Scrutinizing A Company Report Essay Samples
Marks and Spencer is a multinational retail company with its head offices located in the City of Westminster in London. The public limited company was founded in 1884 by Thomas Spencer and Michael Marks. With a sustained growth rate, the company has grasped a huge market flowing in the men, women, and children fashion. Further, the retail chain restructured its product diversification culture to accommodate home furniture, ladies beauty accessories and assorted ostentatious food products. Under the leadership of Marc Bolland; former chief executive and his immediate and current successor Laura Wade-Gery, the firm has maintained a conscious approach to sustain the social welfare of pertinent stakeholders including suppliers, employees, shareholders, Consumers and the surrounding community in an effort to strengthen its market advantage over rivals. With a customer base of 34million served by approximately 798 physical stores as well as the online store through e-commerce, the company manifests a significant challenge in maintaining the corporate social responsibility objective.
Corporate citizenship is a crucial factor that firms must blend into their corporate strategic plan as an emotive approach towards safeguarding the social welfare of their employees, shareholders capital value, consumer satisfaction and the environment of the surrounding community (Xueming and Bhattacharya 2). In the retail sector, quality and hygiene products are one of the core social responsibility factors bestowed upon the market players. Particularly, children bodies are very sensitive to clothes and, therefore, the firm faces the challenge of ensuring they trade products from genuine manufacturers. Further, the firm faces the responsibility of sustaining the employees’ social welfare such as wages with consideration of the social –culture diversity within the workforce. In another perspective, the United Kingdom government has been advocating on carbon –free environment hence prompting Marks and Spencer Company to react by establishing green energy program in their stores to reduce carbon emissions as well as shifting from plastic packaging bags to biodegradable bags. Such initiatives thrive through innovation and the firm’s core value commitment of “in touch” with the stakeholders.
Role of CSR in the company business
The subject of corporate citizenship has always elicited debate among the market players, scholars and various theorists on its relevance to a firm’s productivity. Milton Friedman, an economic theorist, argued that the primary responsibility for any rational firm is to maximize shareholders value of capital and, therefore, corporate social responsibility to the stakeholders is irrelevant. This because social responsibility expanded the operation cost thus consuming on a firm’s economic gains. However, based on a firm’s ethical code of ethics, very company has a social obligation to account for the consumers and stakeholders’ social and economic welfare.
The company core value on integrity emphasizes that the stakeholders’ reserves the privilege to hold the management accountable in their operation activities based on environmental conservation, economic value and satisfying consumer utility. Under the strict following on the three top, bottom line, Marks and Spencer Company drives its strategic plan in recognition of its corporate citizenship to the stakeholders. The firm discloses its financial performance on an annual basis highlighting the effectiveness of its capital equipment, revenue accumulation and its social responsibilities that attest to their commitment to sustainable social welfare for all stakeholders. By highlighting the challenges encountered, the company’s report outlines the projected approaches that would enable the firm strengthen its social commitment and handle looming competitive forces and the unpredictable consumer preference shift. For instance, the company reported the restructuring of the plan an integration program that lay emphasis on strengthening bondage between the firm, employees, suppliers, shareholders and the surrounding community.
The company, through its customer insight unit, can assess and report factual market statistics hence realigning its operations strategy. Moreover, the annual leadership conference connects the emotional perception of stakeholders with a view to generating a shared value responsibility network. The company highlights the revenue progress in each operation sector with a call to the stakeholders’ opinion input to sustain the progress. Its reporting strategy of incorporating the input value of all stakeholders upholds relevance to the company’s core values of Integrity, inspiration and collaborated innovation culture.
Customer satisfaction is the primary core value for most successful multinational corporations. To achieve a leveled platform with the consumer needs, a firm must uphold market-oriented innovation culture and integrity in their operations. The annual report noted the rise in United Kingdom’s Gross Domestic product to 2.7% an indication of a subsequent increase in consumers’ purchasing power (Swannell 4). The internet revolution has also caught the attention of the management considering the slimming market information asymmetry gap among consumers. For that reason, consumers are aware of the quality of products, their affordability, and convenience. To remain abreast with market change, the firm revised its core values emphasizing on integrity, inspiration innovation and In touch with the market. For instance, the firm launched an online selling store to capture the notable consumer preference for e-commerce transactions. Notably, the firm had stuck to the tradition mode of cash payment but has since accommodated the electronic form of payment for integrity, economic gains, and customer convenience.
Corporate social responsibility is not a constant strategy but rather a continuous approach driven by market relevance and the firm’s economies of scale. Hence, it aspires to correct bad practices as a stepping stone to seize new market opportunities. Marks and Spencer launched a campaign as part of its new Plan A strategy advocating green energy environment. Until year 2014, the company has managed to reduce the usage of plastic packaging bags to approximately 20%, indicating its commitment to a sustainable environment (Swannell 13). As part of the Plan a 100 commitments, the firm has substituted its traditional cotton products to the Better Cotton product that utilizes less chemical, less water and moderate quantities of fertilizer (Swannell 22). The initiative is a social response to the rising health concerns due to chemical usage and the unpredictable climate conditions that have cost considerable loss to cotton farmers.
As a result, the firm, consumers, and farmers benefit socially and economically. The corporate citizenship strategy is critical in safeguarding the customers’ loyalty and strengthening a long-term market advantage.
Additionally, the company launched solar products that would assist citizens in reducing carbon emissions and saving on the cost of energy. The economic innovation is a boost to the firm’s product diversity and expanding market segmentation venture as well as enhancing the society’s social welfare.
The going concern culture of corporate citizenship enlightens a company on new approaches to address consumer and market needs in a bid to increase their switching cost to other rivals in a competitive market (Porter and Kramer 82). Through the Plan a strategy, Marks, and Spencer linked the annual report to the mobile technology to allow stakeholders access and evaluate the company’s financial performance. In addition, establishment of online trading platform was a crucial milestone to facilitate an interactive discussion between the management and the consumers on the effectiveness of the products. The channel allows customers to post their comments with an assistance of privacy from external parties.
In another perspective, the firm incorporated equal opportunities policy where all recruitments, training, and appraisals would be conducted in a consultative approach under the leadership of Business Involvement Groups (Bolland 5). Employee participation will be firmly attached to the final draft of the ethical code of conduct in recognition of the cross-cultural diversity. Under its social logo “live well, works well”, the employees reserve an exclusive right for occupational health service during their tenure. The firm also participates in charity and funding initiatives such as one-day wardrobe clear out program where Marks and Spencer donate their attires to assists destitute households. Such initiative creates a strong bondage with the society for future sustainability.
The company is rationally conscious of the value of stakeholders’ role in achieving the set objectives. The management facilitates an interactive bondage where all stakeholders bear an equal right to place their contribution to the company’s strategy. The tactical initiative ensures a balanced social responsibility to all pertinent stakeholders. Based on the financial reports, the firm posts a positive economic future driven by innovation, integrity, and satiating consumers’ preferences. With the rising cost of living and technological change, the firm believes in its commitment for corporate citizenship to maintain an eco-friendly working environment and retaining a consistent economic viability.
A financial disclosure is a great milestone that complements the company’ effort towards corporate social responsibility since the stakeholders will assess the firm’s commitment and strategic value through the invested resources and accompanying returns.
Based on the above analysis, Marks and Spencer company projects a substantial and sustainable competitive advantage influenced by innovation, consumer satisfaction, and a high degree of environmental responsiveness. The introduction of online trading website asserts the firm’s reaction to the market technological change. Commitment to reduce carbon emissions through solar projects, as well as utilization of biodegradable plastic bags, is a real manifestation of the mutual benefit that corporate citizenship can bring to the society. Through the Plan a strategic initiative, the equal opportunity policy ensures that employees’ motivation is safeguarded through fare remunerations and appraisal. The plan stamps the need for occupation health service for all employees without discrimination.
Notably, the firm, through its business continuity policy, has amassed knowledge and infrastructural resources to operate in a cost-effective way and caution the firm against unpredictable economic volatility in future (Our Plans for the Future). Hence, the Corporate social responsibility initiatives cement the firms continued progress and success in its corporate strategy. The media and market analysts project a remarkable growth for the company based on the comprehensive and long-term oriented Plan a strategy. It would be economically logic to recommend that the management retains its corporate citizenship approach as a competitive advantage over rivals
Following extensive research on corporate social responsibility and its impact, it’s vivid that social responsibility is the driving force to a company success in any market. For a company to succeed in any market structure, the management must implement a value-chain based approach that recognizes the integrated input of suppliers, consumers, employees and the surrounding community (Waddock 321). Further learning on the subject would climax at portraying corporate citizenship as the pillar to a firm’s strategic plan. Hence, marks and spencer’ commitment to social initiatives augurs well with its projected global market penetration and long-term sustainability.
"Our Plans for the Future." Home. Marks and Spencer, Mar. 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015. <http://www.marksandspencer.com/>.
Bolland, Marc. "Code of Ethics and Behaviors." Marks and Spencer (2012): 1-9. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.
Luo, Xueming, and Chitra Bhanu Bhattacharya. "Corporate social responsibility, customer satisfaction, and market value." Journal of marketing 70.4 (2006): 1-18.
Porter, Michael E., and Mark R. Kramer. "The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility." Harvard business review 84.12 (2006): 78-92.
Swannell, Robert. "Annual report and financial statement 2014." Marks and Spencer (2014): 1-88. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.
Waddock, Sandra. "Creating corporate accountability: Foundational principles to make corporate citizenship real." Journal of Business Ethics 50.4 (2004): 313-327.
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