|Assessment Details and Submission Guidelines|
|Unit Title||Trends in the Global Business Environment|
|Assessment Type||Group Assignment|
Note: Groups of 4 students only. Once a group is formed and entered into Blackboard, no changes are allowed.
This is strictly required to be your own original work. Plagiarism will be penalised. Students must use correct in-text citation conventions in accordance with the Harvard method.
|Assessment Title||Group Report|
|Purposeof assessment and linkage to Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)|
To identify contemporary trends in today’s global business environment
This assessment will address the following unit learning outcomes:
|Assessment Weight||Group Report= 30%|
Total = 30%
|Total Marks||30 Marks|
|Word limit||Report not more than 3,000 words|
Each group of 4 students will select and analyse One of the following questions and submit a collaborative written report.
Students’ reports will vary widely. Their writing should reflect an understanding of the chapter’s
basic concept(s), thorough research, and logic and critical thinking skills
Please choose One question only from the following:
Trends in the Global Business Environment
|Word limit|| Report not more than 3,000 words|
The corporate social responsibilities are the set of activities, which are applied by the business as part of the commitment towards the development of society, economy and community. The corporate social responsibilities components are been emerged in increasing the performance and positioning of the business in the marketplace. In the process of increasing the brand reputation, the business entities are involved in the activities such as carbon emission, waste reduction, waste recycling, investment in carbon footprints, social and community-based campaign. The usage of renewable energies has been another part of the CSR activities which has increased business performance. The corporate social responsibilities have been influencing factors for increasing purchase of the goods and services. However, any form of incorrect CSR campaigning directly impact on the brand reputation, as the CSR activities are publically connected. CSR activities have also supposed to include the high cost of production and high rate of investments within the business.
The purpose of the assignment is to identify and understand the contemporary trends in the global business environment. These forces have been rapidly impacting on the performance and competitiveness of the business firms operating in the global market. For making a brief discussion and debate over the global environmental trends and concerns, the assignment has included an evaluation of the role of corporate social responsibilities within the business in today's world. In the process of discussion, the assignment includes observation on the impact of the CSR and its necessities within the business entities. It certainly included contradictory debate over the application, usage and role of the corporate social responsibility within today's global business environment.
1. Discuss the role of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR) in today’s world. Give practical examples for your arguments.
Global Business Environment
The global business environment is summarized as the external factor and forces which impacts on the performance, operations and position of the business firms in the global platform. The global business environment includes different events related to the economy of the countries, political decisions, environmental changes, and technological changes within the market (Cuesta‐Valiño et al. 2019). These changes are the part of the external business environment, which has been characterized by turbulence, uncertain event, surprising change, and discontinuity of policies, procedures or mechanisms. The United Kingdom has been made decision for being separated from the European Union which has largely impacted on the business rations between these two nations. Lim and Greenwood (2017) has been characterized as the political changes made within the global spectrum, which has developed an uncertain course of events for the businesses operating in the United Kingdom. There have been several discontinuities seen in the remedies and business benefits received by the organizations of the UK before the Brexit decision making. Thus, these forms of changes are defined under the global business environment.
Figure 1: Global Business Environment
(Source: Cuesta‐Valiño et al. 2019)
Globalization is supposed to be a process, which includes the trade barriers between the countries and increase international trade of goods and services. Hill et al. (2017) has mentioned that the trends of the global business environment are been understood to identify the issues and reduce or mitigate the risks associated with global business growth such as resources allocation, wealth distribution or global economical developments. International trade regulations are been affected by the governmental stability of countries, as different countries have differentiated rules it develops gaps within the international trade (Charles et al. 2018). Similarly, the environmental concerns of the countries are based on the rules and regulations of government of each. In addition, the social and cultural changes are been observed based on the changes in the perception, thinking process, lifestyles and habits of the consumers. For understanding these global variants, the business entities apply the corporate social responsibilities for operating in the global market.
Corporate Social Responsibility and complements
The corporate social responsibility is a business regulation and standard which is been applied internationally for contribution towards societal objectives, goals of the business. According to Geringer et al. (2012), the societal goals include activities, charitable and philanthropic activities for the development of the community, economy and environment. The corporate social responsibility is supposed to be self-regulatory practices, which is imposed by the business transition, it has a noble practice to contribute to the development of the society, community, people and the environment. Maidment (2013) has mentioned that the self-regulations are been prepared by upper-level management. It has been observed as a strategic practice, which has been included by the business organization of gaining the attention of the consumer within the marketplace. The corporate social responsibilities include four basic complements discretionary, ethical, legal and economical self-regulatory responsibilities. As per the discretionary social responsibility, the business organization operating in the global marketplace is much more liable to contribute a vast amount of resources to the community and society (Morrison 2020). The business organization tends to include monetary contribution by deducting a specific parentage of pay scale from each employee as part of the development of the society or community.
Figure 2: Corporate Social Responsibilities complements
(Source: Peng 2014)
Ethical social responsibilities are another arena, in which the business organization develops the right set of rules, regulations for shaping the culture, behaviour and communication within and outside the business. According to Xia et al. (2018), ethical CSR shapes the business culture and behavioral approaches in-front of the market. Legal corporate social responsibilities include the building of trust, reliability and confidence within the consumers. It presents all the standards, regulations and legal obligations committed by the firm while manufacturing a product or service. Taylor et al. (2018) has stated that Economical social responsibilities are been committed to generating profit for the shareholders of the business by increase the scope of business performance in the market. The economical corporate social responsibilities are been shown by the corporations by presenting transparency within the stakeholders over the activities, performances, decision making and plans of development of the company.
Role of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR) in today’s world
The corporate social responsibility includes shrinking balance between interests of the society and the business by creating a set of rules, regulations, actions, practices and commitments towards the world based community and society. As per Carlini et al. (2019), practices of corporate social responsibility include a commitment to developing society and working towards the development of environment and humanity. This increases customer’s intentions to learn more about the company. Thus, one of the prime roles of the corporate social responsibilities is to develop a relationship with the customers within the marketplace. Price and Sun (2017) has been stated that the consumers become much interested to pay more for goods or services when they come to know about a certain part of their payments will be used for some good causes. Tesco Plc CSR as bee focused on developing the community, society and environment for managing and maintaining relationships with their shareholders.
As the corporate social responsibility is been the best approach to the develop relationship with the customers, it is supposed to be the best practice to influence the decision making of the consumers. Hill et al. (2017) has opined CSR activities to increase loyalty and reputation of the brand in front of the consumers within the market. Johnson and Johnson is one of the global brands in the marketplace, which has been leveraged wind power to provide safer water within the communities around the globe. The production activities of Johnson and Johnson have been protecting the environment of the planet from the impact of toxic production function from the past three decades (Benz 2021). This form of activities increases value and respect within the customers and certainly boosts the brand reputation and positioning within the consumer's mind. When the corporate social responsibilities are been attached with the business practices it increases positive publicity.
CSR increases the positive relationships with the shareholder's, investors, suppliers and other associates with the firm. Thus, the commitments of CSR activities increase the scope of regular support, investments and growth of the business firm. According to Charles et al. (2018), the role of the corporate social responsibilities is to increase stakeholders support and commitments towards the business entity. Google Inc has been known for its environmentally friendly and sustainable environmental development practices within the global market. The spokesperson and CEO of the Google have been always commented and stand for the right thing, the company has been using 50% less energy for data operations and activities in comparison to the other technology firms within the marketplace (Digital Marketing Institute. 2019). These forms of activities usually increase the value of its market share and increase the confidence of its shareholders and investors. Thus, CSR activities provide the relationship with shareholders and investors.
Figure 3: Role of corporate social responsibility
(Source: Geringer et al. 2012)
The involvement in the environmental, social and a community-based development increase the competitive edge for the business. The prime goal of an organization is to generate profit in the market. When a business organization tries to engage in activities which are different from their prime goals, it attracts the attention of the global markets. Maidment (2013) has mentioned that the involvement of the CSR activities plays a vital role in increasing the competitive edge and advantage for the firm by differentiating them from other similar entities in the market. The activities of social and environmental developments increase the customer base, which helps the business entities for developing its market share.
The fleet trucks of Coca-Cola have been contributed to 3.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses. The company has been major changes in its supply chain for reducing the carbon footprint by 20% by the end of the year 2020 (Benz 2021). This form of activities has been engaged in increasing the performance of the Coca-Cola brand in the market. The competitive edge of Coca-Cola has also been measured by its corporate social responsibilities and contribution. Thus, CSR has acted as a tool for defining the competitiveness of a business firm. With the introduction of corporate social responsibilities, the rules, regulations and standards of the business organization become much systematic and proper. The CSR activities include a proper assessment of rules, regulations and standards (Price and Sun 2017). It helps to develop proper culture, stricture, communication and behavioral approaches within the workplace. The role of the CSR is to engage communication, coordination and development of a culture, which could be contributing to the development of the organization. The role of the corporate social responsibility is to increase the profit margin of the business by reducing the cost of production of the business.
The CSR practices include less use of energy, fewer packaging materials, and introducing environmental friendly materials in the production functions. Carlini et al. (2019) has explained that cost of these resources is half to the original cost of production, which means the CSR practices helps to increase revenue and profit of the business. General Electric has been introduced CSR based business strategy for introducing renewable energy for bringing down the clean technologies and generates about $20 million of revenue from the green products (Digital Marketing Institute. 2019). This states that the involvement of CSR practices includes renewable energies in the production function that ultimately reduces the cost of production and boost revenue margin for the business. Long term financial success of the business is also one of the key attributes, which is been possible with the use of CSR activities.
The corporate social responsibilities include commitments and activities, which reduces the energy usage, increase the use of green and environmentally friendly material and increase the production efficiency of the goods and services, Therefore, for a long run, the business organization can maintain a low cost of production and an enhanced margin of profit by reducing unnecessary investments in the usage of electricity and other energy sources. By the end of the year 2026, Starbucks has been committed to hiring about 26000 veterans as part of the corporate social responsibilities (Benz 2021). The diversified workforce of the firm will be individuals with highly experienced personalities to increase the performance of the business in the marketplace. Therefore, from the analysis, the corporate social responsibilities have been involved in the activities and practices which directly or indirectly increase the performance of the business by enhancing its reputation in the market through some noble activities.
Impact and Arguments over of CSR on the business
The corporate social responsibilities of the business affect the business organization and its stakeholders differently. As per Carlini et al. (2019), employees or human resources are the most valuable resources of the business, the activities practices and regulations of the CSR shapes he mindset, behavior and attitudes of the workforce. It ensures deeper connections motivations intentions of employees and provides a specific focus to the employees. The role of the CSR is to build a course of practices and actions that narrow down the goals and objectives of the business. Thus, the role of CSR is to shape the workforce innovation and performance, its impact increases the productivity of the business firm. Taylor et al. (2018) has stated that the activities of CSR are been based on the efficiency and affectivity tactics for increasing the practice of waste recycling, reduction on carbon emissions and footprints, contribution to the environmentally friendly goods and services.
The activities and practices of corporate social responsibilities increase the value and reputation of the business firm. Xia et al. (2018) has argued that the corporate social responsibilities practices are a risky attempt which also reduces the chance of developing the brand within the market. CSR activities are publically accepted activities, which impacts on the decision making of customers regarding the brand. An incorrect attempt or practice of CSR heavily impact on the brand reputation of the business organization. Airbnb has been engaging with social campaign #WeAccept, which has been released during the rise of a refugee crisis (Jarvis 2019). While engaging this advertisement, the management of the company has faced controversies due to lack of understanding, who the company wants to connect with through this. Lim and Greenwood (2017) has also added that the activities of CSR include high-end costs and investments, which increase the pressure of the cash flow balance and expenditures of the business. There are higher costs involved in the installation of strategies, practices and policies of the CSR within the business.
The multinational corporate can bear these costs, although the medium-size business entities are not able to make such investments. British Petroleum Oil has made an investment of about $200 million for a long term advertisement for presenting the environmentally friendly nature of the organization (Benz 2021). The advertisement has tied to prove the environmental care of the British Petroleum. However, the company blamed for an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which has reduced the impact of environmental friendly campaign. Thus, the brand image of the entity has also been affected hugely, as the spill has lasted for about 87 days. Hill et al. (2017) has argued that the application of the corporate social responsibilities increases the resistance of investors due to the scope of high-profit margins. The practices of the corporate social responsibilities certainly increase the performance of the company publically, thus the investors are much focused on generating their profit from these practices.
The focus of the investors is driven from the growth of the company to higher profit generation while implementing the CSR. (Geringer et al. 2012) has counter-argued that CSR enhances the strong relationship with the stakeholders and investors, which increase the scope of investment for further expansion of the organization. With the application of the CSR, the business organization can motivate the performance and focus of the employees and enhance their productivity to meet the organizational objectives. Lego Company has been focused on investing about $150 million in the coming 15 years in respect to contribute towards addressing the issues of the climatic conditions and waste management (Jarvis 2019). These form of commitment increase the focus of the stakeholders including investors and employees of the entity.
The activities of CSR itself include high investments and costs, which certainly increases the cost of production for the business. There is high possibilities of the rise in the pricing of the products might be increased due to the investments in the corporate social responsibilities of the business. Maidment (2013) has disagreed with the fact that the corporate social responsibilities play a vital role in reducing the cost of production. In course of CSR activities, the giant automobile manufacturing company Volkswagen has been made millions of investments to propose emission control systems for providing an unfair advantage to its competitors by introducing environmental friendly cars (Digital Marketing Institute. 2019). However, the millions of investments have been failed due to his rejection of ethical standards in engineering the emission systems. The millions of investment of the company in the name of CSR have also bought loss to the entity as its cash flow balance has been declined in the specific year.
This controversy has been so huge that the CEO of the company has been asked to give resignation due to such vast negligence within the business operations and production activities. Therefore, an incorrect implication of the corporate social responsibilities risks the brand image of the entity. Charles et al. (2018) has been supported the fact the corporate social responsibilities has high risks of failures, which is directly related to the brand value of the organization. When the business entities are communicated to the ethical and social transparencies, the business entity has to accept some of the drawbacks and poor product performances in the market.
The application of business decision making and interests could be disvalued, while the corporate social responsibilities is been engage by the business. Geringer et al. (2012) has been added that the corporate social responsibilities are the practices and activities which generates aim and objectives of the business based on the benefits of society and environment. Thus, the interested of peoples are much considered under the application of corporate social responsibilities. This creates the risks of conflicts between the objective of an organization and objective of its corporate social responsibilities. Peng (2014) has also added in the argument that decision making for the benefit of the business organization is not properly made when the focus and objectives of the business are been shifted from creating profit to development of the society and community. Gillette has also been driven from its prime objective of generating awareness about the brand when the company has released a short film to point out the issues masculinity as a part of social justice (Jarvis 2019). The company has been criticized due to improper showcase of highly sensitive topic to gain media attention for generating brand awareness.
The role of the corporate social responsibilities is to provide a better set of activities for the business for making some contribution towards the social, environmental and community-based development. The corporate social responsibilities of the business have played a vital role in reducing the cost of productions and increased the performance of the business by boosting its brand reputations. It helps to increase the strong relationship of the business entity with its stakeholders including the consumers. However, the corporate social responsibilities increase investments of the business that develops extreme pressures of the cash flow balance of the organizations in the global market. Overall, the corporate social responsibilities have the potentiality to increase the positioning of the firm, although the business entities might require reducing the negative effects of CSR on the business.