One of the most natural human instincts that we all have since we are young is that when something goes wrong we look at who is responsible or who is to blame. Similarly if we know it is our own fault we will always look for a scapegoat to get off scott free. The example of the playground is useful here. Whenever there was a fight or an arguement in the school yard , once it was broken up and the teacher would ask what happened , the first answer was always the same ‘Well he did this , or she did that’, even from a young age we are always trying to shift the blame. Unfortunately this is a trait that many will never lose and shall bring into their adult lives. Just like ourselves businesses and companys don’t like the term ‘Responsible’.

When something has happened that was not in the plans of the business they shall always look for a scapegoat such as a leak into a river , faulty goods , pollution etc… Although it is not through to say this about the majority of businesses , there are those who try to swindle their way out of responsiblity. They may try this by loop-holes in the law , blame the consumers themselves or simply cover up their mistakes and act like nothing ever happened. A show I always enjoyed on tv was ‘Rougue Traders’ , even though this may seem slightly off track , the idea was to record well known untrustworthy companys and how they deal with customers. With many cases the traders was try to rip off the people on price but the main issue was when the did a job not up to scratch but would take no responsiblity , and do anything but compensate such as avoid calls , make fake appointments etc… Although this are small scale cases I think they can be seen to relate to the bigger picture. We all remember the oil spill in the gulf of Mexico where millions of tonsof oil seeped into the sea out broken pipes and did terrible damage to surrounding areas ans wildlife. The company BP refused to take full responsibility for the debarcle and relied on the US goverment to solve the problem.

The idea of responsibilty is hard to grasp as a whole , as sometimes it is generally hard and inconclusive to see who is responsible. An example discussed in the lecture is something that apparently regularly takes place in such countries as South Africa. Out in the desert if a mine of some sort (gold, silver , oil etc…) is discovered and a wealthy business moves in to obtain the resource this attracts alot of poor people. The people come in search of jobs, but not only do the workers come but also their family’s and before you know it new communities have been established in proximity to business. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE???? Many may say they are the firms resposibilty to take care of as generally this make-shift dwellings have no ammenities or services.  But of coarse the companies reply will be it is the goverments problem as they are all citizens. Sometimes a clear answer is simply not there.

Also from the lecture on Mon. 2st March the idea that all peoples ideas of responsibility was brought to light. We were told of the story of The Baroness and The Mad Man. The story itself is a simple one , but the differnt responses it produced suprised me. We were asked to judge 1-7 who we beleived the most responsible. Of all the groups none had the same scores as everyones idea of who was responsible was differnt. A good example was that of the mad man, who either scored relitively high or relitively low. I thought the task was interesting as it proves that something is not always one persons fault or may be seen in many diffenrnt ways.

So far I have in a way talked of the negativity of Responsibility which is not really what CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is all about. The concept of CSR is a business model used by firms to help ensure it monitors its outward and inward impacts both on themselves , the local community , the goverment and it’s ethical rights. According to Wikipedia.com ‘ the goal is to embrace responsibility for the companies actions and encourage a positive ipact through it’s activities on the environment. There is many examples of businesses putting CSR to positive effect both locally and globally. An example of an Irish company supporting local communties is that of ‘Truely Irish’ , a sausage and rasher company who only source local Irish farmers , this has a positive effect on the communties as the locals have a buyer which creates jobs and pours money back into local communities. There can also be global examples such as large multinational companies promoting recycling etc… Fairtrade was an organisation set up to help monitor production of  such products as coco beans and fruit in tropical america. They strive to improve working conditions and pay as feel responsible for their workers. Sales of  fairtrade products rose 100% in 2009 which proves people are supportive of these corporate initatives. 

 Aswel as companys being responsible for communities etc.. they must also take responsibilty for their products or assets. If a good is faulty , it is a requirment for the company to take action and compensate if necessary and not pass on blame. Also sometimes  it may be nothing to do with the firm and are in no way responsible but must still take action as it is they social duty . An example is that of the power plants in Japan. Due to the horrendous earthquake in Japan this month , Tsunami spread across the county and inflicted large scale damage and many nuclear power plants across the country. There has been radioactive leaks at Fukushima 1 , and it is the duty of the goverment and firms involved to take responsiblity and clean up this problem and try and find a solution.

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