NHS Corporate Social Responsibility Practice Having obligation to conduct with respect to the rule of law and identifies right or wrong in its conduct.
In a contemporary business environment, organizations are struggling with the new roles to meet the needs of present generation without compromising the needs of future generation. Within a business environment, stakeholders are calling upon corporate organizations to implement operations that will meet the societal values and the natural environment. Organizations are also being called upon to apply principles of corpo-rate social responsibility (CSR) in the business operations. Corpo-rate social responsibility (CSR) is the process where corporate organizations demonstrate the inclusion of social responsibility and environmental concerns in their business activities. (D'Amato, Henderson, & Henderson, 2009). It is no longer acceptable for a firm to conduct business without demonstrating societal concern.
The objective of this report is to evaluate the current Corporate Social Responsibility practice of National Health Service (NHS). The report uses Carroll's pyramid models to demonstrate the effectiveness of NHS Corporate Social Responsibility practice, structure, purpose, and governance.
National Health Service (NHS) is an organization that provides a comprehensive heath care service delivery for people in the UK. Vast number of services delivered by NHS is free to residents of the United Kingdom and NHS provides clinical healthcare service using virtual network healthcare center. NHS also uses tele-health, telephone-based care management and online services to provide self-care advice to people across the UK. The services NHS provides allow patients to care for themselves and reduce the demand for face-to-face services. NHS assists patients to manage their long-term health condition better and makes appropriate choices for their care. NHS average employee are totalled 3157, and there are large proportion of part-time workers offering wide range of flexible services. Typically, 98% of NHS staff is contracted under NHS terms and conditions while 2% are made of directors and board members. NHS governance consists of Executive Directors and Non- Executive Directors. In addition, NHS also appoints different committees to oversee different functions for the organization. There are Audit Committee, Clinical Governance Committee, and Finance Committee to assist board in the day-to-day administration. The NHS Board is responsible to maintain sound level of internal control to support organizational policies. (NHS Direct 2011). NHS structure starts from Secretary of state of health followed by NHS executives and strategic health authorities. There are also primary care trusts and NHS secondary care trusts. The primary care trust consists of dentists, pharmacists, optician, General Practitioners and community health care service. The secondary healthcare composes hospitals, mental health services and learning disability services. (See Appendix 1).
One of the obligations of NHS is to implement CSR practice to enhance ethical value of the society that the organization operates. The report employs triple bottom line' Carroll's pyramid models to evaluate NHS ethical issue.
Carroll's Pyramid Models
Corporate social responsibility involves the ethical conduct of an organization towards society. Concept of CRS shows that organizations must be socially responsible in their conducts and since organizations cannot exist without society; it is a responsibility of an organization to ensure that society which it operates is free of unethical conducts. Visser, (2005) defines CSR as "and approach to business that embodies transparency and ethical behavior, respect for stakeholder groups and a commitment to add economic, social and environmental value" (P 32). However, Carroll (1999) argues that the Visser's CRS definition is one of the countless definitions of CSR. Carroll describes CSR pyramid model (See Fig 1) that shows that an organization that aims to be socially responsible should possess the attributes of philanthropic responsibilities, ethical responsibilities, economic responsibilities and legal responsibilities. Table 1 reveals description of CSR Carroll model.
Fig 1: CRS Carroll Pyramid Model
Table 1: CRS Carroll Description of a CRS Corporate Organization
This is the foundation which all other rest. An organization must be profitable.
The report evaluates the NHS corporate social responsibility practice based on Carroll model.
Evaluation of NHS Corporate Social Responsibility Practice
As a leader of health provider in the UK, NHS obligation is invariably to protect the environment and the locations where the organization is serving. NHS has the obligation to protect the natural resources and ensure that they are being used efficiently to enhance clean environment. Over the years, NHS has been applying the Carroll model in its CRS practice. The report evaluates the NHS CRS practice using Carroll model.
Ethical Responsibilities: Carroll model argues that an organization must be ethical, and having obligation to do what is right and fair and avoids harm to the society. Over the years, NHS has demonstrated ethical initiatives in its practice. NHS has created NHS supply chain as one of the units of the organization to oversee those NHS activities is ethical, and does not have negative impact on the environment. (NHS Supply Chain 2010). NHS recognizes that the procurement of its products and services leads to the 60% carbon emission, and carbon dioxide emission is one of the causes of human mortality, and 30 out 1000 deaths in California is caused by CO2 emission. ( Science Daily, 2009, Juanjuan & Wenping, 2011). Thus, NHS has implemented the sustainable policies to ensure that the organization minimizes the carbon dioxide emission and NHS has demonstrated the greatest energy saving initiatives to minimize the CO2 emission. Between 2009 and 2010, NHS used the energy saving equipments such as air-conditioning efficient heating, lighting, and ventilation. With the ethical activities that the organization has implemented, NHS has been able to achieve "16 per cent reduction in absolute gas consumption and a six per cent reduction in absolute electricity consumption across its distribution centres relative to 2008 levels." (NHS Supply Chain 2010 P8).
Moreover, NHS has implemented waste management policy in its operations to reduce energy produced by wastes. Through recycling activities, NHS has been able to achieve recycling rate by 73% and reduce waste by 17% in 2010. NHS has been able to achieve this target by diverting 1524 tonnes of waste from landfill. As part of the organizational ethical responsibilities, NHS is also being able to reduce water consumption by 14% because NHS has started using the carbon saving vehicle to reduce carbon dioxide emission. Typically, NHS has been able to reduce 324 tonnes of carbon in 2010 by using energy saving vehicle for its transport operations. With ethical activities of NHS, ISO 1400 has certified NHS as an organization that demonstrates sustainable awareness.
Legal Responsibilities: Carroll model reveals that an organization must be legally responsible and obeys the law. Having obligation to conduct with respect to the rule of law and identify right or wrong in its conduct. To assist organizations to be legally responsible, the UK government has set up ethical standards by which organizations should follow. Part of the ethical standards to follow is the laid down social responsibility requirement of ISO 26000. The ISO 26000 sets a guidance by which an organization should follow in implementing CRS practice. There is also carbon emission law and environmental protection law in the UK that organizations should follow in their operations. Part of the NHS objectives is to follow the ISO 14001 environmental standard by reducing the consumption of electricity and gas to reduce carbon emission and comply with carbon emission law and environmental law. NHS also implements internal and external audit process to apply environmental standard in its business operation. Moreover, NHS complies with legal procedures by protecting the information of patients from external parties. As part of the strategy to be legally responsible, NHS also implements eco-packaging. Typically, NHS has started using DfM packaging leading NHS to save 16 tones of packaging and reduction of 10 tones of carbon dioxide.
Philanthropic Responsibilities: Carroll pyramid model reveals that an organization must be a good corporate citizen, improves quality of life and contributes to the resources of the community. As part of the NHS philanthropic initiatives, the organization has offered support programmes for the secondary school leavers in order to improve their career. Moreover, NHS has assisted some team of students aged between 16 and 19 to undertake Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) course to develop new skills for their future career. NHS has also supported cancer Research UK with £132,000. This is an initiative to reduce the number of people with cancer in the UK. NHS has also raised total of £13,336 for charity organizations. (NHS Supply Chain 2010).
Economic Responsibilities: Carroll model argues that organization must be profitable because this is the foundation which all other responsibilities rest. However, NHS does not operate within the market economy. While NHS is responsible to the stakeholders,…
Having obligation to conduct with respect to the rule of law and identifies right or wrong in its conduct.
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D'Amato, A. Henderson, S. & Henderson, S.(2009).Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business. CCL Press. USA.
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