What Is a Stakeholder's Social Responsibility?

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While some company stakeholders, including employees, do have some social responsibilities, the expression "stakeholder's social responsibility" is referring to the stakeholder model of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This model outlines the prominent 21st century CSR business ideology by addressing a company's social and environmental obligations to each of four key stakeholder groups -- customers, employees, suppliers and communities.

Customers

Under a stakeholder model of social responsibility, the importance of customers as a main driver of long-term business success is heavily emphasized. This creates a conflict, at times, between management and shareholders. Shareholders want the company to focus on maximizing profits. Company leaders want this, too, but understand the need to take care of their customer base to create long-term profitability. Responsibilities to customers include basic ethics and integrity, along with openness and transparency to avoid misconceptions and misinterpretations on company messages.

Employees

Employees are much more valued by companies that follow the stakeholder model of CSR that is pervasive in the 21st century. Generally, this means treating employees as your must-valued assets. More specifically, companies should involve employees in decision making and create a work environment that promotes equality, fairness, and nondiscrimination. This creates a higher level of corporate morale, and diversity training improves vertical and horizontal communication within the company.

Suppliers

Suppliers are a stakeholder group that is much more emphasized in business operations under the stakeholder social responsibility model. Organizations are collaborating more closely with suppliers in the 21st century to improve efficiency, to reduce waste and to ultimately deliver the best value to end customers. This includes consideration of environmental preservation standards that are part of the sustainability element of CSR. Business partners must consider efficient use of natural resources and reduction of waste in doing business together.

Community

The community is another key stakeholder group in the CSR model. Business strategist Robert Moment highlights this group significantly in his WebProNews article "The 7 Principles of Business Integrity." Moment points out that companies must extend basic business ethics by getting involved in community activities and charitable-giving programs. Many CSR adherent companies offer employees paid time off to volunteer in their communities and allocate a certain amount of profits to giving campaigns.

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