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Business Society and the Planet Assignment

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Table of Contents-

Introduction-

In the globalized business world, becoming socially active is important to stay firm in the business operations and achieve competitive advantage in the market (Marano & Kostova, 2016). It has been known that socially responsible companies often get the benefit to gain brand image with the help of media coverage and word-of-mouth marketing. Helping the environment and feeding the poor are some of the common Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices undertaken by various multinational corporations.

The present report is based on the CSR performance of the two selected organisations namely Microsoft. The writing demonstrates their value framework along with the description of the unique CSR activities carried out by both the firms. In a group of 4 members, the companies have been selected, and individual views on their social responsibility practices have been discussed.

Main Body

Question 1

The selected organizations are Microsoft and Apple Inc; the report is based on the Australian operations of the two cited companies. It has been known that both the companies operate in Technology and mobile industry. The background of the businesses is software development which offers high-tech solutions to people that helps them to reach their full potential.

Considering the first organization that is Microsoft offers multiple social advantages to people. Its net revenue is USD110 billion as of the year 2018 with its 134,944 employees to manage the business operations within the highly competitive market in which it operates (Microsoft, 2018).

Its biggest competitor in terms of computer software is Apple Inc. where MacBook is the range of product that is a great competitor of the organization. The dominant Australian market is fully acquired by these two potential companies.

The Founder of Microsoft – Bill Gates runs a foundation with his wife named as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to indulge in social activities worldwide for fulfilling basic needs of people and communities (Park & Ghauri, 2015).

It has been identified that Microsoft has donated a significant amount to the local communities of Australia which also a benefit for the government. It is evident that $1.4 billion in software and service sector has been donated to non-profit organizations. The company has also provided computer science education to the children coming from lower sections of the society. With the help of these, the company has gained a significant amount of brand image.

However, it has been identified that Apple attains a dominant position in the Australian market as compared to Microsoft. Its new models in iPhone range, as well as iMac, have been a real hit in the nation; which have greatly contributed to its revenue growth along with increased sales and profitability. While Microsoft aims to help the communities, Apple, on the other hand, contributes towards saving the environment by reducing the harm made to the environment because of its operations (Fernando & Lawrence, 2014).

Question 2

It has been identified that both the companies are market in their own field of business. It is evaluated that both Apple and Microsoft make fundamental impressions on the society  by protecting the environment and society respectively.

Apple's mission is to change the world by delivering the unexpected and not delivering what they already desire. Having a look at the corporate social responsibility practices of Apple, it can be stated that the company majorly works for making life simple with the innovation.

While fulfilling this objective, the company take proper care of the environment by limiting the use of toxic materials in making devices that significantly harms the environment. It reduces the impact of climate change  by using renewable sources of energy and by integrating energy efficient facilities and supply chain activities (Apple, 2018).

It has been identified that pioneering the use of safer materials in the products and processes is another CSR practice imparted by the company for the same. It has been identified that the company fulfils its goals with measurable and smart solutions delivered by its proficient workforce.

Besides the same, it has been known that the company has indulged into activities that address environmental issues that help them create a healthy society. However, the main issue in the Corporate Social Responsibility is the lack of variety in the activities carried out in CSR activities such as doing needful for the communities and society (Godos-Díez, et al. 2014).

On the other hand, the CSR approach of Microsoft largely focuses upon helping communities and society. The company uses a rather conventional method of being socially responsible for several ways of helping people in different ways. It has been derived from the 2018 CSR report of Microsoft that its approach focus on three different aspects: empowering people, strengthening communities, and protecting our planet.

Figure 21: Microsoft CSR

The brand offers a complete set of transparent and a year-round approach towards helping society as well as the environment (Story & Neves, 2015). The fundamental objective of the company is to develop economic opportunities for every local community of Australia through the power of technology.

The main differences in the CSR practices of Apple and Microsoft are that Apple only concentrates on saving the environment, whereas, Microsoft works for both local communities and saving the planet.

Question 3

The major sustainability growth concerning Australian society is to reduce poverty. It has been identified that poverty issues are the most significant among a tribal group or Aboriginal caste in the country (Chan, 2014).

These people are from the distinct areas of the country where there are no sources of education and technology. However, it is the major sustainability issues which both the companies should focus upon. Moreover, it has been identified that encouraging revolution to endure the environment along with reducing the natural impact thus protecting the Australian beaches, and other natural resources of the country will be a potential sustainable development growth (SDG) issues within the environment. However, this SDG issues within the country can be effectively fostered by Apple and Microsoft.

As per the sustainability report of Microsoft, it has been identified that the company promotes local community development and as per the same, the issues of poverty can be resolved by Microsoft. Considering the technology and innovation area within the Australian locality, Apple's CSR practices can considerably foster the same (Feldner & Berg, 2014).

Question 4

Mainly the eight key principles of social accounting are present that takes into consideration completeness, comparability, inclusivity, evolution, management policies, external verification, disclosure, system and continuous improvement. All these concepts are quite crucial as they assist in knowing the social performance of the firms in the market (Rasche, et al. 2017).

Considering the compliance with these principles, in the case of Apple Inc the company lacks inclusivity and on the other hand, the social report of Microsoft is inclusive in nature. Apple does not consider all its stakeholders, but Microsoft considers all the stakeholders and proper two-way communication is present in between management and stakeholders.

Apple mainly focuses on adopting the concepts of continuous improvement like new products are innovated on a continuous basis, and along with this, the management focuses on the implementation of new ideas so as to sustain in the environment and society also. However, in terms of completeness Apple lacks as the social requirement of sustainability has not been addressed properly by the firm.

In the case of Microsoft, the firm is able to meet the eight criteria of the social reporting. The key objectives that have been stated by Microsoft in its social report possess the attributes of inclusivity and completeness in the market of Australia (Cohen, 2017). Along with this, Microsoft has developed a social mission where the main stress is on resolving the issues in Australian society.

The management is also working on continuous improvement as Microsoft is utilizing new ways of empowering people. Moreover, collaboration with NGOs and government has provided proper support to the company in accomplishing its sustainable goals in the best possible manner. Therefore, through this, it can be stated that Microsoft is highly efficient in meeting with the eight goals in comparison with Apple and this is the main reason due to which Microsoft is more efficient (Gulzar, et al. 2018).

Question 5

The mission statement of Microsoft is to “ empower individuals within the firm so as to accomplish more”. The organization highlights different aspects such as diversity, innovation, corporate social responsibility, empowering people and developing trustworthy computing.

On the other hand, the mission statement of Apple corporation provides a remarkable experience to the students and other individuals with the help of online services, software, hardware etc (Fernando & Lawrence, 2014). The core values of the firm are diversity and inclusion on the basis of which Apple Inc operates efficiently in the market. The organization mainly focuses on delivering importance to involve highly potential individuals and eliminating diversity barrier to employee talent from all over the world. In the case of Apple, the marketing approach of the firm is simple rather than complex in nature.

In the case of Microsoft the social report of the firm the entity has highlighted the relationship between the core principles and the mission statement of the organization. The social goals have been framed on the basis of the core principles only. The key goals of the firm such as protecting the environment, empowering people, etc. represent the key principles that are followed by Microsoft in its business practices. 

Apart from this, a gap has been found in principle and the environmental report of Apple. The principles of the firm strongly focus on building innovative products so that better experience can be provided to the students. The environmental goals of the firm meet the principle in the area of producing nontoxic materials for the products (Story & Neves, 2015).

The goal associated with reducing the environmental impact is not linked with the core principles. Hence, this is the main reason due to which Apple fails to comply with the principles indirect manner in comparison with Microsoft. Apple focuses more on its marketing practices, and this is the main gap identified. 

Question 6

It has been found that all the members of the group perceive that in the Australian environment Microsoft is a more sustainable business. In comparison between Microsoft and Apple in terms of SDG orientation within Australia, all the three members totally agree with the fact that the initiatives taken by the firm are quite effective in promoting sustainability along with other social standards (Chan, 2014).

On the other hand, the other group members totally disagree that Apple is not at all SDG oriented for the Australian market and the entity is totally working on some innovative goals. The key goal of the business is reducing the impact of climate change along with the adoption of non-toxic materials. Mainly, the key points in the disagreement took place where proper analysis was carried out on the accomplishment of the goals.

On the basis of the perception of participant 1 and 2 Apple Inc has accomplished widespread implementation in terms of the key objectives. However, in my view, Microsoft is highly efficient, and the company is capable enough to accomplish the social goals set. Moreover, through the overall discussion, some new ideas were introduced. For instance, one of the participants said that the Apple corporation is product oriented firm and its environmental and social goals are decided accordingly.

Therefore, through this, the participants ensured that Apple had adopted the simple approach and it is a well-known fact that Apple has kept all the things  like its business practices in a simple manner. Not so highly effective social goals have been developed by the firm for working in favor of society and the environment (Feldner & Berg, 2014).

The analysis has supported me to understand the straight forward approach of Microsoft Corporation, and it has become possible for me to know the performance of both the entities in the market. Therefore, the overall discussion was highly beneficial for me.

Conclusion

From the above report, it can be concluded that Microsoft and Apple both play a major role in the development of the Australian region in terms of local community development and saving the environment respectively. The writing portrays that the Australian Aboriginals and poor section of the society are in need of basic growth opportunities in which the two technological giants can significantly contribute. Furthermore, it has been identified that the CSR practices of Microsoft are much better than that of Apple Inc.

References:-

  • Apple, (2018). Environmental Responsibility Report. [Online]. Available through: <https://www.apple.com/environment/pdf/Apple_Environmental_Responsibility_Report_2018.pdf>. [Accessed on 12th January 2019].
  • Chan, L. Y. (2014). Corporate social responsibility of multinational corporations.
  • Cohen, E. (2017). CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices. Routledge.
  • Feldner, S. B., & Berg, K. T. (2014). How corporations manage industry and consumer expectations via the CSR report. Public Relations Journal.
  • Fernando, S., & Lawrence, S. (2014). A theoretical framework for CSR practices: integrating legitimacy theory, stakeholder theory and institutional theory. Journal of Theoretical Accounting Research10(1), 149-178.
  • Godos-Díez, J. L., Fernández-Gago, R., Cabeza-García, L., & Martínez-Campillo, A. (2014). Determinants of CSR practices: analysis of the influence of ownership and the management profile mediating effect. Spanish Journal of Finance and Accounting/Revista Española de financiación y contabilidad43(1), 47-68.
  • Gulzar, F., Gul, S., & Fayaz, A. Building Competitive Advantage: An Evaluative Study of CSR.
  • Marano, V., & Kostova, T. (2016). Unpacking the institutional complexity in adoption of CSR practices in multinational enterprises. Journal of Management Studies53(1), 28-54.
  • Microsoft, (2018). The 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. [Online]. Available through: <https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/corporate-responsibility>. [Accessed on 12th January 2019].
  • Park, B. I., & Ghauri, P. N. (2015). Determinants influencing CSR practices in small and medium sized MNE subsidiaries: A stakeholder perspective. Journal of World Business50(1), 192-204.
  • Rasche, A. N. D. R. E. A. S., Morsing, M. E. T. T. E., Moon, J. E. R. E. M. Y., & Moon, J. (2017). The changing role of business in global society: CSR and beyond. Corporate social responsibility: Strategy, communication and governance, 1-28.
  • Story, J., & Neves, P. (2015). When corporate social responsibility (CSR) increases performance: exploring the role of intrinsic and extrinsic CSR attribution. Business Ethics: A European Review24(2), 111-124.

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