Thomas Stobie’s Thoughts on Corporate Responsibilty

This document discusses how and to whom Corporations are responsible.

I have divided this info area by whom they are responsible which I have called foci of responsibility. I have also limited some of the ways in each focus that corporations fail in their responsibilities.

If you would like to discuss any of these further please contact me.

Index of Foci of Responsibility

  1. God
  1. Owners
  1. Customers
  1. Employees
  1. Community

Foci of Responsibility

  1. God

    First and foremost, corporations are accountable to God for their actions. This accountability falls to those who act on its behalf in proportion to the amount of authority and function they have within the corporation.

    A corporation has the responsibility to conduct all its affairs in a upright and just manner and to insure that all who act on its behalf do so likewise.

    Common Failings:

    1. Failure to recognize the corporation's accountability to God. Many corporations today do not even acknowledge the exist of God and behave on the basis of whatever they can get away with that benefits them, they will do.

    2. Desire to keep God out of the corporation. Many corporations today frown on any behavior that brings God actively into the workplace.

    3. Permitting Cut-throat Corporate Politics. Many corporations today permit cutthroat corporate politics to dominate their management levels resulting in many actions that accomplish no meaningful benefit to the corporation and many of which deal short and long term harm.

    This responsibility also encompasses the 4 other foci of responsibility and requires that none of them are neglected in whole or in part or overvalued compared to the other foci.


  2. Owners

    A corporation has the responsibility to its owners to provide return on their investment. In the case of a non-profit organization, this becomes to fulfill their mission. This responsibility considers both the present and the future.

    Common Failings:

    1. Short Term Thinking. Many corporations today focus on the immediate short term results at the cost of reduced results in the future. They fail to actively consider the future nor to invest properly for the future.

    2. Permitting Cut-throat Corporate Politics. Many corporations today permit cutthroat corporate politics to dominate their management levels resulting in many actions that accomplish no meaningful benefit to the corporation and many of which deal short and long term harm.


  3. Customers

    A corporation has the responsibility to provide quality products and/or services to it customers that meet their needs in a cost-effective manner.

    Common Failings:

    1. Getting the most out of the customer. Many corporations today desire to extract all they can from their customer, rather than on focus on meeting their customers needs now and in the future. Healthy satisfied customers today mean customers in the future.

    2. Undervaluing classes of customers. Many corporations today give special considerations to small classes of customers beyond what is warranted and neglect other classes of customers. The entire customer base, both current and future, should be considered and served.

    3. Not considering indirect customers enough. Many corporations today focus on the requirements of the direct customer, that is the one paying the money, and do not consider the indirect customers, that is the users, enough.

    4. Permitting Cut-throat Corporate Politics. Many corporations today permit cutthroat corporate politics to dominate their management levels resulting in many actions that accomplish no meaningful benefit to the corporation and many of which deal short and long term harm.


  4. Employees

    A corporation has the responsibility to provide meaningful employment, wages, and benefits to its employees. Employees should be a valued resource, compensated with a fair wage that permits them supporting their families both now and in the future with their retirement. Provided that the employee provides good work they should retain employment as long as they are desire and are able to provide meaning work for the corporation. When corporation requirements change, the corporation has the obligation to find meaning work for employees whose function is no longer needed in a particular area.

    Common Failings:

    1. Considering Employees as Disposable Resources. Many corporations today usually with a very short term focus consider employees are resource that can be simply disposed off if their current deployment is no longer necessary rather than valued resources to be redeployed into new areas.

    2. Not Valuing Employees who are loyal to the Corporation. Many corporations today permit their management to abuse loyal-to-the-corporation employees who stand up for the corporation to other employees include their management.

    3. Permitting Cut-throat Corporate Politics. Many corporations today permit cutthroat corporate politics to dominate their management levels resulting in many actions that accomplish no meaningful benefit to the corporation and many of which deal short and long term harm.

    4. Not listening to Employee ideas enough. Many corporations today do not consider adequately ideas suggested by employees for improvement.

    5. Not considering Employee families. Many corporations today do not consider adequately the needs of the entire family of their employees in their policies and benefit programs.

    6. Overvaluing Management and Undervaluing Workers. Many corporations today overvalue their management staffs over the employees that do the work.

    A corporation and its employees can be considered as a family and a corporation and it employee's families can also be considered as a family.


  5. Community

    A corporation has the responsibility to enhance the communities that it operates in and not to harm the environment.

    Corporation should obey all laws of the community where they operate unless the law requires immoral actions to taken.

    Communities where the corporation operates should benefit from its presence, not only in the taxes that are assessed, the people employed in the area, and the products and services that it uses, but also in the spirit of community.

    The environment should not be harmed by the operations of the corporation, so consideration needs to be given to how products and services are provided to limit the negative impact to environment, both in the present and in the future, and efforts should consider how the local environments may be improved by the actions of the corporation.

    Common Failings:

    1. Meeting legal requirements for the environment is all that is required. Many corporations today focus on meeting the legal requirements for the environment rather than treating the environment itself as something to be preserved and enhanced.

    2. Permitting Cut-throat Corporate Politics. Many corporations today permit cutthroat corporate politics to dominate their management levels resulting in many actions that accomplish no meaningful benefit to the corporation and many of which deal short and long term harm.




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© 2006 by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO

Last modified on 5 Nov 2008.