Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been regarded as a self-regulating businesses model that assists the company in being socially accountable not only to itself but also to the stakeholders and public in general (Roy and et.al. 2015). Engaging oneself in CSR is all about the fact that the company carries out its normal course of business but operates in a manner that enhances the society and the environment rather than contributing negatively to it (Clapp and Rowlands, 2014). The present report has thus made an attempt to discuss the Theoretical avenues and the diversity of theoretical concepts in CSR with respect to Dell and also assessing the CSR activities practised by the company. Recommendations have then been given as to how a more sustainable CSR strategy can be developed for the company.
Dell is an America-based multinational firm that deals in developing, selling, repairing as well as supporting computers and other products. The company has been named after its founder Michael Dell and has been regarded as the largest technology corporation in the globe (Dell, 2018). The mission statement of the company is to become one of thro mat successful computer firms in the world by delivering of best customer experience in the markets that are served by it (Remme, 2017). On the basis of the sad mission it has been empowering the nations, communities as well as consumers to utilize technology so that they can release the dream. Technology solutions are further provided by the company so that the employees can achieve more whether at home, in school, or anywhere in the world (Parvez and et.al. 2018). The company has recently undergone a merger with EMC thereby making it a privately-controlled technology firm all over the world. From then on the company has captured around 22 percent of market share in first quarter of 2018 and has also generated $2.8 billion in storage revenue (Haranas, 2018). With respect to CSR activities, the firm has been named as World's Most Ethical Companies for the year 2018 as per list released by Ethisphere Institute.
Explore corporate social responsibility in different organizational and national contexts focusing on the six core characteristics of CSR and the future of CSR.
Various CSR activities have been practised by Dell since its inception and all of them adhere with the five core characteristics that have been described below;
Voluntary – it has been known that CSR activities in any firm are to be performed as per law but the definitions state these actions to be done voluntarily. This aspect of voluntary CSR activities has been practiced by employees of Dell. For example, Since the very inception of CSR program the employees were vigilant enough and contributed around 52,500 hours of volunteering work during 2012 (Dell to fund $2.4m for CSR activities, 2012). This number increased to a great extent during the financial year 2018 were around 809,000 hours of volunteering time was logged by employees of Dell in around 66 nations (Hoyng, 2018). These have been in form of mentoring college students in their projects to solve social issues; taking part in disaster relief program among others.
Managing Externalities – Pollution is one such example of Externality which has been faced by communities and had been dealt by Dell. The company has started its Connected Workplace program which allows Dell to avoid the release of 35,000 metric tons of CO2 on an annual basis as the employees are given an option to work from home. In the same lines, it has also allowed its US employees to telecommute which has saved 25 million kWh of energy and greenhouse gas emissions of 13000 metric tons since the year 2014 (Hardcastle, 2016).
Multiple Stakeholders Orientation – Dell has a presence of many ways to engage with all the stakeholders. For example, it engages with the consumers by reasoning to their queries; publicly discloses company progress. In case of suppliers it has a presence of IDH Electronics Program that focuses on addressing their work conditions. Workers are engaged through open communication, grievance mechanisms etc. while dialogues, conferences and joint projects are done with NGOs (Caplan, Dutta and Lawson, 2016).
Social and Economic Alignment – Dell has always ensured that it is able to manage its Social and Economic Alignment in the best possible manner. This is as the company has complied with all the social and environmental regulations, which has increased the overall reputation in the eyes of consumers and also enhanced its overall sales and revenue figures. Since the inception of its CSR program in 2012 it has seen a rapid growth in revenue which was $61.6 billion for the year 2017 (Herrera and White, 2017). There has further been an increased efficiency of its manufacturing and supply chain processes due to CSR activities.
Practices and values – For Dell, sustainability management has been a part of its strategic goals. It thus integrates economic, social and environmental responsibility into every operational activity that is carried by it. It further takes responsibility for the impact if its action caused on consumers, suppliers, employees, general public as well as environment.
Beyond Philanthropy – The CSR activities at Dell have extended beyond philanthropic activities and the effects can be seen on the entire firm be it HR, marketing, profits and operational activity of the firm (Qureshi and Jalbani, 2015). There has been a satisfied human resource as turnover rate is quite low.
Theoretical avenues and the diversity of theoretical concepts in CSR in Dell
The CSR activities practiced at Dell can be understood by the theory of Caroll’s pyramid.
Figure 1 Caroll's pyramid
(Source: Herrera and White, 2017)
Economic Responsibility – The CSR activities at Dell has not only led to positive impact on society but aided in fulfilling its economic responsibility by keeping it profitable as well. The revenue generated in 2017 amounted to 61.6 billion dollars which is in form of a 21 percent increase in comparison to results of previous period (Baaken and et.al., 2018).
Legal Responsibility – as per its legal responsibilities, Dell has been adhering to code of conduct as and the related standards that are meant for Electronic Industry but still it faced an issue with respected suppliers in China. Its factories in China have been accused of not adhering with the employment laws and providing poor work conditions to the employees. On comforting Dell about the same, its social strategist Deborah Albers mentioned about corrective actions being in place (Sanghani, 2013).
Ethical Responsibility – Dell has been recognised as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the year 2018 on the basis of a list released by Ethisphere Institute which is a leader in defining ethical business practices all over the globe. This clearly showcases the commitment of company towards leading with integrity and keeping adherence with ethical business practices as a major priority.
Philanthropic Responsibility – Dell has been fulfilling its Philanthropic Responsibility since a long time. In the recent times, the CEO and chairman of Dell committed 1 billion dollars to Michael & Susan Dell Foundation for providing monetary support to social entrepreneurship in India. It further cats to the college needs of low-income students in South Africa and US and provides data-driven education in many areas.
Examine strategic approaches used currently by the chosen corporation in fulfilling their community responsibilities
Environment – Dell has always encouraged its team members to embrace sustainability hence asked its team members to select 5l locations where it can plant trees. The team members thus planted 44,000 trees to restore oxygen and Co2 balance and also provide natural habitat to animals. Dell reached planting of 1 millionth tree during Jan 2017 (Gamchi and Torabi, 2018). The company has been focusing on recycling the ocean plastics into new form of packaging so as to keep the material out of oceans. It thus created first packaging trays that are made from 25 percent of recycled plastic. It has also taken steps towards energy efficiency and has reduced electricity usage by 40 percent and natural gas by 36 percent in one of its facilities at Ireland. The company has installed waste water plants at its sites were it uses 80 percent of waste water and repurposes it for landscapes and flush toilets. In this way, it has been saving around 1 million litres of freshwater on an annual basis. In order to reduce the generation of waste, the company employees have been bringing own coffee mugs to office rather than utilising paper mugs. This initiative has saved around 12 million cups on an annual basis which accounts to 1,100 trees per year.
Community – the studies have suggested that 43 percent of kids in Buenos Aires do not have a book at home. Hence Dell is helping in achieving other vision of Argentina that every child should have access to books and should not be deprived of pleasure to read. It has thus provided 1,200 new books to kindergartens and also funded training for 20 teachers. Dell is further trying to meet the rural-urban educational divide in China and is providing computer-assisted learning to rural schools in the area of maths, English and Chinese as these are the sober in which real kids struggle the most and these can life them out of poverty. Its team members are also involved in acting as mentor, tutor and friend for Israeli youth. Dell team members have spent around 809,000 hours in volunteering works for causes they care for. These include hurricanes, floods, wildfires and earthquakes. The team members also arranged for food, supplies and technology aid as donations in Puerto Rico.
Workplace – Dell recently joined hands with EMC thereby leading to formation of largest privately controlled tech firm of the world in 2016. Dell management made this transition quite smooth for its employees being 138,000 in number. This is clear from the survey carried out on team members which reported high satisfaction scores. Reviews were in form of feeling inspired and some felt they were already a part of Dell’s team. There is a presence of many employee resource groups in Dell which connects the team members to each other in areas such as gender, nationality and even sexual orientation. Professional development is also provided in these groups through mentoring, community involvement among others.
Make recommendations identifying how a more sustainable CSR strategy can be developed for your chosen company.
- In the area of adopting a more sustainable CSR strategy, the management team at Dell is required to work a little more on its ecological responsibilities. This can be done by being more transparent about its commitment towards reducing the eniovrnment impact of its offerings. This ranges from ensuring that there is a usage of non-use of hazardous materials in its products followed by taking steps for decreasing carbon footprint and ensuring towards less packaging of products especially from non-renewable items. It should further work on cutting the greenhouse gas emissions and also provide a report about the emissions of its company to add to more transparency factor.
Next is the need to enhance social welfare by Dell which can be done by developing products for consumers in such a manner that they meet there demand. For example, Dell can provide options to consumers by which they can configure their PC as per the specific computing needs. They should also make a habit of re-examining processes used in there company so as to bring an improvement in overall efficiency of work. Market research activities should further be carried out by the company in order to reveal the emerging trends; change in consumer attitude and underlying opportunities for the company. The need is to lay more focus on market research so as to respond to demands from consumers with greater responsibility. The company will only be able to attain success if it keeps the consumers in the mind and links the goals in such a manner so as to provide them increased value.
- In the same lines, CSR strategy of Dell is also required to be enhanced in the area of recruitment and retention of employees. As per the employee reviews on websites such as glass door there has been a reporting of verbal abuse in sales department. Hence the need here is to carry out evaluation of management practices from time to time especially in small offices. The management t should also make an attempt to motivate the employees from time to time by use of team building activities; personality development sessions; counselling etc. other than this, there were issues in its China based factory where suppliers did not adhered with employment laws and provided poor work conditions to the employees. The need on part of Dell is to carry out proper monitoring and supervision of work culture in different factories and take immediate steps in that area rather than delaying it for future. There was further a presence of allegations where gender pay discrimination was practiced in its campuses at California and North Carolina because of which it had to make pay adjustments and also take steps to make sure that payment met all the legal requirements. The recommendation in this regard is to ensure that such practise is not repeated again and strict action should be taken against concerned officials.
From the above report it can be concluded that Dell has maintained its commitment towards corporate social responsibility and carried out activities in all the areas linked to it. It has been doing a lot for the environment and also for community where employees are involving themselves in voluntary manner as well. In fact CSR revolves in overall operations undertaken by the company. Dell has been recognised as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the year 2018 on the basis of a list released by Ethisphere Institute which is a leader in defining ethical business practices all over the globe. The company indulged itself in CSR which not only created positive impact on society but also helped it to become strong in financial terms. The essay help experts, however, recommended to the company that it should focus more on cutting the greenhouse gas emissions and also focus on increased Market research activities to give what is being demanded by the consumers. It is further required to adhere with employment laws with respect to providing good work condition in its Chinese factories and not discriminating employees for pay on the basis of gender.