Excellent Custom «Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy: Morrison Supermarket» Free Essay

«Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy: Morrison Supermarket»

Introduction

Many people around the world share the opinion that businesses, especially in the private sector, mainly focus on making profits. However, this is not always the case because many businesses have started initiatives as well as partnerships that have positive impacts on the public’s social status, increase the public’s earning potential and make the public’s access to resources easier. Such activities by businesses and companies constitute Corporate Social Responsibility. Whereas different scholars have given different definitions to CSR, there are six core characteristics of CSR. CSR activities are usually voluntary; they try to match economic responsibilities with social responsibilities; they entail specific practices as well as sets of values, they are aimed at containing negative externalities; they are not limited to mere philanthropy, and they take into considerations the interests of many, if not all, stakeholders. This paper provides a report for CSR strategy proposal to Morrison’s Company, a chain of supermarkets in the UK.

CSR in Different Organizational and National Contexts

CSR has emerged to be a key popular tool among corporations and in commercial activities. Many of these corporations and business enterprises use CSR to provide the public with more benefits over and above the goods and services that are offered to customers. The changes that have been witnessed in Bangladesh in recent years represent the efforts that are being made in the developing world (Tsutsui & Lim, 2015). Most of the companies in Bangladesh have opted for CSR practices that are being used at the international front. The companies have adapted the international practices to meet local needs such as the need to create work places and to improve healthcare. The adoption of international practices emphasizes that CSR involves a clearly defined set of practices and values, which is a core characteristic of CSR. This shows that in every activity geared towards CSR, principles and values hold (Tsutsui & Lim, 2015).

The MasterCard Foundation is a striking CSR program because it has taken CSR to a completely new level. In contrast to philanthropy, the MasterCard Foundation has contributed much more to transformation of the society (Crane, Matlen & Spence, 2008). Many people, especially the youth have been provided with the opportunity not only to improve their lives but other people’s lives as well due to one of the CSR programs that stands out because it has gone beyond philanthropy such as donating to charity. The MasterCard Foundation does this by creating learning opportunities for the young people. These young people can then be allowed to access microfinance. Consequently, the CSR activities of the MasterCard Foundation have lasting impacts on the society as compared to philanthropic activities such as donations. Although the MasterCard Foundation is a creation of a private organization, it recognizes the fact that it exists and thrives in a society. For this reason, the foundation has invested many resources to make the society better. This move demonstrates that CSR entails matching economic responsibilities with social responsibilities. As much as the foundation invests heavily in CSR every year, the company has been trying to ensure that it makes as much profits as possible.

Different Non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental organizations have also added their voice on the issue of CSR, and the United Nations is not an exception (Tsutsui & Lim, 2015). For more than a decade, the UN has been championing for cleaner production processes as means of promoting social responsibility and environmental responsibility. The UN has also been emphasizing that adopting of such production procedures should be voluntary. The effects of the efforts that the UN has invested have been witnessed in the United States where manufacturing companies have voluntarily chosen to be part of environmental protection efforts. Consequently, numerous manufacturing companies in the US have embarked on following production processes that minimize pollution. The efforts that manufacturing companies are expending to reduce pollutions is a demonstration of the companies’ urge to contain the negative externalities that result from their activities. Furthermore, the companies have seen the need to be responsive to societal needs as much as they strive to make profits.

It is also important that CSR is not just limited to private businesses because the public sector also plays a crucial role in the provision of vital products to consumers. In fact, in some countries, the public sector is responsible for as much as 50% of the goods and services that are made available to the public (Werther & Chandler, 2010). Therefore, CSR has become a necessary practice among public corporations just as is the case in the private sector. For this reason, many public companies have embarked on adopting CSR policies that are applicable in the private sector. This explains why there are many essential services such as education and healthcare that are provided mainly with the motive of rendering to the society. In fact, most of the CSR activities that have been witnessed in the public sector focus strictly on rendering to the society in contrast to the private sector, which is more inclined towards publicity.

The Variety of Theoretical Avenues and the Diversity of Theoretical Concepts in CSR

Different scholars have proposed different definitions of CSR. However, the diversity that surrounds CSR is not just limited to its definition because there are also varied theoretical concepts about it. These varied theoretical concepts explain the different factors that fuel the spirit of CSR. Many people are convinced that CSR is only motivated by political interests. Politics in this case refers to the struggle for power. Political theories on CSR support this argument by adding that CSR is only a subtle way of getting involved in politics because it is a demonstration of how powerful different companies and businesses are. This theory has much in common with instrumental theories. Instrumental theories provide explanations as to why CSR as a practice has been adopted in many companies. A great number of companies and businesses invest in CSR mainly because it opens new avenues for even more wealth. As such, CSR contributes much in boosting a company’s image to the public.

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In the modern world, businesses have to fulfill their social activities alongside with their economic activities. Therefore, CSR has become a major factor that helps businesses survive in the society. Companies try to take into consideration the interests of different stakeholders by balancing between economic responsibilities and social responsibilities. This is consistent with the stakeholder theory, which argues that a business must be careful with its activities because several parties affect and/or are affected by the business’s activities. According to this theory, companies’ CSR activities are mainly focused on addressing the stakeholders that are believed to be the most powerful. As such, companies tend to focus their CSR activities on issues that interest the most powerful stakeholders. Ethical theories contradict the stakeholder theory. According to the ethical values, CSR is mainly an ethical responsibility, which companies should fulfill.

Strategic Approaches by Corporations in Fulfilling Community Responsibilities

Being a chain of supermarkets, Morrison’s Supermarkets interacts much with the society by virtue of its operations. The company has a great impact on the environment and is affected by the environment largely because the company has expanded much by opening more and more branches. Therefore, Morrison’s active involvement in CSR related activities does not come as a surprise. One of the strategic approaches that Morrison’s has resorted to as far as CSR is concerned is promoting healthy lifestyle. The nature of business performed by Morrison’s means that its chain of supermarkets is heavily involved in supplying foodstuff and other consumables to consumers. Therefore, the company has committed itself to providing its customers with continuous supplies of fresh food. This shows that the company leads by example in advocating for healthy living. The fresh foodstuff offered by Morrison’s Supermarkets is aimed to encourage its customers to adopt healthy eating habits. This CSR strategy has enabled Morrison’s to attain the status of a leading grocer in most parts of the UK.

Environmental management is yet another CSR approach that Morrison’s uses to accomplish its community responsibilities. The company does this by participating in activities that protect the environment. This shows that the company cares for the environment after all. The company has also resorted to cost management as a strategy for conserving resources in its environment. Morrison’s has introduced various strategies that it seeks to use in environmental management. Cutting down on gases emitted during refrigeration is one of the strategies used for environmental protection. The company has already registered significant gains because gas emissions have been reduced by 40% (Co-operative New, 2014). Morrison’s Supermarkets has also been working on reducing carbon emissions. The supermarkets have been successful because carbon emissions have dropped by about 25%. As far as the dumping of wastes is concerned, Morrison’s has assumed measures that enable it to store and treat as much as 98% of its wastes (Co-operative New, 2014).

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Morrison’s has also made numerous arrangements in order to support communities in different parts of the UK. This strategic approach has been instrumental in helping the company reach people and impact on their lives more directly. As such, it has been time-consuming to make the Morrison’s chain of supermarkets more popular among the people. This strategy has enabled Morrison’s to register massive gains because it is a way of making contributions that are more direct to community issues. The company implements this CSR strategy by reaching the people at grassroots level and consulting with them on pertinent issues. For instance, the supermarkets have been engaging the public on social media and sharing with them on how to handle food waste. In fact, many hours have been spent by the Morrison’s Company to communicate with and support communities. In the process of giving this much needed support to communities, the Morrison’s Chain of Supermarkets has spent more than £2.2m (Co-operative New, 2014).

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Recommendations on How the CSR Strategy Can Be Developed for the Morrison’s Company

Integrating Ecological Responsibilities into Corporate Strategy

Whereas CSR has been in existence for quite a long time, many CSR strategies that different companies and organizations have adopted have failed to produce the expected results. The main reason behind the failure of most of these organizations is that many of them have failed to strike a balance between economic responsibilities and environmental responsibilities. Therefore, as the Morrison’s strives to integrate external factors in making CSR decisions, ecological issues should be at the forefront. Integrating ecological responsibilities in the company’s CSR strategy can work easily owing to the fact that it is consistent with the company’s objective of promoting healthy living. While it is evident that the company is contributing greatly in promoting healthy living in communities, more steps need to be taken. Recent global trends have shown that environmental protection is one of the major issues that communities around the world are following closely. Therefore, Morrison’s Chain of Supermarkets should be more actively involved in environmental protection and conservation in addition to the promoting healthy eating habits. It should be noted that activities such as tree planting have a greater impact in capturing the public’s attention.

Enhancing Social Welfare by Meeting Consumer’s Demands

Many entrepreneurs identify gaps that exist in the market before they mobilize resources to exploit the opportunities. This means that the core responsibility of businesses is to address the needs of the consumers. Therefore, Morrison’s Supermarkets should focus on providing exactly what the consumers demand. It should be noted that most customers usually have high expectations whenever they purchase a product, whether it is a good or a service. Morrison’s Supermarkets should focus not only on providing what customers expect, but they should exceed these expectations. As such, the company should ensure that it provides consumers with a variety of quality products. The company should also note that providing consumers with safe products constitutes observing social values. In addition, it is part of CSR and a less costly method of marketing the company.

CSR’s Role in Employee Recruitment and Retention

CSR is about addressing the needs of different stakeholders over and above the economic responsibilities that businesses have. Employees form an important group of stakeholders who have direct impact on businesses. The employees play their role in ensuring that all operations run smoothly (Ruth, 2014). Therefore, businesses should ensure that their employees are motivated so that they give nothing short of the best. For this reason, Morrison’s Supermarkets should focus on creating a conductive working environment for its employees as part of its CSR strategy. In fact, CSR should start being applied at recruiting stages to ensure that employees are selected by virtue of their qualifications. The company should establish ways of addressing employees’ concerns in totality. It should be noted that a company can only attract and retain talented and hardworking employees; it takes the employees’ interests into consideration when coming up with CSR programs.

Table 1

A Summary of the Current and the Proposed CSR Activities for Morrison’s

Current CSR activities Proposed CSR activities

1. Protection of the environment

2. Providing support to the community

3. Enhancing health living

1. Inclusion of ecological issues

2. Enhancing the social welfare of consumers by providing them with the products that they need

3. Applying CSR in employees’ concerns including recruiting them and retaining them

Conclusion

The report provided herein highlights the importance of CSR in the current business world. Numerous businesses have resorted to CSR as a means of rendering to the society and advertising. CSR projects vary depending on the priorities of a business. However, CSR activities are defined by six main characteristics. Morrison’s, a chain of supermarkets in the UK has expanded its operations over the years. This expansion has come with increased CSR activities, which are mainly focused on promoting healthy living, supporting the community, protecting and conserving the environment. However, it has been noted that business trends are changing and so are CSR practices. To be consistent with the prevailing trends in CSR, the Morrison’s Company should pay attention to ecological responsibilities, addressing consumers’ demands, and in the recruitment and retention of its employees. In addition, most organizations need to realize that a good corporate social responsibility is critical for business growth. Businesses that adopt appropriate CRS strategies often win the hearts and minds of customers and employees at larage. This scenario often leads to improved productivity and increased customer volume at the same time.

 

 

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