Corporate Social Responsibility: Guidelines for Top Management

By Jerry W. Anderson Jr. | Go to book overview

of the law. If none of these options is available and the law is too restrictive, then the company must evaluate the possibility of changing its way of doing business or of moving to a new location where the law does not exist.


Moral and Ethical Standards

Because many people perceive right and wrong from different angles, the objective of the company in the area of ethical and moral standards must be to establish what it will and will not tolerate. Once the level of integrity has been established, then the areas of vulnerability must be examined and limits established in each of these areas. Since not detecting or overlooking violations weakens the fear of punishment, a system of inspection must be implemented and strict levels of punishment enforced for violation of the code. Great care must be exercised in all of these areas. Expenses for implementation and control cannot get out of hand, and policing and enforcement cannot be done in a way that adversely affects the attitudes or the creativity of the employees.


Philanthropic Giving

The objectives of the company in the area of philanthropic giving should be as clearly defined and explicit as are those in economic policy and strategy. The company should be as firm about what it intends to be and do in this area as it is about the business in which it wants to be involved and the type of people it wants to attract to its organization.


COMPANY EVALUATION

To help evaluate how well as company is doing in the areas of social responsibility, Table 2 has been developed as a preliminary guide. This table can assist in determining the strength of the company in the various social responsibility areas. Based on the results of this basic evaluation, the company can then see what and where improvements can be implemented.

Complying or not complying with a law is fairly straightforward; however, great care must be exercised in assessing and evaluating the correctness or incorrectness of moral and ethical codes and philanthropic giving. Extensive value judgments and the personal desires of top management enter into these decisions.


NOTES
1
Dan R. Dalton and Richard A. Cosier, "The Four Faces of Social Responsibility," Business Horizons 25, no. 3 ( 1982): 19-27.

-24-

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