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The Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility

Explain the role of ethics and social responsibility in developing a strategic plan while considering stakeholder needs and agendas.

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Loss of employment and retirement funds, double bonuses, tax evasion, and the dark side of office politics are some of the challenges affecting organizations like a virus causing professionalism and efficiency to be questioned. Walker and Lanis (2009) found that an organization influences and is influenced by the society within which it operates (Cengage, 2009); therefore, an organization needs to take into consideration issues such as product safety, regulations, legal, ethical and economic responsibilities to the society within which it functions. One of the methods which could be used to do so is to integrate ethical and socially responsible techniques in an organization's strategic plan whilst taking into consideration the needs and agendas of stakeholders. This concept is supported by Drozdenko, and Jin (2010) who suggested core values and beliefs exhibited at the strategic level influences decision making and outcomes throughout an organization. The objective of this research is to explain the role of ethics and social responsibility in developing a strategic plan while considering stakeholder needs and agendas, including an example of a company which overstepped ethical boundaries and preventative measures which could be taken to avoid this type of situation.

Ethics appears to be a subject most people take for granted. According to Ciulla (2004), most people think of ethics as practical knowledge and common sense as opposed to theoretical knowledge. Social responsibility involves operating in a society or environment not only to gain or increase profits but to do so in accordance with legal and ethical standards therefore making a positive contribution by adding to the value of life in an area of operation. What is strategic planning and what is the role of ethics and social responsibility when developing a strategic plan? Strategic planning as defined by Bryson (2004 cited from Olsen & Eadie) is "a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that share and guide what an organization (or other entity) is, what it does, and why it does it" (p. 6). ...