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Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 8:03 AM
Old Hand

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Given that the largest group of corporate investors is retirement funds, maximizing profits is socially responsible.  People work hard and sacrifice to be able to invest money in their retirement; corporations need to honor those sacrifices by giving retirees the best possible return on those investments, to help them to live comfortably when they are no longer able to work.
Post #352095
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 8:46 AM


Old Hand

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Hi Steve,

I think Microsoft is doing a good thing with this. It's easy (and tempting) to question their motives, but I doubt their motives matter much to people who genuinely need and receive their help.

:{> Andy



Andy Leonard
CSO, Linchpin People
Follow me on Twitter: @AndyLeonard
Post #352104
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 8:54 AM
Valued Member

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I believe companies that include social responsibilities as part of their founding principles have a better position to work from in all areas of the business.  Mission statements, value propositions, product announcements all have a foundation on how the company presents itself to the rest of the world.  I'm not suggesting there isn't a profit motive in blowing your own horn about what a socially responsible company you are; but there is also genuine good that comes out of it, even if it is by accident!  Not every company can create a PR office, but internally being part of a tree planting effort, or an "adopt a street" campaign can certainly add some "team" benefits within the company. 

It can be hard to put a "Should" in front of a question (ask any parent!)  but I believe there is a social component to every entity.  It feels good to be part of something that gives back. 




Post #352109
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 9:40 AM
SSC Journeyman

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What to say... Very interesting thread...

I come down on the side of those that consider any organization of human beings whether for profit or not as having a responsibility to help with society's needs.

The older you get, the more you know it's not about what we gather in life, but what we give away and who we serve in life while here that lives beyond us.
Post #352117
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 9:52 AM


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The second item in our mission statement is "We give back to our community"... I am in charge of doing that. I think it's important for any company to be a responsible contributer to the community. I think it increases profits actually, but that's a side-effect of doing something good, and you still did something good, whether it helps the company or not.
Post #352123
Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 12:16 PM
SSCrazy

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I used to work for a bank and the unit was student loan processing.  The bank did asked the employees to do a lot of community services at working hours (only approved by your managers).  However I did felt it was scheme as part of advertisement that they give back to the community. A big poster was put up on the wall.  A lot of the company used the community service as their advertisment eg Wal-mart.

Bill Gates wanted more H-1 employees.  Why? He said there was not enough technical people working in computer.  On the other hand, they also outsource a lot of work to India, China and some other countries.  A lot of students these days do not want to major in computer science because they do not see the future.  Most of the high school graduates are major in medical field because there is one field that can never outsource to anywhere.   When you are sick, they cannot ship to hospital in India!!!!!!

It is chicken and egg situation.  The bank I worked for was student loan processing, but instead of hiring a computer science student as intern, they rather outsource to India.  Those students borrow over $100,000 to get their education but they could not even get an intern job from the bank they borrow money from.  When a student graduates from college, the average loan is $100,000.  Most college cost $50,000 a year including room and board ($1200 for books and supply) these days.  Four years college education costs $200,000.

If those big company liked Microsoft giving out more scholarship to students majoring computer science,  I think it would be much better lobbying to have more H-1 visa or at least it makes more sense to me.

Social Responsibility is not just helping people in Africa or other third worlds. A lot of the people in US need help too.

just my 2 cents.

Post #352154
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007 8:54 AM
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Your view often leads to actions that harm share holder value.  Maximizing profits often leads to unintended cosequences.  These unintended consequences may be mitigated by viewing corporate responsibility through the perspective of stake holder theory.

From wikipedia:

As originally detailed by R. Edward Freeman (1984), stakeholder theory attempts to ascertain which groups are stakeholders in a corporation and thus deserve management attention. In short, it attempts to address the "Principle of Who or What Really Counts."

In traditional input-output models of the corporation, the firm uses the inputs of investors, employees, and suppliers to convert inputs into usable (salable) outputs which customers buy and return to the firm some capital benefit. By this model, firms only address the needs and wishes of those four parties: investors, employees, suppliers, and customers.

Stakeholder theory recognizes that there are other parties involved, including governmental bodies, political groups, trade associations, trade unions, communities, associated corporations, etc. This view of the firm is used to define the specific stakeholders of a corporation (the normative theory (Donaldson) of stakeholder identification) as well as examine the conditions under which these parties should be treated as stakeholders (the descriptive theory of stakeholder salience). These two questions make up the modern treatment of Stakeholder Theory.

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