There are some critics of American corporate power who say that corporations have too much power, and although corporations provide profits and a better standard of living for many, the critics believe that corporations are only interested in profits and self-preservation. Some even believe that corporations invade the employees' privacy, pay the lowest wages possible, provide poor service to society, and have no interest for the personal time of their employees and other stakeholders.
Your CEO would like to discuss these concerns with you and others in your department to defend American corporations, but also to validate the concerns of the critics, stating how corporations have mended their ways recently. He wants you to cite specific examples and also state in what areas you think corporations still need to improve.
- Describe your assessment of the variety of situations where American corporations have attended to the concerns of critics and instituted programs to improve the lives of all stakeholders of the corporations and have made a contribution to make America a better place to live.
- List at least 2 concerns that have been expressed by critics as to social issues that appear to be deteriorating as a cost of progress.
- Provide at least 2 recommended specific actions based on your analysis for American corporations to make improvements or develop better plans of action to remedy situations created by past neglect.
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Some critics of American corporate power worry that America has become a 'Corporate Monarchy' (Pertuno, 2011), in which large firms continue to prosper, despite the weakening of our economy. This is bad for America, the critics decry, since corporate America is centered on maximizing profits and exploiting consumers. A Businessweek poll showed that "three-quarters of Americans think business has gained too much power over too many aspects of their lives" (Bernstein, 2005). Whether it is 'Big Tobacco', the 'Fast Food Companies', or 'Big Oil' when prices rise or trouble appears it is easier to blame it on a faceless corporation than on the consumers themselves. In fact, corporations have worked toward making America a better place to live, although more work is still needed.
Corporations have reacted to the need to be better corporate citizens. Walmart, one of the largest private employers in the United States, offers an average full-time hourly wage of $11.75 and provides 1.2 million employees with health insurance (Vedder, 2007). Walmart pays above retail standards for employees that have little experience, low levels of skill, and often demand part-time work due to other commitments. Furthermore, Walmart offers its employees common stock in the company. In addition, it provides low prices on every day products that "are 8 percent to 39 percent below the prices of its competitors" (Furman, 2006). Most of us benefit from Walmart in some manner, either due to the level of wages, lower retail prices (which subsequently lower the overall market price) or even from the large amount of taxes that Walmart pays each year to help improve the overall economy.
Americans have pointed fingers at soft drink companies and fast food chains for causing the obesity epidemic. The companies ...
This detailed solution discusses the concern that corporations behave unethically, describing two concerns that critics have expressed in regards to ethics, followed by two recommended specific actions to make improvements. It also gives an assessment of the way a variety of American corporations have demonstrated corporate responsibility. References are included.