The fifth principle states that social responsibility varies with company characteristics (i.e., size, industry, products, strategies, marketing methods, locations, internal cultures, and external demands). Given this statement and taking into account GE’s enormous size, as well as additional factors, GE would have a large social responsibility. However Welch did not share in this view and seemed to mainly focus on the first principle of creating profits. It was not until Jeffrey Immelt took over that social responsibility seemed to come to the forefront and social and environmental impacts were taken into consideration and acted upon. The sixth principle of managers meeting legitimate needs of multiple stakeholders is another principle Welch failed to meet. Stakeholders include employees and Welch seemed to disregard their needs surrounding job security and a harmonious work environment. He also disregarded secondary stakeholders, specifically the environment, as noted previously in the Hudson River example. It seemed as if Welch cared more about himself and the shareholders than he did the stakeholders and for this he was criticized harshly. The seventh principle of corporate behavior complying with an underlying social contract was given little, if any, mention in this case and will be disregarded to discuss the eighth principle regarding corporations’ transparency and accountability. Many companies today, including Union Bank, N.A. and Hershey’s release annual or biannual corporate social responsibility reports, which can easily be found on each company’s website. Union Bank, N.A. publishes information regarding community commitment, environmental stewardship, and talent investment (Union Bank, N.A., 2013). Hershey’s released information regarding performance indicators, engagement priorities, facility efficiencies, and commitment to the environment (The Hershey Company, 2012). In contrast, GE did not self-report their civil and criminal
transgressions; this was done by the Multinational Monitor . Some of their transgressions were in reference to pollution hazards and consumer fraud, which most certainly represent issues that have societal impacts. Overall it seems that GE failed to meet nearly all the principles of corporate responsibility, save the first principle. 4. Ranking shareholders over employees and over stakeholders seems to have more cons than pros. The pros certainly included financial success, but this came at a cost to employees’ happiness and well-being, as well as at a cost to the community, consumers, and the environment. Pros also included Welch being well-respected by those who shared the same values as he did and by those who were able to perform up to his standards and keep their positions. However there are a large number of cons. These included harming the environment, contributing to the unemployment rate, diminishing employees’ levels of job satisfaction,
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 4 pages?
- Spring '16
- John Z
- Business, Business Ethics, Jack Welch, Corporate social responsibility