Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in this article discusses the fact that corporate responsibility is fledgling in protecting employees at Ealing Hospital. The case discusses instances when professionals lost their jobs when stepping forward to report others fur unethical conduct. There is evidence that the hospital has covered up several instances of fraud and attempted to remove those that reported wrongdoing. The Health Secretary, Stephen Dorrell has reported that an investigation will be conducted to review the actions against whistleblowers (Lakhani, 2011).
There are many health colleagues who have come to the aid of those facing unemployment and blacklisting as a result of stepping up. These health professionals are adamant in getting compensation and protection through NHS or the Strategic Health Alliance for Whistleblowers. That is health professionals willing to put themselves on the line to protect patients and expose gross neglect and waste of taxpayers money (Lakhani, 2011). One person, Sharmila Chowdhury reported that doctors were claiming hours they had not worked and stolen several thousand pounds from Ealing Hospital each month (Lakhani, 2011). Those accused have denied the claims and once Ms. Chowdhury lost her job and was escorted off the premises, this served to prove she was accurate. Her career of 27 years was stellar with no reports of indiscretion or unethical behavior. Now she has lost her job and has been unable to get employment which has put her future at risk as well as her mortgage. Ms. Chowdhury was a radiologist who managed a team at the London hospital (Lakhani, 2011).
She has appealed to NHS for help and is now amid several more cases of unethical conduct, Dorrell has stepped in to aid the NHS Whistleblowers (Lakhani, 2011).
The inquiry by the Health Secretary is supposed to expose several cases where health care workers have been punished for speaking up about unethical conditions in the care of patients and the spending of public funding (Lakhani, 2011).
Looking at the case from a CSR standpoint let's review the 3D model by Carroll that is explained in categories of economy, legality, ethics, and discretion on one level (Carroll, 1978). The second dimension focuses on management practices within the social context referring to reactions, defense of the status quo, accommodation and proactive actions. The third dimension includes a focus on consumer input, environment and product quality (Carroll, 1978).
Figure 1 Carroll Pyramid
According to Carroll the first level of the pyramid focuses on the foundation on which the business is built which is the economic component.
Carroll's Pyramid: Economic Component
In reaching profitability the company must take care of its employees and meet its financial obligations in terms of economic responsibilities (Carroll, 1979).
This meant that all efforts of the business must have the goal of increasing earning per share. The resources used in the organization should directly correlate to maximizing profits. In addition to this another economic component is to be compete in the market and establish a competitive advantage. An edge over the competition that increases the value and longevity of the corporation through garnering investor support (Carroll, 1979).
Carroll's Pyramid: Legal Component
In order to remain in business and maintain managerial control over the corporation it is necessary to abide by federal regulations and remain under authority to law (Carroll, 1979). That is any law that has jurisdiction over any resources or other assets the business has established under state or localized ordinances for the protection and safety of consumers or employees. In addition to upholding the law, a corporation must ensure its entire staff is aware of the laws and policies by informing them or publicizing corporate policy. When a business is willing to disclose its CSR, then it gains the respect and trust of consumers and investors alike (Hohnen, 2007). The level of quality in products and services should be consistently improving and meet the legal standards for value and price.
Appraisal of Claimed Values and Social Responsibility
Ethical Responsibilities related to Economic and Legal components at Ealing Hospital come into play when deciding to contest Ms. Chowdhury's accusation and going to court spent a great deal on legal representation. Following Carroll's Pyramid this could be construed as ineffective in moving the company toward profitability or economic advantage. By spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in a legal case, this could be seen as a gross misuse of company funds. In fact it does just the opposite of reaching the goal of maximizing profits by using capital that could have been invested in expansion and improvement of products and services (Carroll, 1979). The media backlash of the scandal has costs the company its reputation and most likely lowered earnings per share as investors backed off or distanced themselves from the scandal. The reputation of Ms. Chowdhury speaks for itself and for Ealing Hospital to attempt to tarnish her track record looks bad. Especially since it appears the Hospital removed her from her position where she had an excellent rating just for doing her job. From a legal context Ealing Hospital looks guilty especially since the Health Secretary has decided to review the case (Carroll, 1979). This gives the hospital the reputation or stigma of corporate fraud and negligence. Since Chowdhury won her case in court and is to receive back pay for loss of employment, this further reduces the credibility of the corporation. This is a major advantage and opportunity for competitors of Ealing Hospital to step up and take over Ealing share of the market as patients may reconsider in choosing a provider for health care services. In addition, health professionals may look for other options for employment outside of Ealing Hospital that has a tarnished reputation for violating legal and ethical proponents of corporate social responsibility.
Stakeholder Groups affect Carroll's Pyramid: Discretionary Responsibilities
Board of Directors and Hospital Administrators. These executives are responsible for ensuring CSR is followed by all levels of management and employees. They have failed to monitor and provide safeguards against fraud within their organization (Wheeler, Colbert and Freeman, 2003).
Another stakeholder group are the health care practitioners that work at the facility. Now many of them are stigmatized and viewed as possible violators by the executive board and other leaders in the company (Wheeler, Colbert, and Freeman, 2003). All employees are suspect to review of hours worked due to the fraud committed. This makes all levels of employees anxious and concerned over being called in for scrutiny and to give accountability for hours worked.
3. Oversight committees such as the NHS will most likely require further investigations and auditing of the corporations time tracking and scheduling procedures (Wheeler, Colbert, and Freeman, 2003).
Doctors and other medical professionals with an excellent record of service and high ratings for reliability may consider leaving their positions at Ealing due to the stigma attached with working at a facility where there is a scandal. This is a loss for the Hospital that will result in a lower quality of service.
4. Consumers or patients are less willing to come to a Hospital that has employees that misuse the hard earned dollars they spend on health care (Wheeler, Colbert, and Freeman, 2003). They may be less likely to return to Ealing for future services.
5. Community surrounding Ealing Hospital has lost taxpayer funds to cover expenses for court costs (Wheeler, Colbert, and Freeman, 2003). Funds that could have been used to expand medical services to the community or reduce costs of care.
Figure 2 Carroll Pyramid Ethical and Philanthropic Components (Carroll, 1979).
In order to repair the reputation and improve relations with health professionals, consumers, and stakeholders, Ealing Hospital will have to raise its level of Ethical Responsibilities.
Several points to consider appear in Figure 2, which explain the importance of meeting the expectations of stakeholders (Sethi, 1975). In order to do this. Ealing Hospital should organize focus groups including members from stakeholder segments to get an understanding of expectations from each segment.
Ealing Hospital may want to have an internal auditing of each department to show their willingness to uncover any fraud or misuse of funds.
There should also be swift investigation into any claims made by reputable whistleblowers to determine if they are valid. If so, the individuals responsible should be held legally responsible.
For those claims that were proven accurate, such as Ms. Chowdhury, employment options and/or back pay should be paid out in terms that will meet the needs, yet not strain the capital of the corporations.
The audit may require an external organization such as NHS as the authority selected to oversee the reporting of the findings for each department.
Based on the findings, committees should analyze the problem areas uncovered and develop strategies for dealing with ethical flaws in the policies. Possibly rewriting or enhancing areas where gaps exists. This shows an interests in going beyond merely reiterating old policies but actually improving and updating them by addressing current issues.
A task force including NHS should have the job of auditing or…