In order for a company to grow and be successful, moral and social responsibility are important. Companies that are responsible for more than their earnings margin will succeed, regardless of the economic environment. Today’s company environment is one of the exposed corruption and unethical behavior. The social importance of ethics and responsibility is ever increasing. Consumers, society, and employees will continue to seek out responsible companies, companies they feel they can trust. Responsibility or the lack thereof can affect relationships, products, pride, and the environment. Integrity is just as important as the economic environment (Scarborough; Patron, 2011).
Moral management involves maintaining the balance of earning a profit by having high ethical standards. One benefit of moral management includes the pride of doing what is right while maintaining a respectable reputation. A pre-established moral reputation can help a company overcome harmful or unethical external influences. A good reputation will promote quality employees and influence the choices of consumers. When a plan of responsibility is established beforehand, it is easier to follow through with good intentions (Scarborough).
When a company uses unethical standards in their corporate dealings, they may actually see success early on. However, that success will be short-lived when others learn of those lacking standards. People notice ethics, and it does pay to be ethical in the long run. The end does not always justify the means. Eventually, actions must be accounted for. Repairing the damage created by unethical actions can be costly in regard to reputation, and then ultimately in profit margins (Scarborough).
Social responsibility occurs when a company maintains a high level of accountability toward their organization as well as the community they are a part of. Companies today are held accountable for their societal role. Organizations must do their best to make the world a better environment for everyone. People want to be a part of what they believe in, part of what they trust (Gray, 2011).
Organizations today are expected to play the dual role of providing a service as well as serving others and society as a whole. Reputation can sell products. Companies that maintain social responsibility will succeed; in turn, allowing them to further benefit society. The role of social responsibility can vary to fit the agenda of a business. Social responsibility can include environmental preservation, the joining of a community, and added benefits to customers, employees, and investors (Scarborough; Patron, 2011).
Environmental responsibility includes monitoring the products, packaging, processing, and potential waste created by the company. Consumers expect companies to be environmentally friendly. Having environmental responsibility attracts consumers, giving the company a sales edge while at the same time cutting their own costs of production. In addition to environmental preservation, social responsibility includes the proper treatment of people. People are part of the environment and are important factors in environmental preservation. In order to maintain a healthy environment, responsibility must prevail. Everyone is responsible for the environment, companies included (Scarborough; Patron, 2011).
Businesses are responsible for more than earning a profit. They have an equal responsibility to themselves, their employees, investors, the community, and the earth. Business owners and managers must be the first to set an example of positive ethics while expecting the same standards for their employees. It is easier to trust a company that has a proven history of ethics than it is to trust a company that says they have ethics. People trust what they know as fact. It is easier to maintain trust from the start than try to regain lost trust. It pays to be honest and responsible upfront, leaving no doubt in the mind of the public. Moral management and social responsibility benefit everyone involved (Scarborough; Patron, 2011).
Gray, N. (2011). A company based on the ‘Golden Rule’. Web.
Patron, A. (2011). Establishing an ethics culture is a “value-add” to your core business. Web.
Scarborough, D. L. (2009). Effective Small Business Management an Entrepreneurial Approach. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc.