. Without those, a business is as good as dead.Therefore, without social responsibility, it would appear that thebusinesses are just exploiting the society for profits (Rahim et al,2011). Through social responsibility, a business assures the societythat in deed it is grateful for the society’s role in its success.It also enables the business to be part of the solution rather thanwatching the problems of the society from the sidelines. In thiscase, the management is either part of the problem or part of thesolution, but never both.
3. Values-Based Management
Values-based management is not just a do-gooderploy because it plays a key role in the business. Values-basedmanagement combines social responsibility and the corporate goals ofa company. In this regard, this concept takes care of the needs ofall stakeholders, the community included, in order to ensure apeaceful coexistence.
Among the many benefits of values-basedmanagement is the improvement of the community upon which thebusiness operates (Agarwal, 2012). For instance, if a businessimproves education, then it will create a pool of competent graduatesfrom which it can draw its employees. When a business seeks to fightpoverty in the community, it will elevate the purchasing power of theresidents so that they can afford more of the business’s products.In the end, values-based management appears to have far reachingbenefits for a business than just being a mere do-gooder ploy.
PART B: Stakeholder Groups and Discipline
1. Questions that the Management should ask
The first question that the management shouldask itself is are the voices of the stakeholders being validated? Inany management setting, it is important that the voices of allstakeholders are taken into consideration before making key decisionsin the organization. If not, some stakeholders who are left out ofthe decision-making process may feel sideline and therefore impairthe smooth running of the organization. It is important for themanagement to ask this question to ensure that the voices of all thestakeholders are being incorporated in making crucial decisions.
The second question is what will happen ifstakeholder voices compete with each other. It so happens in abusiness that different stakeholders have different demands from thebusiness. Sometimes these demands are conflicting and could paralyzethe operations of the business. For example, the community may demandfor more involvement of the business in development projects. On theother hand, the business may be opposed to such an idea because itwould dent its profits. The management should find a common groundfor the conflicting voices if they wish to proceed with businessoperations amicably.
Thirdly, the management needs to ask if itpossesses the avenues necessary to ensure that the stakeholders’voices are heard. Sometimes the management could fail to hear out thevoices of some stakeholders, not because managers are snobs, butbecause the said stakeholders do not have a representative toarticulate their concerns. If the answer to this question is ‘no’,then the management should come up with avenues that will ensure thevoices of all stakeholders are heard and incorporated into thedecision-making process.
Finally, the management should ask whether itis visible to the various stakeholders. The management needs to walkaround and interact with the various stakeholders of the firm. Whenstakeholders see managers around, they feel that their needs arebeing attended to rather than being ignored. Visible managers alsogive the stakeholders an assurance that they respect their points ofview.
2. How Managers misuse Discipline
Managers are the disciplinarians in a companybut then they can at times misuse discipline for other agenda. Forinstance, they could misuse discipline to show who is boss especiallyfor employees who have divergent views. If the said employee happenedto have challenged the manager’s opinion in a meeting and therebyinfluencing that of the rest of the employees, the manager mightdecide to revenge using discipline.
Managers can also misuse discipline by gettingemotional, especially when disciplining employees. The manager whoseego has been wounded will profile the employee in order to find anywrongdoing in their profile. After the manager spots the mistake, shewill then settle old scores under the pretext of discipline.
Managers could also use discipline to spreadfear among their juniors. In such instances, they will applydiscipline to humiliate the rest rather than correct any wrongdoing.They will punish employees for trivial mistakes and remind the restthat they would encounter the same fate if they do not toe the line.For instance, if a particular employee comes in late, the managerwill issue harsh punishment in front of all the other employees. Heor she will follow up the harsh punishment by reminding the otheremployees that if they dare come in late the following day, they willhave the same fate.
Agarwal, M. M. (2012). Leadership andvalues-based project management. Values-BasedManagement, 2(2),1-15.
Rahim, R. A., Jalaludin, F. W., &Tajuddin,K. (2011). The importance of corporate social responsibility onconsumer behavior in Malaysia. Asianacademy of management journal,16(1),119-139.
Reeves, J. E., (2012). Six Reasons Companies Should Embrace CSR.Forbes. Retrieved from<http://www.forbes.com/sites/csr/2012/02/21/six-reasons-companies-should-embrace-csr/#68e9b4ae4c03>accessed August 20, 2016.