Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Legal Aspects Of Social Responsibility: Business, Government, And The Community

It is impossible for any business not to become involved in some kind of community affairs. Some of this involvement is primarily charitable, while other community affairs with which business becomes involved pays a direct return to the company.

With respect to why business should get involved in community affairs, this can be simply and quickly expressed with the use of a quote from Robert Cushman, President of the Norton Company in Worcester, Massachusetts. He states:

Business does not operate in vacuum, but as a social institution interacting with other social institutions. What business does affects its community; in turn, the people's good will and trust are essential for business to fulfil its primary role, which is to provide goods and services... .

When and how deeply should a business involve itself in community affairs, each business will have to evaluate on an individual basis. If a business is new, it can be expected to participate only minimally, if it is long established and profitable then it will be expected to get more deeply involved.

Some large companies are adept at handling corporate urban development and other social responsibility problems. They apply their resources of cash management expertise and technology to three major areas of social responsibility, including work creation, educational programs, and community welfare.

With federal government cutbacks in fund, and tight state and local government funds, improvements can come only through private participation.

Any time that a business becomes involved in community affairs it must be concerned with at least four major areas: knowledge of the company's resources, knowledge of the community, which projects to select, and monitoring and feedback the projects. If these four major concerns are soundly evaluated and followed, then a realistic and workable community involvement program can be undertaken.