The importance of corporate social responsibility

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In today’s competitive global market, organizations need to have a long-term strategy and vision. It’s also important for companies to have a positive impact on the lives of people, while also having environmental concerns. This leaves leadership with two goals – grow the bottom line, and maintain corporate social responsibility

McDonalds and Walmart prove how large organizations impact people all over the world. Both are corporate giants that have learned the importance of social and environmental responsibilities.

McDonald’s may be the largest fast food organization in the world. Part of the reason for their success is that they have developed both local and global strategies. The reasons for the different strategies is due to the following: tastes and customs, local competition, government laws, franchise operations, and local service quality. The global products and services provided by McDonald’s are delivered at each individual restaurant (Lynch, 2010).

McDonald’s has had great success, but they also have had a fair share of scrutiny. Low wages, poor working conditions and using non-recyclable products are just some of the criticisms. In the 1990’s McDonald’s stop using Styrofoam for their burger containers. In 2013 they that stopped using Styrofoam for their drink cups.

In 1994 a customer sued McDonald’s after she spilled one of their hot cups of coffee on herself and suffered serious injury. The case was popular and is currently used in many law and business courses. The woman was awarded 2.7 million dollars for her suffering and McDonald’s lowered the temperature of their coffee.

Walmart is another household name. They are the world’s largest retailer and the third largest employer. Loyal customers flock to the Walmart stores to get items ranging from t-shirts to flat screen televisions at a great price.

Unfortunately, while Walmart has great prices, they are known for poorly compensating their employees. The average hourly rate for an employee is $8.81 and at 34 hours a week comes to $15,576 a year. This is below the federal poverty level (UNIglobalunion, 2013). Another down side to employment at Walmart is their health benefits. Employees who work 30 hours a week or less are not eligible for health insurance from the company. These employees, who are the majority, have to rely on government help for medical coverage.

While looking at the negative aspects of Walmart’s public image, it’s important to also understand that it is not all doom and gloom. Walmart is a great success story of an American business which is one of the largest employers in the world. Plenty of employees have enjoyed working for the company and had successful career growth.

The point is that businesses need to not lose focus of how they are affecting people around the world and the environment. In the cases of McDonald’s and Walmart, their mistakes have hindered their public image. They have proven that corporate social responsibility needs to be leaderships top priority.

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References

Sheridan, P. (2014) Wal-Mart workers strike in major cities. Money. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/04/news/companies/walmart-strike-day/

Lynch, R. (2010). McDonalds Global and Local Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6coDUDCJ10#t=339

UNIglobalunion (2013) Walmart Supply Chain. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZC4neLax5o#t=91

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