Company Q is a small chain, operating in the major metropolitan areas. Based on the information, provided in the case study, one can conclude that the organization is working with a limited range of products, aiming at meeting the basic needs of their clients. Recently, the organization has closed two stores in locations with higher crime rate, justifying the decision by the profitability of the units. At the same time, Company Q has entered the market of healthy food, by introducing several products. The decision and the choice of the products were done considering the profit margins of the same.
Evaluation of the Company Q Actions
Current situation analysis does not allow an in-depth insight into the organizational practices. But the analysis of the actions, outlined in the case, allows making the following observations. First of all, the company took a decision to close two of its stores in the locations with the higher crime rate. Under the standards and ethical responsibility of the corporate citizens, it is expected that companies participate and contribute to the community development. Such decision, therefore, can be seen as the avoidance of the community service and isolation from the on-going issues in the area of operation. Secondly, Company Q, have introduced several health-conscious and organic products. It is evident, however, that the product range is very limited and the major driver behind the choice of the products is profitability. This conclusion is based on the fact that the company chose the products based on the highest profit margin. While introducing such products in the store will be positively seen by the community and the target customer group, more demanding stakeholders will criticize the attitude of the company for at least two reasons: the market started to shift towards healthy foods many years ago and Company Q is only reactive to the trends; when entering "green market", organization should seek to remain profitable, but at the same time should offer good quality-price balance to its customer. The ability to meet this expectation is questionable in the case of the company. Finally, the refusal of the company to become part of the community that donates day-old food to people also sets a number of negative characteristics and feedback for the management (Mullerat et al., 2011).
Justification of Choice
The conclusion that can be done with regard to the ethical standards and the attitude of the Company Q to CSR practices is that the organization is in the embryonic stage of CSR-thinking. It is rather becoming CSR-aware than trying to adapt CSR-driven strategy. Recent developments outline that the organization does not focus on participating in the community. First of all, the company is a chain of small food retail stores. CSR-driven organizations in this industry look for the ways to develop the community and contribute to the environment in which they operate. Closing the loss giving stores in the high criminality area demonstrates that the organization took risk-avoidance strategy. Secondly, many companies are shifting towards the food-saving and contributing to poverty to develop CSR mentality internally and introduce the brand as CSR-driven to the customers. When Company Q refused to become part of the program, it signalized that it does not trust their employees and does not promote are and sharing within the organization as well as demonstrated that it does not want to become part of the community and cannot be seen as the socially responsible business (Schwartz, 2011). Finally, the Company Q took several years to respond to the wishes of their clients to see healthy and organic foods on the shelves of the stores. It also clearly demonstrated that profit is the main driver in the management-level decision-making process. By bringing forward this organizational culture, Company Q positions itself on the market as a profit-driven organization with short-term thinking.
The Company Q is one of the typical organizations with extremely limited CSR policies. The company demonstrates short-term thinking and behavior, which in a long run will reduce its competitiveness on the market, allowing for an easier entrance of new market players. Moreover, it will make the company even more vulnerable to large retail chains, operating in the same segment. That said, there is clear need for change, which can eventually, be achieved only with the radical change in organizational culture and mentality of the strategic management (Sadler, 2003).
Based on the information provided in the case, it is recommended that the organization focuses on the development of more socially responsible thinking within the company and develops closer and more mutually-beneficial relationships with the community. With that in mind, the company should pursue the three-stage plan. First of all, it should re-invent time and effort in rebuilding the internal organizational culture and implement several basic training projects on CSR for management and regular employees. Secondly, the company should involve in the food donation project and at least one or two other projects that help community development and provide employment in the regions with higher criminality rates. Finally, it should start positioning its brand as CSR-driven Company, promoting green thinking, healthy lifestyle not only among external stakeholders but also internally. The set of these actions will ensure better internal environment, trust between employees and better image of the company Q brand on the market.
Sadler Ph. (2003). Strategic Management. 2nd Edition. London: Kogan Page Limited.
Mullerat R.,& Brennan D. (2011). Corporate Social ResponsibilityÇ The Corporate Governance of the 21st Century. Alphen Aan den Rijn:Walters Kluwer.
Schwartz M.S. (2011). Corporate Social Responsibility: An Ethical Approach. Toronto: Broadview Press.