Social Responsibility

3 March 2017

“The social responsibility can be defined as the obligation of the organization to act in ways that serve both its own interests (making a profit) and the interests of its stakeholder. ” (Sandy Millar, Christopher Theunissen, 2008, P69) Socially responsible organization takes action to ensure that their activities do not affect any of the stakeholders in a negative way. The McDonald’s is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 local restaurants serving 52 million people in more than 100 countries each day.

It is one of the world’s most well-known and valuable brands and holds a leading share in the globally branded quick service restaurant segment of the informal eating-out market in virtually. McDonald’s with a high level of social responsibility goes one step further, they take action to ensure that stakeholders benefit from their actions. They can use four different approaches, which include proactive approaches, defensive approaches, accommodative approach, and obstructive response to social responsibility.

Moreover, the total corporate social responsibility can be subdivided into four criteria – economic, legal, ethical and discretionary responsibilities. “A stakeholder is any group within or outside the organization that has a stake in the organization’s performances. Each stakeholder has a different criterion of responsiveness, because it has a different interest in the organization (King & Roberts, 1989; Donaldson & Preston, 1995). ” (Danny Samson, Richard L. Daft, 2005, P165) The need for a business to be responsible for its actions is widely accepted.

Businesses do not exist in isolation; they provide goods and services to people and make use of materials and labor supplied by people. Businesses have responsibilities to stakeholders to ensure their actions do not cause harm. The McDonald’s organization, for example, has a responsibility not only to its customers, but also to the employee, shareholders, suppliers, community and competition etc. An organization’s customers play an important role in determining the products and services it will provide. Without customers, there would be no need for the organization.

Then, of course, there are the staff, who provide the services to the customers. Food supply chain is the one of the stakeholder in McDonald’s organization. The McDonald’s organization works with suppliers to produce high standards of food. McDonald’s has to compete to some other fast food restaurants, such as KFC, Wendy’s etc. The McDonald’s organization is a good corporate citizen and works closely with local communities in the locations where it operates. McDonald’s adheres to laws regulating wages, hours and working conditions to the stakeholders of government.

But these are only six of the stakeholders in the McDonald’s organization, there are many more. Therefore, stakeholder is the term used to illustrate the universe of people and organizations that have a vested interest in a particular effort. “The proactive response comes from firms that take the lead in social issues. They seek to learn what is in the public interest and respond without coaxing or pressure from stakeholders. ” (Danny Samson, Richard L. Daft, 2005, P173) Proactive response is one of the four ways a management may choose to respond to environmental and social problems its activities have caused.

Proactive responses have the highest degree of social responsibility. Organizations give responses before any issues addressed by the public and without any external pressures. They show a great interest in enhancing society welfare and very good social image. They integrate their interest with the public interest. “Asked why McDonald’s was sponsoring Euro 2004 by a deal worth ? 15m, Jeff Wahl, the company’s director of worldwide marketing, said: “It’s important that we build brand loyalty with kids, sponsorships like Euro 2004 are a great way to accomplish this. Moreover, we always see the advertising that McDonald’s organization supports kiwi kids’ football campaign. They always donate to sponsor kid’s football program. Sport is acknowledged by the junk food manufacturers as an effective means of reaching the crucial youth market. Thus, the organizations go out of their way to learn the needs of the different stakeholder groups. “Another strategic communication response involves defensive response strategic such as denial, excuse or justification, all of which involve the organization reacting less aggressively to criticism” (Ronald D.

Smith, 2004, P104) When an organization has defensive responses, it only does what is legally required. When an issue is raised by the public, the organization usually admits the problem but denies it responsibility. It responses of the organization is often legal but not ethical. Few years ago, people blame McDonald’s food is not that health because they reuse the cooking oil many time for chips fried, fried chicken etc. However, McDonald’s didn’t break any rule and legal required on the cooking oil reused.

Thus, management’s admission of some errors and taking of only legally required steps to solve social and environmental problems caused by a firm’s activities. “When media attention is high, and organization must take some kind of public announcement, such as finding of internal and external investigations. It must, however, decide on one of two media strategies: whether to be accommodative or defensive. An accommodative approach is one in which apologies are made and intentions of instituting reforms and changes are announced. (Otto Lerbinger, 1997, P258) Organizations adapts this type of response show their socially responses. They admit to errors and take actions to correct them. However, in some circumstances, external forces push the organization to do so. In McDonald’s restaurant, they present the fat-free burgers and health breakfast to customers since most people complain that fast food is not good for health. The McDonald’s organization took this accommodative approach to paying its customers.

That is why we say an accommodative response is positive; it tries to balance the needs of different stakeholder groups against one another. “Organizations that adopt obstructive response deny all responsibility, claim that evidence of wrongdoing is misleading or distorted, and place obstacles to delay investigation. ” (Danny Samson, Richard L. Daft, 2005, P172) Obstructive response is reaction characterized by the elimination, hiding, or denial of the existence of incriminating evidence, or the adoption of delaying tactics.

An obstructive response has the lowest degree of socially responsibility. For my research, it is no found McDonald’s organization did some obstructive response to social responsibility. Hence, we said obstructive response that organizations are trying to discard all the issues by all means such as hiding facts and deleting records. Managers decide not to act in a socially responsible way and try to hide their behavior from others. They show no interest to enhance community welfare. In some cases, it can lead to criminal. Companies have shareholders who demand a reasonable return on their investment; they have employees who want safe and fairly paid jobs; they have customers who demand good quality products at a fair price etc. ” (By Andre Habisch, 2005, P337) Economic responsibility is the most basic social responses for a corporation. It is the basic criterion in evaluating a corporation’s social performance. Corporations adapting this type of responsibility often purely focus on the profit and ignore everything else.

In some extreme cases, this can lead to criminal. “A valid report talked about energy use in the restaurants, but not in the unsustainable food system McDonald’s relies upon that uses 10 calories of energy for every calorie of good produced. “Sustaining” McDonald’s requires a simple unsustainable formula: cheap food plus cheap non-unionized labor plus deceptive advertising = high profits. An honest report would tell stakeholders how much it truly costs society to support a corporation like McDonald’s.

It would detail the externalities borne by other people, places, and generations: The draining of aquifers, the contaminated waterways, the strip-mined soils, the dangerous abattoirs where migrant workers are employed, the inhumane, injury-prone dead-end jobs preparing chicken carcasses for Chicken McNuggets, the global greenhouse methane gas emitted by the millions of hamburger cows in feedlots, the impact of their $2 billion advertising and promotional campaigns to convince young people to demand their food, the ethics of using toys to induce small children into their restaurants. (FOODFIRST website, 11, May, 2008) From the above example, we clearly know some organizations often concentrate on the profit and neglect something else. “The responsibility of corporations in relation to law demands that they abide by its provisions and ‘play by the rules of the game’ ” (By Andre Habisch, 2005, P337) Legal responsibility has a higher level than economic responsibility. Corporations still have the profit-maximizing view. However, corporations are well disciplined and they behave with the law frame.

McDonald’s has known for decades that the food it serves harms people, promotes obesity, heart disease, and has detrimental effects on land and water. Addressing that one issue would make a difference. They have known about the detrimental effects of their food just as the tobacco companies understood the impact of their products. Yet they have done little to modify their menu. Therefore, they gain the profit even they provide kinds of fried and junk food to customers, however, they are follow the legal framework and never break the rule. This responsibility obliges corporations to do what is right, just and fair, even when they are not obliged to by the legal framework. ” (By Andre Habisch, 2005, P337) When corporations take ethical responsibilities, they do a better job than just taking legal responsibilities. Corporations avoid unethical actions. However, they still only focus on things which are relevant to their goals and tasks. “McDonald’s switched from polystyrene clamshells to paper products in packing its big Macs.

It did so in response to heavy lobbying from a variety of groups, some of which even encouraged children to write to the corporation asking it to change. It own studies indicated that, all things considered, using polystyrene was environmentally preferable. Nonetheless, it switched to paper products to satisfy what it considered a popular demand or a social responsibility, since doing so enhanced its image. ” (By John W. Houck, Oliver F. Williams, 1996) Thus, from the above example, we know McDonald’s did not break any legal if they keep using polystyrene to pack the big Macs, however they did the ethically right thing to social performance. The fourth level of CSR looks at the philanthropic responsibilities of corporations. This aspect of CSR addresses a great variety of issues, including things such as charitable donations, the building of recreation facilities for employees and their families, support for local schools, or sponsoring of art and sports events. ” (By Andre Habisch, 2005, P337) Philanthropic responsibility is also called discretionary responsibility. Discretionary responsibility is the highest criterion of corporate social performance.

Corporations voluntarily contribute to the society and quality of life with no payback. Most organizations are going to do some philanthropic, McDonald’s is one of the most of the organizations as well. McDonald’s organization is always sponsoring some kinds of sport events in order to attract people on McDonald’s. The Food Commission has been highly critical of the link between sport and fast food, and particularly the tactic of sponsoring grass roots and community events alongside “marquee” events such as the World Cup and the Olympics.

McDonald’s used sport as a means of reaching young people, and both began by denying evidence that their food are harmful to health. To sum up, social responsibility is an ethical or ideological theory that an entity whether it is a government, corporation, organization or individual has a responsibility to society. This responsibility can be “negative,” in that it is a responsibility to refrain from acting or it can be “positive,” meaning there is a responsibility to act.

McDonald’s success is based on its ability to meet and exceed the requirements of customers. The same focus on business efficiencies and customer satisfaction helps McDonald’s environmental program to reaching a new level of environmental consciousness when the magical strength of the McDonald’s brand. It is very important to undertake those economic, legal, ethical and discretionary responsibilities respectively by sequential to develop an international organization from small every business.

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