Business ethics and Corporate Responsibility
The rise of an economic system like capitalism allowed private corporations to undergo massive development and progress by registering profits of billions of dollars every year. At one point of time when the dynamics of marketing were not as complex as they are today the contribution and the role of these corporations and their subsequent intervention and participation in different societal operations were conducted in a very proactive role.
But with the increasingly complexity and sophistication that has invaded this entire field has coerced organizations to devise strategies through which they can ensure their penetration into the different demographic segments and community role and development in the country or countries in which they operate and function. This kind of role in organizational role has further facilitated in the development and emergence of a completely different and novel kind of marketing technique which is known as the CSR or the Corporate Social Responsibility and in contemporary corporate mainstream it is one of the most enticing ways of marketing.
It is under the banner of this marketing strategy that corporations and other different companies arrange charity functions and programs through which they intend to remain in media limelight as well as aggravate novel frontiers of competition with their competitors. (Nunn, 2010)
As far as the question of their moral duty to perform such charitable and philanthropic functions is concerned I do not think that these corporations do such things out of a concern for morality or ethics, but their actual purpose of doing it to enhance the corporate identity of their brand and at the same time also provide a perception to their prospective or permanent clients that the corporation has always played a pivotal role as far as the development and community participation is concerned.
We have seen that one of the most proactive roles in this context has always been played by former Microsoft chief and IT mogul Bill Gates. Most of these activities are conducted and executed under the banner of morality and human concern but there is no doubt about the fact that there are vested commercial interests involved in it as well. (Bo and Samuel, 2011)
Charity and ethical responsibilities
The potential of making or conducting charity is not only encompassed as a moral but also as an ethical responsibility of these corporations. In terms of ethical responsibility it is also important to mention that a majority of the private corporations that we are familiar with are dependent upon the direct consumption of their products or commodities in order to register a profit at the end of the year.
Hence when in their crucial times it is the people that share their burden and responsibility of providing them support, then a similar responsibility must also be considered by these corporations when a predicament dawns upon their people.
An interesting pattern that has been observed in this scenario is that corporations and organizations that are directly involved and engaged with a buying selling relationship with the consumer and hence because of the nature of their business develop a more closer interaction with the customers that visit them on daily basis.
These organizations in which one can easily include corporations like Wal-Mart and Target exhibit greater zeal and enthusiasm in coming up towards the help of their customers in their times of trouble as compared to multinational corporations like Exxon, Halliburton or Chevron since their nature of corporate functioning does not involve a very close or one to one relationship with their customers.
Hence these companies do marginalize themselves from such kind of charitable assignments, but in terms of realizing their ethical responsibility it is important that they should make such contributions in hard times merely on humanitarian grounds and basis. (Navarro, 2008)
Charity and profit making
An important question that rises here is that if the corporations that make whooping profits in a year contribute a hefty amount in the form of charities how can they effectively pursue their ventures that is intended for the maximization of their profits. A very easy answer to this is that the revenue and profit generating sources of such massive scale organizations are quite diverse in nature.
The charity or any other moral or ethical responsibility that they engage in or donate for humanitarian purposes is simply the revenue or the profit that they earn from the purchase of their shares in stock market. Secondly another important fact that needs to be mentioned here is that big or financially stable corporations do not engage even in such humanitarian functions without a possible incentive or source through which they can easily compensate for the amount that they are donating either for flood or quake victims or affectees.
This compensation can either be achieved through the utilization of either tangible as well as intangible means. They can either used this entire donation program as a means to launch their new product or set up their own relief fund in which they can request people to make their donations for the affectees.
Moreover with the help of such ventures they are also cement the fact and reinforce the perception in their consumer mind that they have always played a proactive and vigorous role as far as making an effective contribution for the assistance of people is concerned in any of the difficulties that they encountered. With the ingenious usage of these tactics they are able to sensationalize and exaggerate the peanut amount that they have donated for the rehabilitatory measures being devised for people. (VSO, 2011)