Business and Management
Submitted By nofhasan
rland1) I believe that Timberland is exercising its corporate power in society very strongly in many evolving ways. First and foremost it is important to know that the company's mission already embodies a strong social responsibility theme hence making the exercising of corporate power in society a must "to equip people to make a difference in their world" This statement is part of the company's mission and did not state which "world" hence they are allowing themselves to make a difference in every person's world no matter what race or standard of live one is living. Furthermore this was clearly and strongly demonstrated through out the company's evolving history of "giving back to the community since 1989 when Timberland was approached by the urban service corps for young people, City Year. They gladly donated their boots and the CEO even joined for half a day of community service. From there onwards the 50 pairs of donated boots grew to over $10million in support to City Year allowing expansions across the USA and South Africa. Later on in 1992, after years of dedicated work on the program the official Timberland CSR program was formally launched as " Path to Service". Employees are encouraged to participate in this program as soon as they are hired and although participation is voluntary 95% do so and the program is cited as one of the most valuable benefits offered by the company proving that the culture of Timberland is one of "helping hand". By 2008 the program evolved to GREEN and environmentally friendly program where Timberland plans to build 15 community gardens worldwide and continues to work on such initiatives within the environmentally friendly causes. All these actions and plan of actions prove that yes Timberland is to be characterized as a strong giver in the corporate power within society as not only did they start by giving back to the people by they still are and are thinking of more innovative ways to do so through causes that matter not just to one specific group of people but to the entire world.
Furthermore I would like to say that I believe that yes Timberland is involving multiple stakeholders in its business operations this is proven by the fact that 95% of employees take part in the CSR program(s) and they do so willingly also Timberland involves not only their employees but their partners as well through different activities i.e: sending shoes to the Kids in Afghanistan.
2) By looking at how most of Timberland's employees are giving back to the community willingly this by itself proves that Timberland has balanced its economic and social responsibilities through its various ever evolving programs. These programs also show and prove that the company's programs are not of enlightened self interest. Most companies look at their CSR program as a way of giving back to the community and Timberland has managed to expand that community into a worldwide one. If the programs were solely of self-interest than they would not have nourished into such large ones or even worldwide ones. The fact that they relate very closely to the companies mission and values have given the programs an even stronger appeal to both the Timberland community and the entire world as well.
3) When companies want to cut costs the first program and cost they usually cut is that of the CSR program which is why is it crucial to have a program(s) that is within the same line of work as the organization itself. When looking at the case of Timberland and their CSR programs it is evident that they do work within the same line of daily business and corporate social responsibility as they manufacture outdoor boots and have managed to work within the same field of being "outdoor" and making the outside atmosphere a more environmentally friendly one as well as a safer one through their programs. Their line of social work is somehow directly parallel to their business statements hence when a company looks at cost cutting in times such as the current economic recession and how it may affect their social programs Timberland should have very few concerns as their programs are beneficial to all involved partners. I believe that cutting these sort of programs is itself a highly lost cost. In addition the impact that the current recession may have had in my opinion is very low on Timberland as their GREEN initiative is still prospering.
4) Although I think that Timberland's CSR program is very strong I would make it stronger by: a) Timberland is giving back in the same field of line as their current business however I would also encourage giving back to places where other things are needed such as giving teens Timberland jackets. I feel they were previously and are somehow currently still only focusing on their footwear whereas they do offer other products. For example distributing these jackets to teens in very cold and poor areas would also be beneficial to the program.
b) Going back to doing small projects such as the first one and having top management participate would also mean that Timberland has not forgotten the roots of the program and this sort of interaction would build stronger ties between the organization and the people involved on a more personal level. Having a personal relationship of any sort would build stronger credibility for the organization and of course make it more transparent in a sense where people would know where the entire program is coming from and why. People like being involved and this makes them feel even more appreciated which in return would make the program even stronger.
c) I would look at what the direct competitors are doing and come up with more innovative ways that are in line with Timberlands mission/vision and help improve the current program through being the "leader and adapter" of such programs within having the FIRST, newest, best and most useful ideas out there for the number of communities the organization serve.