Sunday, September 25, 2011

Companies and Social Responsibility

The primary purpose of a company is to make money. Why should a company worry about its environmental record or stance on social issues? Well, that is exactly the problem in this story from the NY Times. From the article:

"A handful of advocates, armed with nothing more than their keyboards, have put many of the country’s largest retailers, including Apple, Microsoft, Netflix and Wal-Mart, on the spot over their indirect and, until recently, unnoticed roles in funneling money to Christian groups that are vocal in opposing homosexuality.

The advocates are demanding that the retailers end their association with an Internet marketer that gets a commission from the retailers for each online customer it gives them. It is a routine arrangement on hundreds of e-commerce sites, but with a twist here: a share of the commission that retailers pay is donated to a Christian charity of the buyer’s choice, from a list that includes prominent conservative evangelical groups like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family."

In other words, this Internet marketer would drum up customers for these businesses and then funnel their commission to controversial causes.

If you were a business, would you worry about whether the groups you were associating with had controversial positions on social issues, in this case homosexuality? If you were an owner of Apple, would you buckle to the pressure to quit your association with Internet marketers that give you customers but also advocate controversial ideas?

How does supply and demand impact your decision?

On another note, should Galt get a tattoo parlor?


  1. Hi! Galt should definitely have a tattoo parlor because it would create more jobs and well, isn't that what everybody wants nowadays? Plus, its better for people to be getting tatted up at a tattoo parlor in town than at some dudes house down the street. Just saying. Anyways, business is business, i don't understand why people like to mix things up. Whether or not i support homosexuality shouldn't matter, what matters is the product I'm selling and the price i sell it to you. If the internet site gives them good publicity and gets the company good business then heck! Why not stay with them? Then again, if it began to be a problem because i noticed that my customers were no longer wanting to buy with me because of the things the internet company supports, then why not switch companies? Do whatever is best for the business. That should be the only thing owners should worry about because its the only thing that affects them.

    P.S.i apologize if this doesn't make sence to you...I'm kinda tired, but i can explain better in class? Just gimme my points pleasee[:

  2. Hey Mr.Bauer its Olivia,
    i dont believe that its fully logical to have businesses donating a portion of the well earned money to social issues. if anything, companies should lend their time and money to economical issues involving the town they are in,like rebuilding a highway, and businesses shouldn't get involved with such emotional issues. a workplace is a workplace, and things that differentiate people from one another shouldn't affect business or the deals that firms and corporations have with one another, because its not professional to do so. if i was the owner of apple, i wouldn't want the internet marketers getting so involved with controversial issues, but the again i wouldn't want to lose a huge portion of money, and id stay with them only if they were a HUGE part of the would be impacted deeply if i lost a huge part of the company, but demand would increase because everything would be cheap!!
    no galt should not get a tattoo parlor because it could bring people out late at night to get tattoos, which could potentially mean more arrests or people getting pulled over.besides, what if everyone got the same tattoo???this town is so small, it could happen...but it could also bring more money and business to Galt.
    anyways thats all i have to say.
    -OLivia French

  3. hii its amber garcia!Per. 2
    I feel that a company associating with the Internet is absolutely fine, as long as the customers are on the same page as the companies who are selling the product.Going off what Carolina said, if the companies are benefiting from being associated with the Internet, then more power to them. It truly would be more beneficial to a company though if they were associated with a group that could please all customers, like donating the money to children in need (I do not know). But that is just an example.I know if I was an owner of a business, I would rather not deal with such controversial scandals if that is not what I believed in.I would only want to please the customers and be content with who my company was supporting.
    And yes I feel that it is great Galt is getting a Tattoo Parlor because customers wanting tattoos and piercing can feel safe and not have to worry as much about the cleanliness of the needles used. It can also open up to jobs, which we are in dire need of. I think it can be a success.

  4. Alex Abbott p.2

    The tattoo parlor in galt is just another buisness expanding a little towns interests. i dont mind it. and the people that work there need a job so its a good thing.
    So a company should worry about their environmental record not only for the environment but because if consumers see that a company like wal-mart is eco friendly, they will feel better purchasing items from there then a nother store because the other store isnt helping the environment.

    a company wanting to use the internet is fine. if it gets them good publicity then they will prosper.

  5. I feel that if a company wants to invest in internet companies or foundations, etc, that they should be able to. However, I think it is simply bad business to put your money into something that may offend or lose customers. As for a tattoo parlor in Galt, why should that be an issue? It's simply another business and a new market coming to town to stimulate the town's economy. It is not a controversial business and is nothing new.


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