Article Stages of Corporate Citizenship by Philip Mirvis and Bradley Coogins speaks on the distinctive development stages of companies in respect to corporate citizenship. Companies role with the social responsibilities becomes more demanding and intricate as the corporations grow. Still that is not the determent of how socially involved a company is. This is very much influenced by the leader of the organization.
“Thus there are “companies with a conscious” that have a more expansive citizenship profile and firms that create market for their good works.” From my point of view many larger corporations complete their social responsibility due to it being an obligation. Companies that have a core in social contribution start contributing at the very beginning stages of their company.
The development of the companies is broken in to seven stages:
*Citizenship Concept- actions of a corporation philanthropic and commercial *Strategic Intent-commitment due to citizenship or reputation *Leadership- “walk the talk” *Structure- “islands” or cross functional committees *Issues Management- responsiveness to citizenship policies. *Stakeholder Relationship- social activist *Transparency- openness of companies records
Each Dimension of Citizenship is then broken out into five citizenship stages:
Stage 1 Elementary
In this beginning stage the companies are more concerned with standards and compliance then with their social responsibility. The expectations of citizens are rising for the amount of responsibility corporations should be taking to help resolve social problems.
Stage 2 Engaged
In this stage companies open their eyes to their company’s responsibilities. Although this is still a reactive stage, some companies begin a two way communication to with their stakeholders to learn about improvements that can be made. The senior executives become more involved in the matter.
Stage 3 Innovative
“....responsible to both stockholders and stakeholders.” The company’s involvement becomes more transparent and others are able to view it. This is where the challenge of coherence comes in to play “We all realized that we contributing to the company’s reputation, but we weren’t doing it in a coordinated, concentrated, focused and strategic way”
Stage 4 Integrated
“We have found a new way to win in the marketplace…one that doesn’t come at the expense of our grandchildren or the earth, but at the expense of the inefficient competitor.” This is a great way to describe the integrated stage. This exact quote is what gives those companies in this stage a great competitive advantage in any industry.
Stage 5 Transformative
In this last stage corporation are trying to make social responsibility as a more central part of the company, not only their company but every company. They want to “change the game” of how companies are run and the how much emphasis is put on being a good citizen, to make the world a better place.
Most companies do not fit into all the criteria’s of one specific stage. There are many external forces that can impact companies and the decisions they makes. But it is up to the executives of the company to choose how they want to react to the forces. “…a more important driver seems to be company traditions and value.” Although there is a big push to improve company’s traditions and values. I think we still have a very long way to go. It is much easier to start a company with certain values and to change them when they are used to their ways.
Are people and businesses more conscious of their actions because of the impacts that their decisions have? Or do they act socially responsible due to requirements and to keep up with their competitors?