Corporate social responsibility is like; What you are giving back to the society? Any company or organization forms up in a society. The company interacts with the society and utilizes its resources and opportunities to gain benefits and profits. As a law of nature, its always Give and Take. You take something, then in return you have to return something as well. Corporate social responsibility dictates the company to do so. COROPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY binds the company to conduct the business in an ethical manner keeping in mind the interests of the majority of the community. It also urges the company to respond positively towards the evolving social concerns and their expectations from the company. COROPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY is more of a legal obligation; it goes for the ethical part. No doubt the company is there to get maximum profit for the shareholders, but there are other stakeholders, on which the company has direct impact like employees, consumers, suppliers etc and company needs to take account of their interests as well. COROPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY formulates the balance between the interest of the shareholder as well as the stakeholders. COROPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ensures that the company acts like a good and ethical citizen in the community. The most progressive companies have a social or ethical binding that they must atleast return something back to the society; afterall this is how a good business is being carried out. The companies following COROPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY have a basic theme of “making this world a better place to live”!Companies like Google, Intel, Disney, Exxon etc tend to go for more and more charitable as well as sponsored programs in order to promote the help in the social causes of the country or world. It is something more than getting profit in green bucks. Its more than that. Its about building a reputation and a good will among the general public and the society. If this reputation goes a bit down, it has a very negative impact on the company. The example goes on the Exxon’s Oil tanker spillage at Alaska a decade ago. Still people rate Exxon as the worst company despite of their extensive apologetic campaigns and $3.5 billions upon the clean up. But the people still state that Exxon as the killer company whos oil spillage killed millions of sea fish and birds. Now Exxon, a multinational company with soaring profits still cant manage to get things straight. This is one example; another example of Google. Now Google got kicked out of China due to violation of privacy issues in China. Chinese laws mount some privacy issues and google doesn’t follow that, this is not a good social responsible aptitude of a citizen who actually came from abroad. The reason is that Chinese Information Technology Ministry kicked out Google and banned Google services and offices in China. On the other hand, Microsoft’s Bing is trying to take control of it by portraying itself a much more ‘responsible’ citizen in the Chinese society.
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COROPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY is comprised of certain models and theories; One of the most widely used models is Carroll’s Pyramid. This pyramid describes the levels of Corporate Responsbility. The types of morality among the managers and directors of the organization. This pyramid shows the level of social responsibility of a company. At the start, the company; ethically as well as legally bound; to make profits for the share holders. The company has to obey the laws and regulations of the society. Recall the case of Google, it failed to obey the laws and regulations of the Chinese Government and it got kicked out. Next step is about the ethical responsibilities, here the company may have to forgo some of the profit share. The example goes of Unilever and Proctor and Gamble. Unilever’s business Intelligence once went beyond the enemy lines. They started to collect the garbage from the Proctor and gamble’s research and development facility; bring it back to Unilever labs and try to reengineer that. After some time, they got exposed and Unilever, apologized the Proctor and Gamble in a press conference and handed over all its own research on their waste materials. This is one case of ethical breakdown, the oil spillage in the ALASKA and another oil spillage by the coast of Australia back in 1980 triggered ethical dilemmas against the companies.
As the company goes to Philanthropic responsibilities, it has to contribute to the society. Like Disney did for the kids and parents . Disney gives charity to certain institutions around the globe in an attempt to improve the quality of life. Now companies like Coca Cola, Microsoft, Google, Disney, Exxon etc they generate huge profits and their annual budgets are more than the budgets of third world countries. They try to give something back to the society in an attempt to make the society better.
This model dictates that the social and ethical responsibility of the company goes beyond the mere compliance with the laws and regulations of the societies. The laws made by the society for the betterment of the society must be followed. Laws like Child Labour, workforce work environment not only ensures the safety of the people working in the company but also ensures the motivation and level of loyalty from them towards the company.
The Carroll’s Pyramid model defines the levels of morality of the managers. In order to be a successful COROPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY company, the company must have managers who are totally MORAL and they stick to the code of the ethical and moral as well as legal issues of the society and company. One way to get this is promoting an ethical and socially responsible culture within the company. This would help to promote the sense of ethical and social responsibility among the workers and managers which ultimately depicts the whole company.
A company founded in 1930s and now became a colossal in family entertainment. Disney; also known as Mickey Mouse Company; now own 11 theme parks around the globe. The company is currently a multinational. The company owns different TV Channel and still committed to their basic commitment of producing shows and movies for the kids of all ages.
Disney enjoys the legacy of Mickey Mouse, Snow white and the white dwarfs, Cindrella, The little mermaid, WALL E etc movies. The movies which not only enjoyed by kids but adults as well. Disney is currently operating five major sections:
Disney enjoys a whole array of network channels across US and around the globe. The 31 channels collaborated with abc network and local channels in florida, Chicago etc makes the Disney a significant player in the game of business market share in Media Networks. The most favourite channel ” The Disney Channel” which has programs for all ages, Phinneas and Ferb, Kimpossible, for kids and Hanna Montana, Suite Life on Deck for teenagers etc.
In the market of media networks, Disney is giving a tough time to its competitors
Parks and resorts
Disney has a range of 11 theme parks in three continents of the world. These 11 theme parks are both owned and co owned. The first theme park was launched in 1952 and now Disney is 100% share holder in the market of theme park resorts. Disney has no such competitor in that.
The Disney’s interactive media is the one involved in the interactive websites and web portals for kids and parents. The interactive media involves secured web for the kids. The interactive media games like whenever the you log on the site, the mouse pointer changes and the flying Barbie along with tinker bell guides you the whole website. The interactive media is quite successful in attracting the customers and kids alike.
Disney has very diversified set of operations, on one hand it has studio entertainment and on the other hand, its has theme parks and resorts. Disney also deals in consumer products, products bearing the logo of Disney. The products include a lot of variety, from goodies of successful movie characters to home décor items bearing the silhouette of Mickey mouse. The merchandise is another profitable section of Disney. Daily numerous people visit theme parks, they take the merchandise and its sales are high.
The studio entertainment is no doubt one of the most profitable sections of Disney. Disney Animation, Pixar Animations etc are just a very few names of the distributors of Disney. Disney enjoys the memories of blockbuster and oscar winner movies like Snow white and seven dwarfs, Wall E , UP , Cindrella, The Lion King etc. The grammy award for best original soundtrack of 2008 awarded to Ratatouille; a movie in which a mouse wants to be a chef and it becomes a chef in the end. The Disney’s studio entertainment surely gave out some very classic and memorable movies. Movies like UP who won 2 Oscars in 2010 was highly admired and loved by all age groups. A story of love, with comic and very unique plot tagged with extraordinary animation and colourscheme made the ultimate recipe of success. On the other hand, the classic movies like Pocohauntus, Mulan, The little mermaid, Pinnochio not only conquered the box office for quite a time but also gave out some positive messages to the society and children.
Children and family:
The cartoon characters as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minnie, and Goofy, combined with the intelligent use of music, sound, and folk material, made the Disney successful among children all over the world. This success led to the establishment of the hugely commercial, Disney-controlled sidelines in publicity, publishing, and merchandising.
For children fairy tales are produced like Snow white and seven dwarves, Alladin, Cinderella, Sleeping beauty etc. These fairy tales are told and executed beautifully so that children get entertainment and moral lessons. The latest hit of Disney is Wall-e which has won Oscar award and is very popular among children as well as in Parents and teenagers.
Disney’s Distribution Channels include Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios and Disney Toon Studios – Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures and Miramax Films.
Disney is fulfilling its social responsibilities by getting children aware of the code of ethics and rules of living in a society.
On , 1957, Disney opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, the most successful amusement park in history, with millions of people visiting it by 1966. The idea for the park came to him after taking his children to other amusement parks and watching them have fun on amusement rides. He decided to build a park where the entire family could have fun together. In 1971 Disney World in Orlando, Florida, opened. Since then, Disney theme parks have opened in Tokyo, Japan, and Paris, France. Disney’s parks continue to grow with the creation of the Disney-MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom, and an extensive sports complex in Orlando. Parks and resorts depicts the company theme. Here characters of animations are shown alive and appropriate atmosphere is created for it by the help of experts. So, that children as well as Parents enjoy in Parks rather then sitting alone seeing their children playing. There are 11 parks some owned and some co-owned by independent entities on three continents.
The Disney Corporation has also branched out into other types of films with the creation of Touchstone Films, into music with Hollywood Records, and even into vacations with its Disney Cruise Lines. In all, the Disney name now covers a multi-billion dollar enterprise, with business ventures all over the world. In 1939 Disney received an honorary (received without meeting the usual requirements) Academy Award, and in 1954 he received four more Academy Awards. In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) presented Disney with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in the same year Disney was awarded the Freedom Foundation Award.
Disney aims to provide healthy and full of nutrition food to the children as the parents are now a days getting worried about their children health because of availability of junk food. Children are fond of junk food which is causing health problems like lack of energy, poor concentration, heart diseases and high cholesterol level. Disney is providing beverages and side dishes. For beverages milk is given and apples are given as side dishes providing full of nutrition food and Parents worries are finished. Except of that Disney is also providing treats and other kinds of foods for children. Several millions of meals in a year are being given in parks and resorts. Food has specific conditions like limitation on fat, calories, saturated fat and sugar. It is also offering birthday cakes, confectionary products and other kinds of sweets.
Along with food items Disney is manufacturing different consumer products. From children’s writing tablet to their tee-shirts, home décor, books, magazines, interactive games, online websites etc. It is providing toys of different characters, other accessories, footwear even beauty kits, all of them are having brand name of Disney.
Children are more attracted towards Disney’s stationary, Disney home, their room decorated with Disney wall papers, toys, other house hold accessories manufactured by Disney. For online service Disney has made some groups like Club Penguin, Pirates of the Caribbean Online and Disney Fairies. They provide different interactive games and allow children to make their profile and make friends online to chat and play with them. Parents also have regular check on their child’s profile and his activities.
Safety and security measures are taken for customers as well as employees. Proper facilities are available for the safety of workers.
Disney fulfills quality, ethics and social responsibility on the part of its employees. Disney provides social friendly environment to its workers so that they work with ease and provide better results. Disney also make sure that its employees maintain the decorum of social responsibilities and do not break the codes of ethics.
Disney’s best policy is engagement of employees. Disney has provided quality leadership to its employees. Starting fro the process of recruitment to the process working employees are focused on development and progress. The abilities of employees are tested and they are given work as per their capability. Workers’ talent is admired and they are given that work which they can do efficiently.
Open Communication is done among employees in the form of meetings, questioners etc. Its helps in finding out the problems faced by the workers. Different surveys are done to know the employees working conditions and ways of improving them. Company provides opportunities to participate in decision making process, it helps to make employees come closer to the company and their loyalties are increased for the company.
The members and workers of Parks and resort are sanctioned to participate in “delivering magic” to meet the customers’ requirements and expectations. They are allowed in innovation of new ideas to attract new customers at the same time retain the old ones.
Disney provides employee benefits to its workers. These benefits include retirement and saving options which make the future of the workers secure. Other facilities are also provided like health and wellness programs for the security and well being of the workers. Disney facilitate its workers by the health programs having confidential health pursuits, so that employees know about their health and also their family health.
The company also provides insurance policy so that in case of any accident the employee can get advantage from it.
Employees also get other benefits. They have benefit of complimentary Theme park tickets. They get these benefits in Disney owned parks. Employees can get silver or main entrance pass for allowance of their entry and their dependants. They can also get benefit form other discounts given by the company. Employees at major occasions can go to the screening of the upcoming movie in the theater. Disney also provides child care financial scholarship to his workers.
Disney also provides tuition assistance to the employees. Disney gives financial assistance for eligible employees who effectively complete trained courses that are related directly to post duties.
Disney also work for the training and development of the employees by the help of effective leadership. This training lays emphasis on the communication, increase in effective communication not only among employees but also with the higher authorities. t innovation, innovative ideas and creative work is need of the century. So, Disney works on the creativeness of the employees. Time management, is also very important tool in practical life without it nothing can be done properly. So, it is also taught to the employees. Methodological and creative skills improvement, employees have the necessary skills but they need to polish it under correct supervision to make its proper use. Cultural awareness, it is important in order to survive in an environment. Code of ethics are the societal rules and employees should be aware of the moral values of the society in which they live and work.
Disney also helps its employees in career planning and development. It helps its employees to attain its goals.
Disney has a diverse workforce in which people from all ages, experiences, backgrounds, ethnic groups, and lifestyles are included which work for the company. These people forget their personal issues and work for the company. Minorities are given same chance depending upon their talent and skills.
Disney has also worked for the safety and loss prevention. Proper safety measures are taken not only for the customers but also for the workers, suppliers and equipment. Disney has Television and Motion Picture Safety: Every script is read by safety professionals for the evaluation of possible risks and exposures.
It also has worked for Media Network Safety: loss prevention is needed in case of availability of variety of entertainment and news content .
Safety in Motion: For the reduction of potential losses resulting from body-motion injuries, this program is focused on dropping body-motion and musculoskeletal injuries special in case of park . More than 20,000 Cast Members have received this benefit. As a result, body motion claims have been reduced by 38% at the Walt Disney World Resort, with similar results at other business units.
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Not just employee diversity Disney has supplier diversity too. Number of minorities and women owned companies doing business with Disney have increased. Due to this Disney was recognized as Corporation of the Year by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council West, the Southern California Minority Business Development Council and the Florida Minority Business Development Council and as Entertainment Company of the Year by the Greater Los Angeles African-American Chamber of Commerce.
Disney has introduced Disney’s International Labor Standards (ILS) program
It is considered to assess and address the working conditions of the employees. The environment of their work, their difficulties are considered in this program. Report is made and is send to Audit committee of the Board of Directors to take necessary actions.
Criticism on Disney Corporate Social responsibility:
Nothing is perfect, there is always a room for improvement. Disney evolved from the 2 room studio to a world level brand. Despite of the fact that it has a very impressive reputation among the consumers, some call Disney as the ‘Devil Organization’. Disney has to face many lawsuits but most of the lawsuits got settled up without going to the court. The critics claims DISNEY as its not the wholesome as it portrays. The shiny and attractive family pictures where kids and families are smiling and enjoying a quality time with the happy employees and a corporate social responsible feel doesn’t tell the whole story. As there are two sides of any picture, the shiny and the attractive side has been shown by their Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The other side of the picture is quite dark. Disney has been a focus for many criticism from various groups like religious groups, ethnic groups, human rights, child labour etc. Each of the criticism is explained later in this section. Disney has always depicted itself as a corporate social responsible company and it has literally spilled money on that. The charity funds, the involvement of parents, the image of quality time spending with your loved ones etc are just a part of it. Disney has won many awards for their corporate social behaviour. Disney has resorts in 3 continents and in USA, the daily visitors’ count exceed 60000. On the other side, the theme park at Hong Kong is proving to be a ‘golden egg laying hen’ for Disney. Disney claims to have special training programs and ‘user manuals’ for the promotion of corporate social responsibility among the employees, from lower to higher level. Recently, Disney won Reputation award for Employees and Human resource capital satisfaction. But, is this really worthy enough to make Disney as a model organization in Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility? Is Disney the better than its competitors in terms of CSR? Is Disney literally portraying a true image of itself or its just another fairy tale? The answers of such questions and many more has been given later in this section. As Disney has major stakeholders;
Children and Family
Disney boasts the need of spending quality time with your family. It depicts the fact by showing family pictures enjoying together with a lot of happy faces. It shows that in this world of hassle and insecurity, you can still spend time with your loved ones and enjoy your life. Disney theme parks come up with a feeling of a fairy tale. Moreover, Disney boasts that its programs can be viewed by the ‘Kids of all ages’.
Recently, Disney claimed in its 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility Report that it has taking some strong measures against ‘smoking’ in films but in the reality, smoking is getting promoted quite effectively via Disney Cartoon and shows. In the movie, The Princess and the Frog, the villain smokes the cigarette quite stylishly. Same goes for Alladin and other movies. This sort of imagery creates a very negative image in the minds of the children. The children tend to take such things in a fun manner and they try to adopt it. The mind of children has been designed to learn but it couldn’t differentiate to mark the thing as right or wrong. This is a fact which Disney should take account of. The depiction of smoking in movies, in any character or in any sense leaves an impact of the children. Especially when they try to adopt the character.
Another critics point out some crucial issues for the mind and personality development of the children. Disney claims that it has shown ‘Be yourself’ in the characters of the movies like Alladin , Pocohauntus, etc but critics pointed it out in a different manner. Critics claim that Disney movies promotes sexuality, religious and ethnic discrimination, homosexuality etc. Critics also back their claims with certain facts like, in the movie The Lion King, the characters Timon and Pumba Promoted the first gay cartoon couple living happily. Now this type of stereotyping leaves a very very negative impact in the mind so this sort of corporate responsible attitude is not acceptable at all.
Moreover, the promotion of sexuality in the movies are the subject of criticism from time to time. The most critized movie over this subject of matter was Jessica Rabbit which not only dressed erotically but also her certain body parts got exposed during the movie. Certain religious and parent groups heavily criticize this and regarded this as demoralizing the whole generation. Jessica rabbit was the centre of attraction of literally “Kids of all ages”! Such irresponsible behaviour in character making and depicting for a cartoon for kids is not socially responsible. Such cheap publicity stunts and shortcuts brought Disney a good fortune but the social responsible aptitude is down the drain.
Another issue is of the ethnic discrimination; as in the CSR Report of 2008, Disney presents the examples of Alladin and Cheetah Girls etc for the diversity and bringing tolerance in the minds of the people; however in reality, the Alladin’s Soundtrack depicted the difference. The soundtrack depicts the American – Arab difference and discrimination policy. The soundtrack deceivingly portrays and states the ‘barbaric’ nature of the Arab World. This goes same in the case of Lion King, in which the hyenas are depicted as downtown thugs of the streets of United States. The recent movie The Princess and The Frog; as per Disney spokesperson; is trying to develop a sense of tolerance and no discrimination among the children. This has been carried out in such a way that the princess in this film is ‘black’ whereas all the princesses in the previous Disney movies were white. On the other hand, people call it as racism and still point fingers at the Disney’s Think tanks.
The above mentioned critics seriously point out the credibility of the Disney movies itself. The Disney has to do some serious steps in order to cater that. Disney should take some serious measures in order to cater issues like that. As far as the competitors are concerned, the DreamWorks Animation Studios’ Kung Fu Panda and Shrek depicted a more positive message about ‘Be yourself’ without promoting sex or vulgarity or with other cheap shortcut. DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar literally blew the house with laughters, an extreme comedy with an interesting story plot with no issues from parents or any religious groups. Dream Works Animation is literally playing its part in social corporate responsibility.
Employees Work Force
Disney is the role model of many companies in terms of corporate governance. Disney has proved time and time again that it’s not only socially responsible to the external stakeholders but it is also equally socially responsible to internal stakeholders as well. Disney has devised out certain ‘User manual’ for the board of directors to practice corporate governance rules and regulations. Disney has no discrimination policy and it boasts of it widely. Disney ensured that the workers have the safer and user friendly environment for the workplace. The diversity among the employees and zero discrimination policy tolerates race, religion, ethnic group for promotion. Disney always tried to be the role model in employee satisfaction and organization’s internal matters. In the corporate reputation, Disney scored the highest among employee satisfaction. Disney maintained its position in the corporate reputation; an independent research conducted by Reputation.
On the other hand, there are some fingers rising towards the practices of Disney around the globe. Disney has 11 theme parks, some owned and some co-owned. These theme parks have employees, now the employees which are under the direct umbrella of Disney are reported to be happy, satisfied etc but the employees which are being outsourced to the third world countries, they are exploited in a very shameful manner. 101 Dalmations was the blockbuster hit for Disney Corporations, Disney collaborated with Mc Donalds and they started to give out toy figures of Dalmations in the Happy Meal. Even Mc Donalds benefited from the hit and its sale also rose due to the fact of involvement of Dalmations Goodies and Toy Figures in the Happy meal. These Dalmation figures were produced in Vietnam with a very low low vage of few cents per hour. The woman and children were forced by the local manufacturer to Disney to produce the toy items in such non-human conditions. The constant intake of Acetone and other volatile chemicals made the workers terribly sick. This is just one side of the story, one critic pointed out the fact of Disney T-Shrits. The T-shirts were outsourced to BURMA, where the same conditions were there. The whole money, just for the sake of low costing, was given to the third party which ensured the total exploitation of the labour. According to US department of Defence, a significant amount of drugs comes from Burma and Disney actually hired people over there to produce T shirts, generate the finance, and invest it in drugs business.
Disney also boasts its policies about Child labour and the charities given to child labour etc.On the other hand, in above mentioned examples, a huge percentage of the labour was child labour. Now the question arises to Disney that how much is its Circle of Corporate Social Responsibility? Does the circle tend to be within the theme park or where people can clearly see? Disney is being held questionable for that but no comments or any sort of explanations except denials have been reported from the Disney’s side.
During the recession, Disney also had to downsize itself, the downsizing was disastrous for the theme park visitors. As, if there was on ride there were; lets say 6 people in the start; when the downsizing occurred; only 2 remained. On the other hand, the number of visitors daily increased in order to get the costs. A previous worker of the Disney mentioned that Disney had a policy of fixed number of visitors daily. Upon reaching that number, no more entrance policy was exercised but nowadays, the green is more than the human soul. The rides are over running and they are not being properly maintained; moreover, the lack of personnel to assist the visitors is becoming another problem.
In order to properly portray what it is and what it really shows to be; Disney need some strict measures to take upon such third party labour issues. Moreover, the security measures at the theme parks and the training and development of the employees must be carried out.
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