Becoming a Socially Responsible Company

Becoming a Socially Responsible Company Order Instructions: Please read below for information concerning assignment. Support responses with examples and use APA formatting in the paper. You may access the school’s website by logging into:

Becoming a Socially Responsible Company
Becoming a Socially Responsible Company

Please note that when you log into the website you must click launch class, and on the next screen click syllabus to view this week’s readings (week 5) and Academic Resources to access the school’s library.

To support work, use the course and text readings and also use outside sources. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.

Final Project: Working toward Becoming a Socially Responsible Company

Over the last five weeks, you have completed a great deal of research regarding your chosen organization. Based on what you’ve learned, you’ve identified a social cause that you believe fits nicely with your company’s ethical culture. For your last assignment, you will compile this information into a presentation and a supporting document that are appropriate to be presented to your company’s senior management.
You will write a 12- to 15-page final paper in a Microsoft Word document that discusses the information you have gathered this session. You will also create a 5- to 10-slide Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (THE POWERPOINT WILL BE SUBMITTED IN ANOTHER ORDER) that touches on the main points of your research.


Part I

Review, revise, and organize research and writings from Week 1 to Week 5. In a 12- to the 15-page document, submit the following:

• Title page: name of your organization, name of a cause or nonprofit partner, your name, date, course number, and instructor’s name.
Section 1:
• Executive Summary: It is a short section of a larger document that provides an overview of the critical items covered in the full document. The purpose of the executive summary is to provide the reader with enough information to get him or her quickly acquainted with the salient information in the larger report. Review, revise, and summarize research and writings from Weeks 1 to 5 (see bulleted list below) in 1–2 pages.

Section 2:
• Describe you’re chosen global, publicly traded organization (Week 1).
• Discuss your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. Be sure to discuss how the selection of your social cause supports strengths and opportunities of your organization while helping your organization to overcome its weaknesses and threats. (Much, but not all, of this information, was prepared in Week 2.)
• Describe the social cause and/or nonprofit partner and the ethical principles and frameworks used in making your selection. Include a discussion of the internal and the external impacts you expect to make with this choice (Week 3).
• Discuss any ethical challenges this social cause or partnering with the chosen nonprofit might present to your employees (based upon Week 4 materials).
• Discuss why it is important for your organization to actively participate in a CSR program and why it is important to promote a global citizenship effort (based upon Week 5 materials):


Becoming a Socially Responsible Company Sample Answer

Executive summary

The chosen publicly traded global company is General Motors (GM). This is a Detroit, Michigan-based multinational that produces and sales a wide range of motor vehicles. The selected social cause that supports General Motors’ strengths and opportunities while helping this corporation to overcome its threats and weaknesses in the production of eco-friendly vehicles. The manufacturing of environment-friendly automobiles supports GM’s strengths while overcoming its weaknesses and threats as it makes GM to stand as a car maker that cares for the environment. The ethical challenge is that GM’s employees focus so much on the production of eco-friendly energy efficient automobiles that they overlook other important aspects such as safety and quality of the cars. CSR programs and promoting a global citizenship effort by General Motors would result in workers being better motivated and their productivity would go up. It will also result in good relationships with the local authorities which would in turn make conducting business a lot simpler and easier.

Working toward Becoming a Socially Responsible Company Part I

Chosen a global company: General Motors

The selected publicly traded, multinational corporation is General Motors (GM). This is a Detroit, Michigan-based global corporation which is engaged in the production of motor vehicles. This car maker was established in the year 1908 by the American businessman William Durant. The firm offers an extensive array of automobile models which include Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac, as well as GMC Truck and Coach (Roberts, 2016). Furthermore, General Motors produces a high number of locomotives, gas-turbine, and diesel engines as well as appliances for domestic use. The company’s customer base is mainly the section of the population that does not have too much money to spend on cars but are seeking fuel-efficient automobiles (Crumm, 2010). General Motors’ main areas of operations are the production and selling of motor vehicles and their spare parts as well as the sale of financial services. Currently, the company has a workforce of roughly 215,000 employees, and it serves six continents, and sells over nine million cars annually: in the year 2015 alone, the company sold 9.8 million vehicles worldwide (General Motors, 2016a).

General Motors does not have an official mission statement. However, the company states on its website that it is in fact committed to delivering great automobiles and works toward giving consumers a positive ownership experience. The vision of the company is to be the global leader in the production of transport products and associated services. The company also desires to earn the enthusiasm of its customers through continuous improvement motivated by reliability, cooperation, and invention (General Motors, 2016b). The values enshrined in the ethics policy of General Motors are as follows: creating lifetime customers, continuous improvement, prioritizing safety and quality, delivering products that offer long-term value and making a progressive transformation (General Motors, 2016a). All in all, General Motors is one of the most prominent companies in the world that produce automobiles and household appliances. In fact, General Motors is the second largest carmaker globally just behind the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota (Roberts, 2016). The current high standing of the company among its competitors is an indication that its products are likely to continue being used by customers into the future.

General Motors SWOT analysis


Huge Market Share: In as much as the company’s share value recently dropped in the United States market, General Motors still remains competitive in the global market (Adela & Monica, 2011). At the moment, GM’s market share value stands at 25% and is significantly increasing in different markets such as China, South Africa and other emerging markets (Roberts, 2016). This is a clear depiction of the fact that with the right strategic plans, the company can actually turn out to be the market leader in the automotive industry again by surpassing the current market leader, Toyota.

Wide range of Brands: GM has several branches in different parts of the globe and is considered as a global leader along with its main rival Toyota for the primary purposes of its wide range of brands. The extensive diversity of its product range has made it easy for the company to access different types of markets with different types of car products (Adela & Monica, 2011). Currently, GM’s brands include GMC, Buick, Saturn, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Daewoo, Saab, Holden, Vauxhaull, Opel, and Hummer. While it offers Hummer, GMC, Buick, Saturn, Cadillac, and Chevrolet largely for the North American market, General Motors offers Holden for the Australian market, Opel for the European market, and Vauxhall for the British market (Crumm, 2010).

Innovation and advanced technology: NASA engineers and GM engineers are currently working on modalities to launch Robonaut 2 as one of the space shuttles in the International Space Station (Adela & Monica, 2011). The two entities are collaboratively putting their efforts together using different technologies in developing this machine and other humanoid robots through the use of vision systems and advanced sensor. This has helped to maintain GM’s capacity to use technology in advancing its productivity. The company also provides energy-efficient technologically advanced automobiles such as the electric Chevy Volt and the hybrid Chevrolet Cruze Eco. Both of these cars are design to have negligible environment impact.

Customer Satisfaction and huge financial strength: GM has an outstanding reputation in the production of quality products as detailed in the American Customer satisfaction index. The company’s innovative products such as Cadillac and Buick are currently ranked as the largest products that satisfy the needs of the customers. General Motors has an immense financial strength thanks to considerable revenues and profits the company makes each year (Calderón, Ferrero & Redin, 2012). GM’s immense financial strength has enabled the company to easily expand its presence globally.


Unproductive Marketing Strategies: GM’s marketing strategies are considered as a failure since these approaches are restricted within different countries and they do not suit all the countries the organization conducts its businesses in (Crumm, 2010). This requires the organization to focus on a global trend and marketing strategy that fits in different markets.

Poor Relationships between the Employees and Management: At GM, there is really no profound relationship between its management team and employees. This has resulted in poor communication and conflicts between the staffs and managers (Adela & Monica, 2011). The company has faced quite a few major loses as a result of these challenges.

Over-reliance of the U.S Market: GM is known for its over-reliance and dependency on its country of origins market. In as much as the company is taking efforts to expand its functions in different markets, much of its quality products are not produced in these other markets (Roberts, 2016). Pension Schemes and Health Allowances: GM’s pension scheme has resulted in several conflicts between the company and its employees. This is in consideration of the fact that the company has not been in a position to compensate its employees’ pensions and health allowances that have piled up over a period of time. This has consequently tainted the image of the company in the market (Adela & Monica, 2011).


Substitute Energy Approach: although GM has previously faced challenges in manufacturing energy efficient vehicles, there is an opportunity in the marketplace for this company to ensure that it develops fuel efficient vehicles for instance through the use of hybrid technology in order to effectively compete in the market. To achieve this, the company needs to incorporate the element of Research and Design on hybrid technologies as well as electric car technologies for its products and innovatively apply the latest green technologies in the manufacturing process (Roberts, 2016). This is important considering that more and more consumers are seeking automobiles which are environment friendly with minimal carbon emissions owing to climate change issues.

Marketing Strategy: in addition, GM should initiate the right marketing strategies in order to attract its customers. This certainly would require this carmaker to incorporate advanced technologies and low interest rates on its vehicles (Adela & Monica, 2011). This approach would be effective in increasing the organizations sales, thus it is essential for the company to analyze the market and use customer suggestions and feedbacks in effectively developing strategies that meet the needs of the market.


Economic slump and financial Crunch: Over the last few years, several organizations have struggling to sustain their market positions as a result of the 2007/2008 global recession. This has affected the operations of GM as well (Roberts, 2016). In consideration of the slow progress in the global economy, several changes have been experienced especially in regards to consumer behaviors. Several consumers have resorted to low end cars that are fuel efficient, thus affecting the production as well as sale process of GM since the demand for its products declined to some extent.

Competition: GM has enjoyed the market as a global leader for a considerable amount of time. However, the advent of other competitors such as Japanese, Korean and European carmakers has highly affected the functions of this organization in the industry (Roberts, 2016). Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan, for example, are currently developing fuel efficient vehicles at competitive prices and offer their products globally just like GM. In order for GM to sustain its market position, it is essential for the company to develop financial programs and offer huge discounts to its customers while also upgrading its brands in the market (Crumm, 2010).

The selected social cause that supports General Motors’ strengths and opportunities while helping this corporation to overcome its threats and weaknesses is certainly the production of eco-friendly vehicles. The manufacturing of environment-friendly automobiles supports GM’s strengths while overcoming its weaknesses and threats as it makes the company to stand out from the crowd – comprising other car makers – as a car manufacturer that actually cares for the environment and seeks to lessen its environmental impacts. This also supports GM’s strengths by improving its image and repute (Adela & Monica, 2011). In addition, the social cause of providing environment-friendly cars supports GM’s exploitation of opportunities available to it in the marketplace while overcoming its weaknesses and threats as it allows the company to meet the needs of consumers who seek eco-friendly cars, that is hybrid and electric cars, which have minimal environmental impact (Crumm, 2010). It also allows General Motors to develop automobiles which meet carbon emission regulations and laws in America and in other parts of the world which are striving to combat the issue of climate change.

Social cause and ethical principles

The social cause is the production of energy efficient eco-friendly automobiles – hybrid cars and electric cars with minimal emission of green house gases (GHGs) which is good for the environment. In the year 2010, GM largest brand, Chevrolet, invested $40 million in a number of carbon offsetting projects throughout the United States that would offset eight million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and it launched the electric Chevy Volt in 2010 (Godelnik, 2014). Besides the Chevy Volt, GM is also manufacturing fuel-efficient cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze Eco. In essence, GM has effectively chosen initiatives which actually maximize environment benefits as well as gains to the firm.

The ethical principles and frameworks that were used to make this selection include the following: (i) care for the environment – care ethics is extensively applied to various moral issues as well as ethical fields, such as bioethics and caring for the environment and animals. General Motors demonstrates care for the environment by developing automobiles which are energy efficient that have a negligible impact on the environment in comparison to the conventional cars made by other car makers (Bredeson & Goree, 2014). (ii) Law abiding – ethical company executives are generally law abiding as they conform to the regulations, rules and laws that pertain to their business activities (Mishra & Modi, 2016). At GM, the company’s top executives have demonstrated this ethical principal by complying with appropriate European Union and American environmental regulations and laws which are aimed at reducing the impact of automobiles on the environment. The law in the European Union for instance requires that every new car registered in this region does not release more than an average of 130 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilometre by the year 2015, meaning fuel consumption of roughly 4.9 litres for each 100 kilometres of diesel or 5.6 litres for every 100 kilometres of petrol (European Commission, 2016). In the United States, the Obama Administration established regulations aimed at increasing fuel economy for light-duty trucks and cars to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg by the 2025 Model Year (The White House, 2016). GM’s innovative technologies could be helpful in cutting emissions of CO2 and enhance fuel and energy efficiency.

(iii) Reputation and commitment to excellence – top executives who are ethical usually endeavour to protect and build the good reputation of the organization as well as the employees’ morale by not engaging in any activities which may undermine respect. Such leaders also pursue excellence in carrying out their responsibilities. These executives are well-informed and geared up, and always seek to increase their proficiency in every area of responsibility (Hsieh, 2015). By pursuing the social cause, leaders at General Motors seek to protect the GM’s good reputation as a car manufacturer that actually cares for the environment by developing energy efficient automobiles that have a minimal environmental impact.

There are a number of external and internal impacts that would be made by the choice. The internal impacts include increased employee satisfaction and retention, improved employee job performance since employees would be more motivated to work in a socially responsible firm, and reduced costs. The external impacts include increased customer satisfaction and retention, easier access to investors and funders, the firm would be more competitive in its industry, and improved relations with the authorities in America and other global markets in which GM carries out its business operations (Zlatanović, 2015).

Ethical challenges the social cause presents to employees

The main ethical challenge is that GM’s employees focus so much on the production of energy efficient automobiles that they overlook other important aspects such as safety and quality of the cars. Consequently, the company manufactured a lot of faulty cars with quality and safety issues. The genesis of this controversy resulted when this giant car manufacturer failed in recalling its faulty cars at the required time: the employees had known very well of the existence of a problem for quite some time. The problem that GM encountered is linked to its vehicles detent plunger, a spring within the ignition switch that provides enough torque to vehicles and holds the key in the switch to avoid turning off the car’s engine (Calderón, Ferrero & Redin, 2012). As a result of this, several clients experienced technical problems since the ignition keys fell off the switch, thus shutting down the engine and disabling other safety functionalities that are powered by the engine of a car.

According to Kant’s maxims theory, it was improbable for the company’s executives to unknowingly drive faulty cars. In addition, it would not be justified that GM’s employees would be in a position to risk their lives driving these faulty vehicles, which proves the fact that they had an idea about the dangers of these vehicles and neglected to correct these aspects. According to Calderón, Ferrero and Redin (2012), it is questionable whether the company’s employees were comfortable not knowing that a multitude of the products they use on a daily basis were actually faulty and could potentially cause a major accident that may be deadly to the users.

Through their inaction, the company left the faulty ignition systems to go through the production process resulting in the generation of millions of faulty vehicles. In this case, it is important that the employees had the capacity to detect the problem and prevent the fatalities that resulted from GM faulty vehicles causing accidents (Calderón, Ferrero & Redin, 2012). The reported results of these technical errors owing to GM’s faulty cars include 13 deaths and 35 car crashes – GM linked these accidents to the failure to use airbags. Furthermore, GM recorded a loss of close to 30 million cars, which greatly affected its operations.

In accordance with the utilitarian theory, the choices of the company must have been made in light of the consequences that would result (Bredeson & Goree, 2014). On the other hand, deontological theories assert that every rational company needs to act in accordance with reason and duty. However, GM’s senior management ignored these consequences and chose to continue producing faulty cars, which affected millions of its consumers in the United States (Calderón, Ferrero & Redin, 2012). In this case, it is important to note that the actions of General Motors’ top executives contradicted the Utilitarian and Deontological ideologies on ethical actions, which actually makes it difficult to justify their actions in light of ethical responsibility towards their customers. Such an unethical conduct should not be tolerated in future: cars produced with faults should be recalled as soon as the faults are discovered by the car maker and necessary corrective measures undertaken to protect the lives and properties of consumers and other road users.

Becoming a Socially Responsible Company and the Importance for General Motors to actively participate in a CSR program

There are a number of reasons as to why it is important for General Motors Corporation to participate actively in a Corporate Social Responsibility program and why the company should promote a global citizenship effort. Firstly, this will make GM’s employees to be satisfied with the company. Workers generally want to feel proud of the company they are working for. A worker who has a positive attitude toward the organization has a less likelihood of looking for employment in a different company. In essence, corporate social responsibility would help General Motors to retail employees (Zlatanović, 2015). Workers would be motivated to stay at the company for a longer period, which would in turn reduce the disruption and costs of hiring and retraining. Furthermore, General Motors would be able to get more of job applications since a lot of people would like to work for GM. More choice will mean a better workforce. All in all, General Motors would be able to not just attract, but also retain and maintain happy staff members and even be recognized as an Employer of Choice (Hsieh, 2015).

Secondly, participating actively in a CSR program will result in satisfied clients. Researchers have reported that a strong record of corporate social responsibility will improve the attitude of customers toward the organization: Cassimon, Engelen and Liedekerke (2016) reported that 89% of customers said that they would purchase from an organization that engages in and supports activities that are aimed improving the society. If customers like the firm, then they are likely to purchase more products. In addition, they would be less willing to shift to a different brand. Thirdly, active participation in a CSR program and promoting a global citizenship effort results in positive public relations (PR). Corporate social responsibility programs provide the opportunity of sharing positive stories via conventional media as well as through online media (Chernev & Blair, 2015). General Motors will not have to waste substantial amount of money any more on costly advertising campaigns. This is because the company would simply generate free publicity through its CSR programs and benefit from word of mouth marketing. Fourthly, it will result in cost reductions. General Motors would be able to lower costs by: less investment in conventional advertising, executing energy savings programs, more efficient hiring and retention of employees, and managing possible liabilities and risks in a more effective manner (Hsieh, 2015). The company would be able to save on operating and energy costs.

Other benefits of CSR programs and promoting a global citizenship effort to General Motors include the fact that workers would be better motivated and their productivity would go up. It will result in good relationships with the local authorities which would in turn make conducting business a lot simpler and easier. Corporate social responsibilities will help in ensuring that the company complies with the regulatory requirements (Hsieh, 2015). In addition, understanding the wider impact of the business could in fact present opportunities for developing new services and products. CSR activities, for instance, involvement with local communities, are perfect opportunities for generating positive press coverage. Equally important, corporate social responsibilities could make the company more competitive in the automotive industry and decreases the risk of abrupt harm to its reputation as well as sales. General Motors would also be able to find it easier to access funding given that investors would be much more willing to support a company that has a good reputation (Cassimon, Engelen & Liedekerke, 2016). Lastly, active participation in a CSR program and promoting a global citizenship effort will help to distinguish this car manufacturer from the competition and would increase customer retention.

Becoming a Socially Responsible Company References

Adela, Z. L., & Monica, T. R. (2011). The Specific Market Research Methodology Used At General Motor’s Europe. Annals of the University Of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 20(2), 209-214.

Bredeson, D. A., & Goree, K. (2014). Ethics in the workplace. Albany, NY: Prentice Hall.

Calderón, R., Ferrero, I., & Redin, D. M. (2012). Ethical codes and corporate responsibility of the most admired companies of the world: Toward a third generation ethics? Business & Politics, 14(4), 1-24. doi:10.1515/bap-2012-0044.

Cassimon, D., Engelen, P., & Liedekerke, L. (2016). When do Firms Invest in Corporate Social Responsibility? A Real Option Framework. Journal Of Business Ethics, 137(1), 15-29. doi:10.1007/s10551-015-2539-y

Chernev, A., & Blair, S. (2015). Doing Well by Doing Good: The Benevolent Halo of Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal Of Consumer Research, 41(6), 1412-1425. doi:10.1086/680089.

Crumm, T. A. (2010). What is good for General Motors?: Solving America’s industrial conundrum New York: Algora Publishing

European Commission. (2016). Reducing CO2 emissions from passenger cars. Retrieved from

General Motors. (2016a). Our Company: General Motors. Retrieved from

General Motors. (2016b). Vision statement. Retrieved from http://www.samples-

Godelnik, R. (2014). The case of GM’s CSR initiative: Why good intentions are not enough. Journal Of Marketing, 63(8), 24-31.

Hsieh, N. (2015). The Social Contract Model of Corporate Purpose and Responsibility. Business Ethics Quarterly, 25(4), 433-460. doi:10.1017/beq.2016.1.

Mishra, S., & Modi, S. B. (2016). Corporate Social Responsibility and Shareholder Wealth: The Role of Marketing Capability. Journal Of Marketing, 80(1), 26-46. doi:10.1509/jm.15.0013.

Roberts, G. (2016). General Motors announces China growth strategy. Aroq – Just-Auto.Com (Global News), 29.

The White House. (2016). Obama administration finalizes historic 54.5 MPG fuel efficiency standards. Retrieved frm

Zlatanović, D. (2015). A Holistic Approach To Corporate Social Responsibility As A Prerequisite For Sustainable Development: Empirical Evidence. Ekonomski Anali / Economic Annals, 60(207), 69-94. doi:10.2298/EKA1507069Z.

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