The evolving practices around corporate social responsibility (CSR) provide dynamic, and complex opportunities for business. Overall, businesses are modifying their core purpose from creating shareholder profit toward creating shared value across their stakeholders, with shareholders being only one of the many stakeholders. This paper analyzes the 74th ranked 2014 Fortune Global 500 Company Kroger. Kroger started in 1883 as a local Cincinnati, Ohio grocery store, and has expended to be the second largest retail grocery store in the United States, and fifth largest in the world, owning retail food and drug stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores in the United States (Kroger, 2015). Kroger remains headquartered in Ohio. An overview of Kroger, and specifically Kroger’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and implementation will be discussed, followed by a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) CSR analysis informing a concluding plan to enhance Kroger’s CSR maturity.
Quality is ensured at LULU by the Corporate Social Responsibility department (CSR). This department encourages members of the staff to take personal responsibility for their individual activities at LULU and elsewhere. The CSR department came up with the grassroots actions and company actions to ensure customer satisfaction. According to Gray (2008), on the one hand, grassroots actions take place in
CSR lacks universal methods. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) mentions that it is important to draw a distinction between CSR as part of strategic business management concept and charity, sponsorships or philanthropy. The latter applications make valuable social impacts that enhance the reputations of the companies, however, CSR is a continual effort instead of an instance. A few features that CSR should focus on are: eco-efficiency, employee and community relations, environmental management, gender balance, responsible souring, anti-corruption, stakeholder engagement and human rights. Utilizing some of these key features a company can bring competitive advantages into the market place. Increased sales and profits from operational cost savings as well as improved reputation and brand image and customer loyalty can result from a well-defined CSR strategy.
pulled companies onto the CSR bandwagon. For example, All of these initiatives have been premised on the notion that companies confronted with boycott threats, as Nike was in the companies can ‘do well’ and ‘do good’ at the same time – both 1990s, or with the threat of high-profile lawsuits, as McDonald’s saving the world and making a decent profit, too. is over obesity concerns, may see CSR as a strategy for presenting The unprecedented growth of CSR may lead some to feel a friendlier face to the public. a sense of optimism about the power of market mechanisms Once launched, CSR initiatives may provoke changes in to deliver social and environmental change. But markets often basic practices inside some companies. Nike is now considered fail, especially when it comes to delivering public goods; thereby many to be the global leader when it comes to improving fore, we have to be concerned that CSR activities are subject to labor standards in developing-country factories. The company the same limitations of markets that prompted the movement now leads the way in transparency, too. When faced with a lawin the first place. suit over accusations of sweatshop labor, Nike chose to face its critics head-on and this year published on its Web site a full list Making Markets Work? of its factories with their audited social reports. And Nike is not At face value, the market has indeed been a powerful force in
Much of the strengths of New Balance lie in the quality of their product and the good relationships they have with their retailers/ distributers. Their weaknesses are in that they are too focussed on the functionality of product, whereas the market is constantly changing and they need to be evolving with the market. Opportunities lie in the diversification of the product and making it more contemporary. They also need to employ stronger marketing techniques.
CSR has become a large part of a businesses brand image, in the 1950s the primary focus was on businesses ' responsibilities to society and doing good deeds for society. In the 1980s, business and social interest’s became closer and firms became more responsive to their stakeholders. During the 1990s the idea of CSR became almost universally approved, finally in the 2000s, CSR became an important business strategic issue (Rosamaria et al. 2011).
Kroger’s CSR efforts regarding environmental efforts are more robust than employee stakeholder support. Even with this, Kroger is considered a laggard with environmental CSR standards when compared to Walmart and Target (van der Ven, 2014). A main reason for this could be due to Kroger’s relatively light involvement with CSR focused organizations. Their leadership may simply not be exposed to CSR ideas as much as their peers (van der Ven, 2014). Expanding CSR knowledge, and leadership widening their network on CSR possibilities will give Kroger’s leaders access to industry leaders best practice knowledge.
Humm, where to begin? In 1964, Nike started off as dream when founders, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, with just $1,200, established Blue Ribbon Sports (O’Reilly, 2014). Originally, they were distributors for Asics, but in 1971 they became known as Nike. Uniquely, they chose the name Nike because it is the name of the Greek goddess of victory (O’Reilly, 2014). Interestingly, the first patented Nike shoe was the Nike Waffle Trainer, which was made using a waffle iron and was patented in 1974 (O’Reilly, 2014). Creatively, the “Just Do It” campaign, in 1988, was featured in an ad with Walt Stack, the 80 year old runner, as he ran across the Golden Gate Bridge (O’Reilly, 2014).
New Balance is privately owned company, which is the second largest footwear manufacture in the United States and the fourth largest footwear manufacture in the world with annual sales in 2008 of $1.61 billion (Veleva, 2010).
CSR is the concept that businesses should balance profit-making with activities that benefit society, as Bruce Dayton believed “businesses should act in the best interest of society” (Target, 2015). Accordingly, Target’s commitment is to design tomorrow’s Target through our value chain, building community and creating a great workplace. As such, its 5 core beliefs: innovation, leadership, growth, inclusivity, and community influence its ongoing commitment to CSR. Furthermore, they achieve this by concentrating on:
In this article, “The Truth About CSR,” authors Rangan, Chase and Karim stress the importance in aligning a company’s social and environmental activities with its business purpose and values (Rangan, Chase, & Karim, 2015, 41). Outcomes of CSR programs should be a “spillover” and not a primary focus of a business, expressing concern towards social responsibility and corporations failing to contribute to society accordingly (Rangan, Chase, Karim, 2015, 42). There is a great deal of importance in companies refocusing their CSR activities on a primary goal and in providing an organized process for bringing consistency and discipline to CSR strategies (42). Rangan, Chase and Karim want corporations to understand why it is important for them to evaluate their CSR activities and refocus them towards the goal of reinforcing the firm’s societal and environmental actions, while also ensuring their actions add to the overall purpose and values of the corporation. According to the authors, even though
Current approaches to CSR are fragmented and/or disconnected from business goals. Many firms still consider CSR as another generic public relations problem in which media campaigns and CSR reports are used to paint the company as a positive ethical, social and or environmental advocator and supporter. For example, the annual reports discuss a firm’s sensitivities to CSR issues, but completely lack the entire story and offer no further forward commitments from the firm. Further, the ratings and rankings measurements are self-appointed by the firm, not always accurate to validate the work and direct impact to what they are measuring, and the criteria base varies widely and weighed differently in the final scoring. Worst of all the data lacks impartial auditors for validating the data to ensure the ratings have been accurately met, and data is statistically significant and a good proxy for what it is supposed to reflect. This has resulted in reactive initiatives designed to appease vocal
New Balance International was founded during the early 1990s specializing in orthopedic footware to improve the fit of their shoes. Today the company continues its founding values in a highly specialized niche business of providing athletic footware in a wide range of widths and sizes which distinguishes the product from its competitors. With the philosophy of “one size did not fit all,” New Balance expanded operation from the US and currently markets its product in 160 countries in six continents. New Balance Inc. first appeared in South Africa In 1976 when a Durban based company obtained a license to distribute the brand. Under this distribution plan the company held a very small percentage of
New Balance was founded by William J. Riley in 1906 in the city of Boston. Riley started by making arch supports for customers who had to spend all day on their feet. Over time the building of arch supports led to the creation of his first running shoe in 1925. As part of a local running club, Riley capitalized on an opportunity to improve running shoes of the time and his designs became widely popular. His new running shoes became so popular that by the 1940’s that production spread from running to many other sports. Then the expansion of the manufacturing significantly increased as he realized a need to running shoes with more selection for wider feet, and
Dr. Veleva’s 2010 case study, “New Balance: Developing an integrated CSR strategy”, examines the company’s history and corporate culture, and describes how in 2006 it started to approach CSR more formally, creating a CSR steering committee. In 2008, the company engaged the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship (BCCCC) to help develop a framework, conduct