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investigation on business ethics and corporate social responsibility

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Investigation on business ethics and corporate social responsibility
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Investigation on business ethics and corporate social responsibility
Introduction
Organizations around the globe are currently being affected by various issues, and this has made them to succeed through the initiation of CSR capabilities, and strict following of various business ethics. Coca Cola is one company that has achieved high competitive advantage over their rivals due to their CSR engagements and sustainability measures. The company has increased its market share and has also been able to operate within the premise of ethical standards. They treat their customers and employees with respect and fairness, whereas all the suppliers have always received support through the years.
Background of the Organization
The Coca Cola Company is headquartered in Georgia and deals in syrups and nonalcoholic beverages. It is a multinational beverage company that manufactures markets and retails their products. It is however commonly known from their famous Coca-Cola drink which was first invented in the year 1886 by Pemberton John in Georgia. The formula and brand for Coca-Cola was purchased by Candler Griggs in the year 1889, who later incorporated the company in the year 1892. The franchise system by the company was developed in the year 1889, where the company gives syrup concentrates to different bottling companies that are situated around the globe. The company’s anchor bottler is situated in North America.

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Coca-Cola’s current CEO is Kent Muhtar, and their stock is under the NYSE (Marketline, 2014, 2).
Objective of the assignment
The assignment provides succinct information about Coca-Cola’s CSR operations in relation to the Freeman’s principle, and how it employs various business ethics. It will also indicate the company’s rewards after their implementation of the Freeman’s principle and a concise analysis of their relationship with their customers, suppliers, society and employees will be provided coupled with their ethics towards the stakeholders. Finally, the assignment will conclude with the sustainability of the company towards their ethics while operating.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Analysis of organization practices in promoting CSR related to Freeman’s principles of CSR.
According to the vision of Freeman, companies often seek to understand and acknowledge their stakeholders by name while recognizing their representatives. This is CSR initiative in Coca-Cola, and has assisted them to build their brand and image while breaking even in their operations. Freeman also considers negotiations to various principles that are embedded in organizations as opposed to having permanent policies that cannot be changed. Corporations are urged to always accept challenges and new opinions that regard their set principles and regulations. Changes are therefore inevitable when such principles are considered in the long term. Coca-Cola on their part has always considered new opinions from their stakeholders, and as such, most of them have been made policies (Christensen, 2007, 250).
Matten (2008, 405) confirms that Freeman has a strong believe that negotiations are often important when there is a desire for compromise. In times of conflict, organizations are urged to ponder over the interests of their stakeholders and make better choices that do not seem to be unfair. Through the principle, there are often various aspects of innovation, which open up a lot of opportunities that help organizations to break even and increase their clientele base.
Further the principles of freeman fully ascribes to the notion that all human beings have to agree to live together with harmony and avoid following after the dictates of the state. Due to the philosophies of Ed Freeman the stakeholders in organizations have been given more recognition and opportunity to promote their various organizations without problems. Coca-Cola fully recognizes their stakeholders and such the company has been in the forefront in ensuring dignity and respect to all their customers and suppliers in the long run (Chaklader, 2013, 98).
The theory criticizes the provisions of Milton Friedman who proposed that companies need to accumulate enough profits so that the money can be redistributed to the shareholders. EdFreeman on his part confirms that profits are always a consequence of the activities that are performed in the organization. The idea of concentrating on profits as opposed to the operations in the company to better their image is not accepted by the principles of EdFreeman. Coca-Cola has always operated with the main aim of providing better services to their clientele without the inner desire of increasing profits without considering their stakeholders. To ensure increased amounts of profits companies ought to align their objectives and aims with those of their clients. This can be done easily by ensuring different reforms to the set rules and regulations (Grafström, 2011, 222).
According to Du (2010, 9) organizations should therefore focus on their shareholders and in the provision of quality services as opposed to ensuring high profits. Through clear focus on the shareholders companies can easily increase their clientele base and overall profits without having to deal with various lapses that are often observed in business operations. Further, suppliers, customers and other shareholders in organizations are the main reason why organizations survive and succeed hence the need to always ensure that such a group of people is catered for when providing various goods and services. Companies have a greater aim of ensuring that all the needs of their stakeholders are met, and this should be their main aim while operating. Profits often come as a result of taking care of the needs of the stakeholders, and this is a common principle that should be followed by Coca-Cola, and many other companies across the globe that requires increased customer presence and high profits (Fassin, 2011, 427).
Rewards obtained by the organization in implementing Freemen’s principles to their stakeholders
Coca-Cola’s operations and their full use of the Freeman’s principles while dealing with their stakeholders has helped them to understand their environment and operations better. The company has made their brand image to become one of the best in around the globe, and this has helped them to increase their clientele base and profits. The beverages that are being manufactured and sold by the company are currently spread across the globe because of their active role in the implementation of the principles of Freeman. The company has been able to come up with new brands which are trusted and fully acknowledged by the consumers (Foster, 2014, 250).
The company has also managed to understand their needs, and has aligned their vision to the various objectives while considering their stakeholders. Such provisions were made possible because of their persistent following of the principles enumerated by Freeman. Lastly, Coca-Cola has also been able to have different bottling relationships with their franchises without problems and have since increased their coverage and profits (Gill, 2009, 270).
Business Ethics Theories
Most organizations across the globe often make different rule and regulations with the aim of aligning their services and products in paths that are ethical in nature. The various business theories that impact businesses should always be understood and taken at face value if businesses desire success. To have better solutions to various problems that occur in organizations, it is important for them to always consider the various ethics that are embedded in their industry and operations as a whole (Raman, 2007, 104).
Normative theories are essential in business operations as they assist companies to understand the various operations that are wrong and those that are considered virtues. Companies often have clear knowledge and can know the various aspects of their businesses that should be stopped and those that should continue to ensure competitive advantage in the long run. Among the many theories, the most important that are at play in Coca-Cola are categorical imperative, W.D. Ross’s intuitionism, Utilitarianism and Aristotelian virtue ethics (Kant, 2008, 40).
Utilitarianism is at play in Coca-Cola, and here the cost-benefit analysis is made use of to make inferences of wrong and right. In the event of making various decisions in the company, the leaders often have a mandate of ensuring that the decisions they make will result into a greater good to all the stakeholders. Categorical imperative desires that organizations act in ways that are rational when dealing with their stakeholders. The companies at play are required to understand their position and also that of their stakeholders and have decisions that benefit all. Coca-Cola for example has various decisions that are meant to uplift their stakeholders and also increase their clientele base and profits in the long run (Madhavan, 2012, 95).
Egalitarian theory is better in business operations as it allows for equality among operators. Stakeholders are often treated in a similar manner, with dignity and respect without considering their background or position. Through the theory of justice, the idea of reconciliation is emphasized in business operations, and this leads to liberty of stakeholders who are allowed to have different choices when dealing with the company in question. Coca-Cola fully supports the theory and has given their stakeholder the opportunity to run the business through franchises that are controlled centrally.
Through learning theories, the company has been able to increase their knowledge base, and this has helped them to have a knowledge base that is rich with new information. Such information can be used to increase their research and provide products and services that are better in quality. The self interest theories on the other hand have managed to help businesses to think outside the box and allow various actors in the supply chain to provide solutions that are geared towards better products and services in the long run. Coca-Cola on their part has always endeavored to understand their environment and provide support to all their stakeholders without only considering their operations and profits.
The most important theory that has been upheld by Coca-Cola is one that has instilled integrity and honesty in the operations that are undertaken in their various segments. The vice and virtue theory has helped the company and many others to have courage while producing goods and services and also have provisions that are desirable in the long run. Through the theory organizations are informed to act in a courageous manner with various characteristics of honesty and integrity.
The organizations practices towards various stakeholders
Coca-Cola works from the principles provided by Freeman, and as such they have always included all their stakeholders in their operations. The company undertakes different checks and policy reforms that are aimed at ensuring that all the stakeholders are provided with the required services and products in a timely manner (Yuan, 2011, 77).
Employees
All the workers from Coca-Cola work under better environments, and are often provided with working tools that enable them to become better workers in their different areas of operation. The company through their different training capabilities has helped their employees to be better in their manufacturing, marketing and selling segments. Recently most workers were awarded with increments and those that were retired were given lump sums that were meant to help them survive outside the job market.
Customers
Most of the customers from Coca-Cola Company attest to the better services that are provided, and also confirm making use of all or most of their products without problems. The customers have been provided with the company products near their door steps through the use of different middlemen that are set around the globe. The company customers are also respected and handled with dignity, a fact that has increased the company’s competitive advantage and clientele base.
Suppliers
All the suppliers of Coca-Cola have worked with the company for many years, and this is a clear indication of the services they receive while providing their energy and supplies to them. The suppliers have been able to supply their provisions to the company for such periods because they receive support and are all treated fairly.
Society
Through the various CSR provisions in the society, most people have benefited and improved their livelihoods. The company has in the past worked hard to restore and maintain the environment and also has provided funds to charities and organizations that are meant to support the vulnerable in the society (Walsh, 2012, 108).
Sustainability of business ethics
Coca-Cola has always had an objective of ensuring sustainability through their CSR provisions. The company has ensured sustainability of their business ethics through recycling and packaging of their different processes, the health of consumers, the development of employees, stewardship of water, climate and energy. The CSR programs in the company ensure efficiency and comfort of all their stakeholders.
Through the consumer health, the company desires that all the consumers are optimal in their health, and this has been done through the reduction of fat in their products with relative lowering of calories of up to 88%. The company introduced a recyclable bottle which was invented from a mixture of petroleum with other plant materials. The recycling rates in the company have managed to reach at high margins of 92%, and this has relatively assisted the environment to continue sustaining the people without problems (Banutu-Gomez, 2013, 257).
Conclusions and Summary
Most organizations often work towards ensuring a better tomorrow for their stakeholders. This can only be done through various programs, CSR included. Sustainability and business ethics are also important facets that organizations endeavor to follow to break even and increase their clientele base in the long run. Coca-Cola has managed to increase their clientele base and have a brand image that is acceptable through their CSR provisions and the overall use of various standards that are acceptable globally. All the stakeholders from Coca-Cola have been fully supported, and this has not only made the company famous, but has also helped them to increase their profits. This is in connection to the principles of Freeman which indicate that companies should not operate to make profits but ensure profits through their activities.

References
Banutu-Gomez, M.B. & Rohrer, W.G., 2013. Coca-Cola: International Business Strategy For Globalization. Journal of American Business Review, Cambridge., 1(2), p.256-268.
Chaklader, B. & Gautam, N., 2013. Efficient Water Management through Public-Private Partnership Model: An Experiment in CSR by Coca-Cola India. Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers, 38, p.97-107.
Christensen, L.J. et al., 2007. Ethics, CSR, and sustainability education in the Financial Times top 50 global business schools: Baseline data and future research directions. Journal of Business Ethics, 73(4), p.347-368.
Du, S., Bhattacharya, C.B. & Sen, S., 2010. Maximizing business returns to corporate social responsibility (CSR): The role of CSR communication. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(1), p.8-19.
Fassin, Y., Van Rossem, A. & Buelens, M., 2011. Small-Business Owner-Managersʼ Perceptions of Business Ethics and CSR-Related Concepts. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(3), p.425-453.
Foster, R.J., 2014. Corporations as Partners: “Connected Capitalism” and The Coca-Cola Company. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 37(2), p.246-258.
Gill, L., 2009. The limits of solidarity: Labor and transnational organizing against Coca-Cola. American Ethnologist, 36(4), p.667–680.
Grafström, M. & Windell, K., 2011. The Role of Infomediaries: CSR in the Business Press During 2000-2009. Journal of Business Ethics, 103(2), p.221-237.
Kant, G., Jacks, M. & Aantjes, C., 2008. Coca-Cola Enterprises optimizes vehicle routes for efficient product delivery. Interfaces, 38(1), p.40-50.
Madhavan, A., 2012. CSR at Coca-Cola. Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers, 37, p.94-98.
Marketline, 2014. The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola Company MarketLine Company Profile, p.1-39.
Matten, D. & Moon, J., 2008. “Implicit” and “Explicit” CSR: A Conceptual Framework for a Comparative Understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility. The Academy of Management Review, 33(2), p.404-424.
Raman, K.R., 2007. Community–Coca-Cola Interface: Political-Anthropological Concerns on Corporate Social Responsibility. Social Analysis, 51(3), p.103-120.
Walsh, H. & Dowding, T.J., 2012. Sustainability and The Coca-Cola Company: The Global Water Crisis and Coca-Colaʼs Business Case for Water Stewardship. International Journal of Business Insights & Transformation, 4(3), p.106-118.
Yuan, W., Bao, Y. & Verbeke, A., 2011. Integrating CSR Initiatives in Business: An Organizing Framework. Journal of Business Ethics, 101(1), p.75-92.

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