Public Relations (Corporate social responsibility)
The term 'Corporate Social Responsibility' refers to the social responsibility that a Company must honor towards the public, especially those people who have direct contact with and are therefore directly affected by the policies and actions of the company. The feeling that the social responsibility of multi-national companies are not of such standards that would satisfy the general public has lead to widespread protests and demonstrations against these companies at almost every free-trade meeting at the regional and national as well as the multi-national levels. The protests are also generally against worldwide globalization. Almost all major multinational companies are found lacking in their responsibilities towards the public. It is not at all sufficient for a company to satisfy its shareholders and investors and employees and the community in which they function from; in fact, these companies are expected to be aware of and take an active part in human rights issues, community development, environmental protection, and so on. The performance and success of the company is judged by these parameters, in addition to its financial performance. (Corporate Social Responsibility)
Some of the major accusations that have been leveled against multinational corporations are these: some corporations take over land that is ecologically unsafe or sacred to the locals of that state to build their companies, by using political influence, tax evasions and insider selling and frauds within the company, unethical experimentation, and targeting of the young for most addictive products like cigarettes and drugs, as well as the attempts to save costs by moving their factories to developing countries where young laborers are often forced to work under debilitating circumstances and polluted environments, are a few more accusations leveled against multinationals. The monopoly on the export of drugs enjoyed by multinational pharmaceutical companies has actually led to the increasing costs of drugs needed by the world to fight against the dreaded HIV and AIDS virus; the fact is that the costs for such vital drugs would be reduced by about 95% if this monopoly were to be banished. In the same way, the monopoly that the media enjoys actually reduces and controls information. (Corporate Social Responsibility)
However, it cannot be said that all multinational companies are doing more harm than good to the citizens of that area where the corporation has been set up. Take, for example, the corporation Hewlett Packard, or HP as it is more widely known. HP declares that it will behave in a very responsible manner towards the large number of people from all areas of society who are directly or indirectly influenced the world over by this multinational giant. It upholds its traditions of ethical commitment to the customers of HP, its employees, its partners, as well as its suppliers and to the society at large. HP declares that it is only in this manner that it would be able to continue to function in this modern day society. (Corporate Social Responsibility)
The commitment and social responsibility, according to Hewlett Packard, starts initially within the company, and it is towards its own employees that the company shows its commitment and responsibility. Suppliers and partners are next in line, and all these people are legally bound to follow the rules and regulations and policies laid down by the corporation regarding labor standards, safety measures, health regulations, and, most important of all, environmental protection. They emphasize the fact that all suppliers to the company are expected by the company to follow the said rules and regulations of socially responsible behavior. The company would adapt continuous improvement and corrective measures as and when the need would arise. (Our Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility)
According to the Social and Environmental Responsibility Report of Hewlett Packard, the company lays out all the ground rules that would make it a socially responsible corporation that genuinely cares for its entire people, and reinforces its strong long-term commitment to the society and to the environment. The first and foremost rule that the company claims to have followed from its inception in the year 1939, is a basic respect for the individual, followed by a commitment to the customer and to the society, and then an inherent integrity and attention to team work and innovations. 'Lead by Example' being one of the primary mottos being followed by the company, its leaders lay bare the successes achieved by the company so that others may benefit from learning about it and use it in their own formulation of company policies and responsible behavior. HP demonstrates its long-term commitment to communities and educational issues by including business strategy in its programs for widening the scope and span of information technology to the whole world through its 'e-inclusion programs'. (Social and Environmental Responsibility Report)
Customer services and products are designed in such a way that there is more customer value at every step. The 'Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility Team' was started in 2001 with the primary aim of transforming goals on social and environmental issues into strategies and policies. A workplace that promotes a diversity of creative learning and independence as well as maintains a balance in all areas of function is what HP strives to achieve as one of its duties towards society and its people. People from all walks of life, from different communities, different nations, different skills and orientations are all part of the company's workforce. Inclusion is achieved by bridging the gaps between such a diversity of talents and people, and this fulfils a small part of the social obligation of this multinational company. Inclusion is also achieved by including the employee's partner and children in the company's health and educational plans. The 'open door' policy of the company that allows an employee to report to the manager any harassment at the work place that is based on the person's color or sex or ethnic background is one that offers a deep sense of security to the individual. (Social and Environmental Responsibility Report)
Safety and health risks are thoroughly analyzed and changes are made wherever and whenever necessary so that the employees find themselves working in a minimal risk workplace. The idea of 'corporate philanthropy' is adapted by Hewlett Packard to ensure that technology is used by merely being made 'available' to those users who would benefit enormously by its use, like, for example, teachers and students and other residents of a society. The company therefore adequately bridges the 'great digital divide'. The policy of 'e-inclusion' allows communities to empower themselves with technology. This would prove to be of long-term benefit to the entire society. People with disabilities are also treated with dignity and are allowed to access information as well as training for the purpose of a betterment of their own selves.
In fact, HP has been rated as first among IT companies that give to minority communities. The 'HPSupplyLink', an Internet-based e-service, does charitable work in that it helps those who lack supplies acquire them from the surplus produced by some companies. For example, a company may produce excess food. This food would essentially serve to feed a large number of people. In the same way, a company that produces a surplus of building supplies may want to give up this excess to charity. HP enables charitable organizations get in touch with such companies and helps transport them to wherever they are needed the most. The HPSupplyLink uses software that keeps all the people and companies involved in touch with each other so that more effective and speedy transactions can be carried out. And whatever would have gone waste under other conditions becomes a useful commodity to the needy, thus ensuring that a whole lot of people are satisfied. (Social and Environmental Responsibility Report)
The preservation and conservation of the environment is an issue that has been given great importance by Hewlett Packard. Keeping in mind that the environment is the future 'natural capital' of the world, HP has laid out certain measures and policies that would ensure that the environment is not polluted or damaged in any manner, everywhere in the world that HP products are made and utilized. The design and manufacture and delivery of each and every product is made with a lot of care taken to make sure that this same product does not turn into environmentally hazardous 'waste' that would pollute the planet. The 'Environmental Policy' of HP makes sure that all managers of the company adhere to strict standards, both to those laid down by the company as well as to those that the places in which the companies have been set up adhere to, to prevent environmental pollution and damage. Stakeholders are also invited to participate in the environmental policies of the company by reading all the information on the product given on the packages and following the rules laid out for environmental protection.
The products manufactured by the company would therefore be of no danger to the environment or to the customer. The design and the distribution of the…