The Social Responsibility of the Global Firm
The essence of GLOBAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY is paying attention to how we treat other human beings in our homes, neighborhoods, communities, and businesses both locally and globally. Being socially responsible means making sure that what we do doesn’t infringe on the rights and well-being of others, and in fact goes a step further, we intentionally create opportunities for people to benefit from our actions.
Social activism has always been a part of my life, whether its protesting the way grape-pickers were treated in the 70’s or fighting for women, LGBT, and the rights of people-of-color, I’m passionate about speaking out against what’s wrong with systems and behaviors which oppress or hurt people, particularly those marginalized or disadvantaged because of racial, economic or societal discrimination.
Working with non-profit organizations, grass-roots activist groups, and other such communities has traditionally been the way to tackle the topic of GLOBAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY and make changes in legislation, social norms, company policy, and individual behaviors. However today, there is a new movement, GLOBAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY is going mainstream because of social media. Transparency in corporate, societal and individual action is impossible to escape. People observe, see, and know what others actions are and they decide if those actions are in line with their personal ethical values. If not, they seek to change that situation. We are connected to each other through the web and our phones have cameras and recorders, one has to think about their actions continuously and the impact they have on others. Not only because it’s the right thing to do but because we rely on what people believe about us to be true. That truth impacts our interactions with the world –positively- as a person, a family member or employee. We feel more responsible for each other as human beings.
In addition to a surge in thought about being more socially responsible, more and more social entrepreneurs are flooding the marketplace with brilliant ideas to make money AND help make the world a better place. Corporations and investors are seeing the need for and benefit from supporting social entrepreneurism as well as re-vamping their own approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which traditionally has been good for a company’s image and certainly helps a cause, but hasn’t necessarily been aligned with company global strategy. Today, CSR is becoming more integrated into company practices and impacting its image as well as its bottom-line.
GLOBAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, that we will need consider how our processes and products impact those who build and buy them from the very beginning. It will become natural to the point where we won’t know how not to consider it. We can no longer afford not to care about GLOBAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. We’re too interconnected and interdependent as a global community.