Saint Marys University MOD11 Trends in Corporate Social Responsibility Paper

saint marys university

Question Description

The materials is already upload, the blog don't need too long. I think like 300 words is fine.

The blog topic is

At the end of this course have you experienced a shift in how you think or feel about spirituality and work? If so, how would you describe it? If so, how will you manifest this shift in your life?

If not, what challenged your understanding in this course?

Please note that you still need to integrate the Module Notes and readings in your responses.

You have to read the materials then finish this work.

And need some specific reference, including page numbers, for each source in the Modules.

I will also post 2 more others blog, you need to read them and write some reply. The reply need 100 words each.

If you not sure now to write this blog, you can check how the others write.

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Personal Ethics in the Corporate World by Elizabeth Doty 11/19/2007 a strategy+business exclusive © 2007 Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. All rights reserved. strategy+business leadingIDEAS Personal Ethics in the Corporate World How to confront the moral tensions inherent in corporate life and come out with your ethics intact. 1 by Elizabeth Doty I n today’s high-pressure work environment, it is not unusual for conflicts to arise between our values as individuals and the compromises that we must make for our organizations. After interviewing people who had struggled to remain true to their personal values, I explored this dilemma in “Winning the Devil’s Bargain,” published in the Spring 2007 issue of strategy+business, and then discussed it in an s+b online seminar. The response to the seminar was so enthusiastic that there wasn’t enough time to address all of the audience questions. Here, I take on some of the unanswered queries. I am an instructor in a business school; my area of focus is sustainability and corporate social responsibility [CSR]. What do you think is important to convey to young people or students about developing the “bigger game”? How can they maintain a sense of realistic idealism? The moment when we leave business school and enter the workforce is a crucial one. It’s a time when we tend to squelch our own aspirations based on assumptions about making a living or on a difficult experience. Addressing this pattern is especially important as more companies embrace sustainability and CSR, so the inevitable challenges of institutions don’t discourage us. That said, here are a few points to help those about to embark. • Figure out what your bigger game is. It is probably a combination of what you believe needs to be done in the world and your particular strengths and preferences. In fact, I would almost say that wherever you see barriers, those are potential bigger games. Another ingredient of an effective bigger game is that you are likely to be able to meet your basic needs while pursuing it. This is about the long haul; it requires us to sustain ourselves, but not to sacrifice ourselves. • Don’t expect a predefined path. Too often people assume that the only valid paths are those that are well publicized. Once you find your bigger game, you will probably have to seek out the unique settings where you can pursue it. As one young person I interviewed said, “I’d really prefer to work on something that is of service. But they weren’t recruiting for that.” • Challenge the simplistic dichotomy of “good guys/bad guys.” Study what limits and enables organi- zations to live up to their aspirations, and learn about the crucial role of followers — so you don’t become disillusioned when even the most inspired organization struggles to stay true. • Adopt an ongoing practice for broadening your thinking. This was the source of continued growth and realignment for many of those I interviewed. Some examples of such practices could include reading books outside your area of expertise, giving yourself a “pulse strategy+business leadingIDEAS Elizabeth Doty ( is an organizational consultant, a 12-year veteran of the hotel industry, a Harvard MBA, and a “recovering reengineer.” Her firm, WorkLore, applies systems thinking, simulation, and storytelling for clients in manufacturing, high tech, financial services, educational testing, and real estate operations. Her Weblog is 2 check” every five years, or sustaining friendships with those in other spheres. Would starting my own business help me avoid compromising my values? Starting a business can be a promising solution for some of us, but we need to recognize the additional strains it creates. It does free us to be the architect of our own commitments and choices and theoretically to be truer to what we value. It allows us to craft innovative offerings, and can offer us the flexibility to pursue more than just money — especially if the company is private. But starting a business also puts us in direct contact with the forces that probably led our prior organizations to their compromises. We must still engage with the larger business context as we obtain financing, hire employees, and market our products. Is our new cause so valuable that we feel justified in promising the investors whatever it takes to get the funding? Will our employees now withhold some of the truth out of deference to our authority? One dedicated leader who left the corporate world to run a small business described to me how challenging it is to remember our deeper beliefs in the midst of keeping a business alive. I think the key is to remember that we are not inherently the good guys just because we start out with good intent. It takes a lot to evade the self-justifying tendencies that all of us confront. Knowing that, we may be just the ones who can meet the challenge of running a business while remaining true. How can we as consultants help our clients make ethical decisions and not cross over to the “dark side”? There is an important opportunity here that is not often named. As David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz described in “The Neuroscience of Leadership,” [s+b, Summer 2006], the amount of attention we devote to something affects how strongly it plays out in our decision making. As consultants, we can envision ourselves serving as an active representation of our clients’ larger perspectives and purposes — perhaps as a counterbalance to the threats and siege mentality that can accompany crises and obscure win-win solutions or hidden degrees of freedom. This can be as simple as asking questions from the perspective of a client’s larger intent. I also think consultants can serve as part of the support system that helps leaders keep their own score and draw meaning from efforts that perhaps no one else sees or that won’t pay off for years to come. A colleague just told me a story about an executive who was struggling because his leadership efforts were not acknowledged (although they were received and acted upon). When my friend, who was this man’s coach, asked him why he had gotten into the field in the first place, the executive described an inspiring mentor named George who had revealed his own bigger game. As they continued to speak about his need for acknowledgment, the coach said to him, “I imagine George would be tremendously proud of you right now.” As simple as this confirmation was, the leader was visibly moved by it. Perhaps we all need a witness to sustain our efforts, and consultants may be able to help provide that. About a year ago, I left the nonprofit world of social/human services for the for-profit world of corporate business. I still have difficulty in the shift. Will strategy+business leadingIDEAS 3 this uncomfortable feeling ease or does this internal struggle continue? I understand that must be challenging. I remember spending time with a nonprofit and finding it shockingly satisfying just to be able to name what I cared about without coming across as naive, foolish, or weak. I’d suggest you consider several questions to clarify your intent and enable you to “write your own contract.” What did it serve for you to enter the corporate world? What can you accomplish there that is worth your energy? What do you need to sustain yourself (all of yourself, not just materially), what is nonnegotiable, and how will you keep score on what matters to you? You should also ask yourself whether the different perspective that you bring has the potential to make a contribution to that organization. What values do you share and respect, and where does the tension lie? People at the company may not see either. It’ll take some skill, but you may be able to represent the differences in a constructive, nonjudgmental way that broadens others’ sense of possibilities. I suspect it may continue to be difficult, but if you are truly there to serve something you value, you can improve your situation by recognizing the challenge as worthwhile and being generous about lining up support for yourself. What have we learned from WorldCom, Tyco, and Enron? These most recent crises, coupled with observations from my interviews, suggest three patterns we might learn from. First, although we can argue about what causes certain leaders to cross the line, followers clearly play a role in sustaining that direction. And I think our choice as followers is primarily this: Do we want to know? Yet as we become more and more dependent on an organization — financially and for our sense of achievement — it becomes increasingly difficult to let ourselves see. This is why I think it’s so important to actively maintain our base of independence so we can be courageous when the time comes. Second, I hope we loosen our assumption that the bad guys are somehow a completely different breed. In Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson show how, through the natural process of self-justification, we all have the potential to delude ourselves about the ways we may be causing harm. “Whistle-blower” Sherron Watkins has said that “there’s a little Enron in all of us.” It’s only when we recognize this that we’ll create ways to talk to one another and sort out what we might be missing without rushing to judge and accuse. Finally, I want to point out that although the resulting regulations, penalties, and controls have been cumbersome, I have heard several stories in which they gave people the support they needed to say “no.” For example, a controller who was asked to sign a forecast she did not feel was accurate said, “No, I don’t think so. I’m not going to go to jail for you guys.” + Resources Ira Chaleff, The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders (Berrett-Koehler, 2003): Concrete advice for calling (and re-calling) leaders to their highest purposes. Elizabeth Doty, “Personal Ethics in the Corporate World,” s+b Webinar, 10/25/07: The online seminar that generated these questions, and many others; a recording of the event and a PDF of the presentation are available. Elizabeth Doty, “Winning the Devil’s Bargain,” s+b, Spring 2007: When the business world compromises an individual’s values, courage and climate can make all the difference. Debra E. Meyerson, Tempered Radicals: How Everyday Leaders Inspire Change at Work (Harvard Business School Press, 2003): A practical description of how individuals influence a company’s culture and practices. David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz, “The Neuroscience of Leadership,” s+b, Summer 2006: Breakthroughs in brain research explain how to make organizational transformation succeed. article/06207 Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts (Harcourt, 2007): A study of the pervasiveness of self-justification, denial, and rationalization in a variety of settings. Winning the Devil’s Bargain Weblog: Elizabeth Doty’s recently launched blog inviting discussion on these topics. WorkLore Web site: Elizabeth Doty’s company, with additional resources available. strategy+business magazine is published by Booz Allen Hamilton. To subscribe, visit or call 1-877-829-9108 strategy+business Winning the Devil’s Bargain by Elizabeth Doty from strategy+business issue 46, Spring 2007 © 2007 Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. All rights reserved. reprint number 07101 Reprint When the business world compromises an individual’s values, courage and climate can make all the difference. I had my first moment of truth with an organization back in 1985, when I realized I would have to either leave my job or compromise my own integrity. It happened at the end of the annual meeting I’d helped organize for the 55 directors of the luxury hotel chain where I worked as a sales manager. I’d spent that week temporarily relieved of my regular duties to oversee “special arrangements,” and I’d come very close to quitting. It had happened because, in front of the executive committee, my boss’s boss had assigned me to select attractive female managers to host a theme breakfast for our (all male) hotel directors, and to choose lowcut costumes for them. The demand had shocked me, but I could not refuse without appearing insubordinate or prudish. I said nothing at the time; later, I spoke to him in private. He retracted the request, but the experience left me with lingering concerns about this company’s willingness to compromise its managers’ professionalism. I wasn’t naive. I told myself that ethical bumps in the road were part of the game of business. Our hotel managers sometimes secretly canceled guests’ discount-rate reservations on oversold nights. I myself had concocted the “right” numbers on sales forecasts, and then convinced my boss in his staff meeting that I really believed them. For four years I’d been able to persuade myself that one had to expect such practices even in first-class operations. And it almost worked this time, too; by the final night of the annual meeting, I’d nearly stopped fuming over the costume incident. I even allowed myself to feel some pride in how well the event had come off. But then came the featured highlight: the annual raffle for frontline employees. The lights were bright on the stage. Clusters of faces in relative darkness — the hotel’s 400 housekeepers, bellhops, engineers, servers, and desk clerks — waited as the raffle drum spun in silence. The public relations director reached in and drew the grand prize ticket; and then she looked straight up at me and called out in a bright voice, “It’s Elizabeth Doty!” My heart sank. They must have rigged the prize to ensure that I Illustration by Lars Leetaru by Elizabeth Doty strategy + business issue 46 First Person comment first person 1 Winning the Devil’s Bargain alizing world where executive decisions are made from afar, makes it difficult to justify that belief. In 2005, I began a more focused interviewing project to see whether others experienced tension between their work personas and their core values. How did they reconcile the challenge? Did they find ways to “make a difference without getting killed,” as one person put it? I conducted extensive interviews with 38 businesspeople from a range of industries, organizations, backgrounds, beliefs, and career stages. I spoke to directors; executives (vice presidents and above); I wasn’t naive. I told myself that ethical bumps in the road were part of the game of business, even in first-class operations. that annual meeting forced me to confront the fact that, over the years, my seemingly minor compromises had accumulated into a violation of my core identity and beliefs. And I now know, after 17 years of privately interviewing businesspeople about their own tensions at work, that my experience isn’t unique. As companies demand greater levels of productivity and commitment in an environment characterized by fierce corporate politics and the relentless pursuit of shareholder value, many managers and employees routinely grapple with predicaments that go straight to the question of personal integrity. On the one hand, it’s essential to believe in the organization to succeed in any leadership job; on the other hand, the reality of many organizations, particularly in a glob- frontline managers; and new professionals at large public and private companies, startups, and professional-services firms. I particularly sought out those who had a significant impact on their organization’s policies, products, and programs, but who were not often in the limelight. I invited them all to tell, as candidly as they could, the story of their work lives and the criteria that guided their important choices. I expected to hear cynicism mixed with arguments for separating work from “what really matters.” Although I did hear some of that, I also heard people express a deep commitment to high ideals and a strong desire to believe in their organizations, even in the face of moral ambiguity. Some of those whom I talked to had confronted gross ethical violations, to be sure; Elizabeth Doty ( is an organizational consultant, a 12-year veteran of the hotel industry, a Harvard MBA, and a “recovering reengineer.” Her firm, WorkLore, applies systems thinking, simulation, and storytelling for clients in manufacturing, high tech, financial services, educational testing, and real estate operations. comment first person would win, hoping to rekindle my loyalty after that hellish week. I knew, and felt that everyone else knew, that the moment was utterly false. Still, I stood and smiled as I accepted my award. I was determined to appear loyal and committed. But I wasn’t. I left for business school six months later. There is always some tension between our values as individuals and the compromises that we must make for our organizations. Being “professional” requires that we learn to reconcile these tensions. But when does the willingness to go along go too far? My experience at 2 The Wounds of Commitment 3 Not surprisingly, those who dared to care deeply about their work had the worst stories to tell about being burned. An intensive-care nurse described having daily panic attacks on her way to work, terrified that someone would die on her shift because managed-care policies had tripled her patient load. A commercial banker talked of being told that either he or his peer would be fired — and then of being presented with a portfolio of real estate loans to approve that involved “looking the other way” on zoning violations. And then there was Greg. He had been a corporate officer for a financial-services firm until the senior officers of his firm (including his boss) were indicted and sent to prison for embezzlement. Greg was no naif; he’d spent years in investment banking. As he put it, “You just rosy up the numbers a little. It’s all part of the dance.” He had come to this last firm specifically because he thought it was an unusually ethical place, where he could escape those pressures. That only made the shock of the alleged wrongdoings more painful. Three years later, when I met him one evening over dinner, he had not gone back to work. He articulated the bewilderment he still felt: “I believed in these people. I respected them; I even loved them in some way. Was I an idiot to be part of this? I can’t reconcile it in my mind.” He felt adrift; distrustful and unsure of his own instincts. “I guess I’m suffering from the wounds of commitment,” he confessed. More than half the people I spoke with described a state of creeping uneasiness and loss of faith as their roles forced them into untenable situations. As I listened, I was reminded of Chris Argyris’s description (in his famous article “Skilled Incompetence,” Harvard Business Review, September 1, 1986) of a double bind: a mixed message experience late in her career. “I had become an extremely competitive person.… I felt I had to be, given the people I worked with. Then one day I looked at myself in the mirror. I saw my tight face, my stiff jaw. It just wasn’t me anymore. I had to ask myself, ‘Who have I become?’” As any successful leader will tell you, a business runs on the network of alliances, loyalties, and understandings among its pe ...
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Spirituality and Work
At the end of the course, I can attest experiencing a shift in how I think or feel about
spirituality and work. Firstly, I have learned of how corporate social responsibility exceeds the
legal framework. It is a way for companies to give back to the community by ensuring they
impact people, environment, and profits (Module 11, slide 3). Secondly, learning to differentiate
and align one’s ambitions with corporate social responsibilities and company goals is a key
factor that makes one overcome the barriers of rising the corporate ladder. I took the issue as a
way for employees to find their path in their careers without losing the focus of attaining the
company’s goals. I believe it is a defining factor as indicated by...

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