Project #2476 - CSR response

Please read all 4 posts and reply to each with a paragraph.

1DB.) Any business with viable stakeholders should be concerned about the nature of its suppliers and how they conduct business. This has been a very sensitive aspect of ethical responsibility as we have seen major American corporations (Nike, Apple, etc) operate business abroad and pay slave wages to workers which damages reputations and corporations that conduct business with them. This goes back to the social responsibility but the line in the sand is the legal aspect in these countries. Stakeholder are responsible to each other but not for each other. Keep in mind at times an organization must be concerned how one of its stakeholders conducts business if they carry a certain product or they are a 3PL (Third-Party Logistics Provider). There is cost involved for everyone in the value chain (suppliers, vendors, consumers, & manufacturers) so there is some concern in some situations. Are businesses accountable for the behavior of their suppliers? Legally the answer is no, but businesses are accountable for their response to actions that may seem unethical. They can choose not to do business with these organizations if there is no contractual agreement.  This is when we get into the territory of ethical leadership and influence. Most corporations do not want bad publicity so they address any issues that could cause a PR nightmare. All issues need to be addressed from a stakeholder’s perspective, and affiliation in some cases brings negative publicity from society. Regardless of the issue, a sustainable business has influence and the right to address any concerns of one of its stakeholders; and hold them accountable.

2 AL.) A sustainable business should be concerned about the nature of its suppliers and their operations because they can often times be held accountable for the actions of those suppliers, if not legally, than certainly ethically. This was especially true with the cases of the Nike Corporation and Apple Company when it became public knowledge that their products were being produced in horrible working conditions by child labor and for unspeakable wages. The public images of these companies suffered as did their profits, and they were forced to address these issues as well as take steps to improve their manufacturing processes, labor laws and revamp their corporate mission as a whole. Both companies have worked hard to improve their reputations and have done well and both will most likely agree that who a company choses to align themselves with as far as suppliers, etc. is as important a decision as any when running a company.

Businesses can and should be held accountable for the behavior of their suppliers because it is the business that has essentially chosen to say, “We believe in this company (supplier) enough that we will let them produce our product, or provide a piece of our product, etc.” The consumer has put their trust in the company they are buying from that they have done the research necessary and that they are putting the best, safest product out there, made in the best, safest, possible way.   

3JP.) Businesses should definitely be concerned about the nature and operations of their suppliers. In order to be a sustainable business you need to be ethical, by associating your business with an unethical supplier, you are also be unethical and hurting your reputation. If a business is knowingly manufacturing products with supplies from companies that are allowing the use of sweatshops or other unsafe work environments, the larger business is guilty by association. A popular case that reflects this was the problems Nike had when people found out their products were being made by young kids in horrid working conditions. People were outraged and Nike lost a lot of business. I am not sure of known case of this but I have heard of farmers having separate farms, one to sell to companies and one for their own family to eat. It is crazy to think that they do not want their family eating the products that they give to businesses because of the chemicals they use to produce them. This in itself is unethical, but the companies that by these products are just as guilty knowing the harmful substances that are in them.

4 CB.)  Certainly businesses can claim distance between themselves and their suppliers and minimize responsibility.

However, a truly ethical organization will consider the ethics of their suppliers and choose to work with suppliers aligned with the organization's ethical values.

Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 02/20/2013 12:00 am
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