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Stances to Social Responsibility Issues

Stances to Social Responsibility Issues

Author: Jeff Carroll
Description:

Identify the stances a business can take to respond to social responsibility issues.

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Tutorial

Source: Image of traffic light, woman at laptop, man at laptop, paycheck, woman arguing, goalkeeper, band-aid, telescope, images by Video Scribe, License held by Jeff Carroll.

Video Transcription

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Hi, I'm Jeff, and in this lesson, we'll discuss the four major stances to social responsibility issues. And we'll predict how a certain stance might react in a given situation. So let's get started.

When it comes to social responsibility, there are four different responses a company can have. They are obstructionist stance. This is an approach to social responsibility in which the organization actively tries to avoid, slow, or stop social responsibility. A utility business, for example, might block solar power from coming into a county.

Defensive stance is an approach to social responsibility in which the organization will fight any allegations of social irresponsibility. An oil company might do the minimal amount of work to clean up a spill that it caused but nothing to repopulate the environment with animals and wildlife. They would then claim social responsibility.

An accommodative stance is an approach to social responsibility in which the organization goes beyond the minimal standards of social responsibility but does not seek to make major changes. A business might start a recycling program but not work with the local community to expand that recycling program beyond its own business.

And finally, there is the proactive stance. This is an approach to social responsibility in which the organization goes beyond the minimal standards of social responsibility by actively anticipating future issues. A company like Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream does not just improve life for its employees, they also work with the local community and other businesses to improve the society also. For example, they constantly strive to use local organic ingredients with sustainable production methods to help improve the environment.

It should be noted that these stances may not occur in isolation. Stances might change based on the specifics of the situation. Or one department or team might take a different stance than other teams in different physical locations.

Now let's run through an example of a social responsibility issue and illustrate how each stance might react to it. The example, we'll use is an increase in the minimum wage. The company with an obstructionist stance might create a lobbying group to fight any increases in the minimum wage.

A defensive stance might cause a company to find ways to reduce benefits while increasing the minimum wage. They would then argue that they have been socially responsible by increasing the minimum wage. An accommodative stance business might increase the wages for their employees beyond that of the minimum wage but likely do nothing else while the company with a proactive stance might increase the wages for their employees beyond that of the minimum wage as well as increasing their benefits. They may also contribute to lobbying organizations to help improve employees working conditions in other ways.

That was nicely done. In this lesson, we learned about the four stances a company can take to social responsibility issues. We discussed that these issues don't occur in isolation. And we ran through a real-world example showing how these stances might cause a business to react. Thanks for your time and have a great day.

Terms to Know
Accommodative Stance

An approach to social responsibility in which the organization goes beyond the minimal standards of social responsibility but does not necessarily seek to make major changes.

Defensive Stance

An approach to social responsibility in which the organization will fight any allegations of social irresponsibility.

Obstructionist Stance

An approach to social responsibility in which the organization actively tries to avoid, slow, or stop social responsibility.

Proactive Stance

An approach to social responsibility in which the organization goes beyond the minimal standards of social responsibility by actively anticipating future issues.