Company Q has neither proven to be socially responsible, nor practiced proper social ethics. They have not considered that the business is not only existent to make profit but to contribute to the community in which they operate their business. This is demonstrated in :
• The closure of 2 of their stores in high crime areas that were not making them money.
• Not paying any attention to customers’ requests by ignoring repeated customer requests to provide more health conscious and organic products and when eventually they decided to address the customers’ request they only provided a very limited number of high-margin items which deterred customers.
• By Refusing to donate day-old products requested by the areas food bank.
• By deciding to throw away day-old products instead of donating it to people in need, citing concerns over lost revenue due to possible fraud and theft by employees who may be stealing the food while claiming it was being donated.
• By choosing not to donate left over products to a food bank because they did not trust their employees.
There are three areas that could be improved regarding Company Q’s attitude toward social responsibility.
Businesses must balance their desires for profits against the needs and desires of society. Company Q should focus on customer satisfaction. For most businesses, both repeat purchases and an enduring relationship of mutual respect and cooperation with their customers are essential for success. By focusing on customer satisfaction, a company continually deepens the customer’s dependence on the company, and as the customer’s confidence grows, the firm gains a better understanding of how to serve the customer so the relationship may endure. Successful businesses provide an opportunity for customer feedback, which can engage the customer in cooperative problem solving. As is often pointed out, a happy customer will come back, but a disgruntled customer will tell others about his or her dissatisfaction with a company and discourage friends from dealing with it.
Company Q needs to be more active in social responsibility. It should reconsider its decision to dispose of its day-old perishable and non-perishable food items, instead they should donate them to the food bank, the company should also give some incentives to both employees and customers by reducing the prices of day old products by end of business day. By donating the food to the food banks and shelters the company will be engaging the communities in which its operates, to as much of a degree as possible.
While it was a step in the right direction for Company Q to begin to stock health conscious and organic products, it is vital they stock the products that their consumers will desire. From the social responsibility perspective by only stocking high profit products may give the impression they are out of touch with the larger community. Customers will feel alienated and will not continue to shop at their stores. Rather it is recommended that the store in each community solicit customer feedback on products they would desire to be carried. Then Company Q should work with distributors to stock the desired products at a reasonable profit margin.
Ferrell, O. (2013). Business Ethics 2009 Update: Ethical Decision Making and Cases (7th ed). South-Western. Retrieved from http://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781285279985/id/T7