Hershey's is a listed company. Its products are sold in Hershey's own retail stores, but also in most store chains. In addition to this, the company develops several partnerships with suppliers.
Some of the most important issues in the company's code of ethical conduct that ensure its success are represented by promoting diversity, producing products consumers can trust, and dealing fairly within the marketplace. In order to benefit from productive employees it is important to develop a cultural environment that sustains their productivity (Hershey's, 2012). One of the most efficient ways to reach this objective is to promote workplace diversity. This ensures that all issues are viewed from different points-of-view, and that different solutions can be determined. It also ensures that employees can improve their skills of anticipating situations that can affect the company's activity.
Producing products consumers can trust is one of the most important issues that ensure the company's success on the market. Hershey's name has become synonymous with high quality products, and this situation can be attributed to its interest in offering products that customers trust. In order to ensure customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, Hershey focuses on building the trust of its customers with high quality products. Although competition is one of the most important factors that can significantly affect the company's activity, it must be managed fairly within the marketplace. Hershey must establish the standard it wants its competitors to address it. This also refers to other business partners, like suppliers.
Some of Hershey's most important competitors are represented by Nestle and Mondelez International. The ethical conduct code of Nestle seems slightly different in comparison with Hershey's. Most of Nestle's code of conduct refers to the company's relationship with investors. Another strong focus of Nestle's code of conduct relies on following rules and regulations. It also mentions the company's interest in ensuring diversity and positioning against discrimination and harassment, but this issue is not mentioned in the beginning, as in the case of Hershey's. Diversity does not seem as important of investor relationships to Nestle (Nestle, 2008). In addition to this, Nestle's code of conduct does not mention anything about providing products customers can trust. However, this can be derived from the fact Nestle is strongly focused on respecting laws, but it is not an issue targeting customers.
The objective of Mondelez's code of ethical conduct is represented by earning and maintaining trust. Business loyalty seems to be one of the most important success factors to Mondelez, which is common to Hershey's (Mondelez, 2013). Confidentiality and respecting laws, rules, and regulations represent other important factors to Modelez. Cultural diversity is not included by the company in its code of ethical conduct.
The two companies have failed to address most of the issues selected from Hershey's code of ethical conduct. However, if they had addressed the issue on producing products customers can trust they would have been better positioned on the market. It is important that customers feel they can trust a company. This is why Hershey is the market leader in most chocolate segments. If Nestle and Mondelez want to challenge the leadership position in their industry, they should also ensure that their customers understand their importance to these companies.
Promoting cultural diversity within the workplace by these companies could have significant impact on several stakeholder categories: employees, customers, and society. Companies that promote diversity are higher valued by their customers, because their targeted customer segments are also characterized by diversity. Therefore, Nestle and Mondelez should focus more on ensuring a culturally diverse environment for their employees.
One of the techniques that can be used by Hershey in order to ensure its code of ethical conduct maintains its relevancy is to develop a more abstract code. In other words, the code of conduct should reflect the company's values and principles, and not necessarily the actions required by them. Another techniques Hershey's can use in order to reach this objective is to develop a flexible code of conduct. The flexibility of the code of conduct allows it to be easy to adapt to changing economic, political, social, cultural and technological forces that affect the company.
Hershey's focus on environmental issues is no new business. The company has been involved in environmental sustainability for decades. One of the methods used by the company in this case is to develop programs that reduce waste and the environmental impact of its domestic and international facilities (Hershey, 2014). In addition to this, the company has developed and implemented the Hershey Environmental Management System that focuses on ensuring its business takes place in environmentally responsible manners. The methods used by Hershey are highly successful, as the company has reduced waste by 38% since 2009, and reached a recycling rate of 86% in 2013.
Investments in technological advancements represent an important point of focus for Hershey's. The company understands that in order to maintain its leadership position it must adapt to customers' changing needs and preferences with product innovations (Industry Today, 2012). In order to reach this objective, Hershey's has increased its efforts regarding its health and nutrition initiatives by studying the link between hot cocoa consumption and improved cardiovascular function. The company is also investing in research in order to develop products and technologies that can provide consumers several benefits regarding weight management, heart health, and mental and physical energy.
One of potential technological challenges that can influence Hershey's activity refers to production technologies that are more environmentally friendly in comparison with those used by Hershey's. In addition to this, it is likely that the company will have to invest in production equipment and machinery that produces larger quantities of products faster. Another technological challenge is represented by innovative items that are designed in order to address the same customer needs that Hershey's addresses. The strategy that Hershey's should develop in order to address these challenges is represented by increasing investments in technological innovations.
One of the most important lobbying strategies that Hershey's developed took place in 1927, when the company developed a business relationship with Coca Cola that was based on sugar sales (Hostetter, 2004). During that period Hershey's was Coca Cola's sugar supplier. During World War II, these companies were affected by sugar shortages that were significantly influencing their business. Therefore, Coca Cola and Hershey's joined efforts in the attempt to influence government policies in order to help them receive the needed supplies. The lobby strategy determined the government to write contracts that would ensure these companies would not experience profit reductions, and that their production levels would not reduce because of the war.
It is difficult to establish whether the lobby effort was appropriate, as its appropriateness varies in accordance to which point-of-view is used in performing the analysis. The lobby effort was intended to help the company benefit from special conditions that other companies did not benefit from. This situation is not in accordance with fair play in the marketplace. However, the fact that Hershey's influenced the government in order to help the company maintain its profits has ensured that numerous jobs were also kept. From this point-of-view, the lobby effort seems rather appropriate.
The company's efforts in corporate social responsibility have been rewarded through numerous awards, and also through customers' opinion on the company. Hershey's is considered one of the U.S.'s best Corporate Citizens. Its global corporate citizenship efforts can be observed within its marketplace, the environment, the workplace, and the community.
One of the global corporate citizenship efforts made by Hershey's refers to developing partnerships with communities in order to help them socially and economically. The most important objective of this strategy is to benefit Hershey's employees, their families, and their community. It seems that this approach to global citizenship is a successful one, as Hershey's employees like to address the same approach…