Write an essay on Responsible Commerce.
Responsible commerce talks about the behavior of the business and its obligations towards the society and environment in which business community operates its commercial activities. Every business is inclined towards the motive to earn profits and grab market share but not to forget that motive of the business is accomplished in collaboration with social and environmental numbers. Responsible commerce refers to the fine sense of judgement to be right or wrong or take decisions based on the situations. By the definition, it would never mean that business can go ill-ways to prove the truthfulness of any business matter. The word “Responsible commerce” can be put in simple term of “business accountability”. Every business is accountable for its activities and it should be based on truth, integrity and ethics. A business is divided into various segmentations such as finance, marketing, sales or research and activities in each segmentation are crucially important be it for customers, employees or shareholders. To elaborate with examples like finance segment should represent correct and unbiased financial data available for public information, marketing segment should sell genuine products without fooling customers in terms of quality or price and so on. Responsible commerce is about following standard norms of business and harmony. It refers to the principles and standards that determine acceptable conduct and this behavior or conduct is valid or invalid, is determined by the forces of customers, competitors or regulatory bodies. (George, 2015).
Importance of Responsible commerce:
Responsible commerce sets the benchmark and standards for people in commerce/trade for every aspect of their activities. The activities of the business should benefit not only the customers but also the business itself. The decision making process should be as per the legal process of the country and all rules and regulations must be adhered to. Decision making of business can be based on morality concepts of good vs. bad, right vs. wrong and justification of the selection is must. The selection made also reflects the behavior of the business towards consumers, employees, owners and markets. Responsible commerce is crucially important because:
-Companies following ethics and holding sense of responsibility generate more profits.
-Responsible commerce ensures good reputation and goodwill is of utmost importance to trade.
-Low stress because liars need to think more and more to cover up the truth. Ethics is about being truthful.
Responsible commerce is a vast topic in itself so it can be fragmented into various groups to understand its importance and the opinion could be derived.
Cushion to customer rights: The business responsibility towards customers is important because customers trust business units to provide them safe and quality products. For all the services and goods that business sells, customer is the center and thus, his interest must be protected. The wants of the consumer must be satisfied by the business as they pay for those goods and services. Consumers pay good amount for their desired products and most of the times, they feel exploited as the services or goods offered to them are not satisfactory. Responsible commerce ensures that consumer rights are protected and they get value in return. Business should very well acknowledge that customers are the sources of revenue and trade rises only with the happy and satisfied customers. There are companies like Mitsubishi which follow strong consumer friendly ethics to promote consumerism. Consumerism in simple terms means respecting the customer needs and protecting their rights. There are various consumer rights cover under consumerism. Right to safety ensures that business should not knowingly sell products or services which may harm the user. Similarly, Right to be informed ensures that business should not provide any false information just to increase sales. Rather, it should remain intact on its values and principles.
Employee relations: One of the very important resources of the business are its employees and no business can reach its goals without employees. Employees are responsible for taking care of business activities to produce end products and services and should ensure that quality and targets are met. Employees must get a healthy work environment and must be paid well for their jobs. There should not be any discrimination to employees on any basis whether in regard to religion, sex, nationality or age because talent is the best criteria to judge the employees. There should not be any gender biasedness because woman and man deserves to be treated with equality. Those business organizations which take care of employees in the best possible ways are highly productive and ensures success. Such trades not only pay employees adequate compensation but also make them delighted with fringe benefits. Few business units pay special attention to women employees with the sole motive of improving their status and promote the women empowerment. Flexible timings and job-sharing options are well applied to ensure work-life balance for the employees.
Responsibility towards environment: With the increase in industrial growth in the last few decades, there has been rise in the pollution and global warming. Greasy smokes pollutes the air and muddy germ filled water contaminates water of the rivers and oceans. In a nutshell, environment in which human being survives is becoming polluted resulting in new diseases and health issues. For example, PepsiCo’s water business claims “Giving back more water than we take”. They do so by rain water harvesting and ensures that they return back more than what they are pulling from the society. Natural resources like air, water, fossil fuels are the base for every business and these are non-renewable resources so must be used optimally. There are several ways by commerce accountability can be established:
-Business should comply with legal laws related to environment.
-Recycling of paper, plastic and other waste material should be done with caution.
-Waste management process should be in place for all business activities
-Sufficient safety equipment should be available to ensure take care of unfortunate accidents like fire.
-Energy management should be promoted by use of eco-friendly techniques. For example, use of LED bulbs instead of normal bulbs.
-Move towards greener environment by planting more and more trees.
Responsibility towards interest of the industry: In this era of cut throat competition, there are firms which are large scale, medium scale or small scale. Usually, it is observed that giant firms manage their powers on small units and therefore, small businesses do not grow to their capabilities. Business ethics take care of such situations to ensure healthy business competition among the firms dealing in same kind of goods and services. Responsibility commerce ensures to safeguard the interests of business firms and small firms find it comfortable to strengthen their place in the market.
Responsibility towards stakeholders: Stakeholder could be a person or a group who owns interest in business. (Basu) Experts debate that only motive of business is not earning profits but also to ensure the fair and unbiased balanced sheet so that stakeholders have clear idea on investment returns. Business cam levy their responsibility towards stakeholders in ways such as:
-Increase the profits. Higher sales ensures generation of revenues. Business should provide quality products so as there is more demand in the market.
-Never ignore the hardline to put the customer first. Happy customers are the best sources of achieving goals of the business.
Responsibility towards political environment: Politics are omnipresent and no business stay untouched with the decisions of ruling party. For example, the issue of Brexit brought drastic changes in the business environment of European nations as well as Britain. In the environment with political stability, business grow with prosperity whereas instable conditions never support healthy environment to the business and there are strong changes of dipping demands during the rough phase. No business can prosper without good sales.
After a lot of detailed discussion and analysis on responsibility commerce, accomplishment of the business towards social and natural environment cannot be ignored. The sense of responsibility of business is key decisive factor in relation to various responsibilities that a business owes. There is also need to understand that world is the imperfect and there is difference between the aspirations which are expressed and real time operations. Although there are limitations in every process of business, still it is possible to make ethical judgements. Researchers believe that the outcome of business decisions are dependent on how one approaches to get the task done. From social factors, it can be understood that interaction between the society and the business have extended elements such as elements of physical environment, elements of depleting resources. Whenever there is dilemma is resolving ethical issues, help can be taken from ethical theories and principles, analysis will result in desired outcome. Responsible commerce establishes standard norms to be followed under all set of situations without exceptions. Business community owes to play role in developing infrastructure in which society exists and also return the requisite of what is taken from the society. In brief, business activities should be fair and clear in objective to accomplish organizational goals. It would not be wrong to comment that business activities and growth go hand in hand keeping tagged with lawfulness.
George, R. 2015, A history of business ethics, Santa Clara University, viewed 20 July 2016.
Basu, C n.d,,Manager’s responsibilities to stakeholders,Chron,viewed 20 July 2016.