Nestle Corporate Social Responsibility
Nestle Corporate Social Responsibility
The world’s largest food company, Nestle has developed a careful strategy that portrays and publicizes its profile as a conscientious corporate entity. This fabricated image is captured in its flashy presentations and reports containing its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and in international forums (Nestle?, 2006). However, Nestle employees and their unions globally have a different perception of the company. Their view of the company given is that of an entity that seldom hesitates to contravene international standards on union rights and other United Nations conventions in its cold-blooded mission to amass profit. This aggressive quest for profit has placed Nestle in frequent problems with OECD that acts as the international watchdog working against companies that contravene international labor regulations (Nestle?, 2006).
Since Nestle categorizes the issue of giving back to the society as a matter of choice rather than obligation, it is important to discuss the significance of CSR. The Philanthropic Model of CSR attempts to explain the premises under which CSR is applicable. It states that companies are free to engage in CSR but they are not obliged to serve the society. It also states that charity work can be done in order to boost good public relations, lower company taxes and build a good reputation. This model forms the foundation of Nestle’s approach to CSR in all location where they set up a subsidiary (Nestle?, 2006). In my opinion, I strongly disagree with this statement that Nestle does not owe the society anything and is strictly in business and not philanthropy. Even Nestle should realize that they do not operate in a vacuum and that consumers are very important in their success as a food processing company. Therefore, contributing actively to the society through CSR initiatives builds a good image and reputation with the rest of the population that result in increased customer loyalty and profit margins. Desisting from contributing to CSR activities on the basis that there are little or no economic incentives will paint the company in a bad picture as an economic predator.
The statement by Nestle’s is bound to have negative implications on the ethical orientation of the employees and support staff within the organization. Statements made by the CEO represented the company’s stand concerning ethics and CSR and therefore, it was implied that Nestle would not engage in any communal activities if they did not yield any financial or other benefits (Nestle?, 2006). As a company having a large employee base, Nestle’s ethical culture should portray a corporate body that acts in good faith and philanthropy by regularly giving back to the society either directly through donations or indirectly by supporting communal activities. The decision to disassociate the company from any philanthropic work will introduce an aspect of unethical behavior among the lower levels of the organization. The statement will also have economic impacts as more and more consumers and stakeholders start perceiving Nestle as a company that pays no attention to the welfare of other societies.
Encouraging an ethical culture in the workplace by maintaining high ethical standards in the organization and by constantly offering ethical precedents and decisions creates atmosphere where all the employees in the organization understand how to act in tricky situations. This culture can be a helpful factor on individual employee conduct and decision-making. The Nestle management should realize that ethical conduct is an important factor and can greatly impact on the perceptions and attitudes among consumers. Issuing incriminating statements that declare the company’s open detachment from CSR was a flawed decision and in my opinion, did more damage than the company ultimately estimated.
Nestle?. (2006). The Nestle? concept of corporate social responsibility: as implemented in Latin America. Vevey: Nestle?.