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2013年10月31日

Ethical Responsibilities of CSR

  In Carroll’s theory, the third level of the pyramid of CSR is ethical responsibilities. Entrepreneurs have to be ethical, and have “obligation to do what is right, just, and fair” in order to avoid harm.

Avoid questionable practices. Assume law is a floor on behavior, operate above minimum required. Respond to spirit as well as letter of law. Do what is right, fair, and just. Assert ethical leadership.

  There is not an explicit definition about corporate’s ethical responsibilities. It is a vague conception about what is right for corporate to do. One of the theory divided ethical responsibilities into four parts based on the process of social reproduction: first is production, companies have to ensure the quality of their product, and make sure that their products are eco-friendly. Second is exchange, companies have to hold the spirit of fair trade. Third is distribution, entrepreneurs have to blend the idea of justice into their distribute process. Last is consumption, companies have to fulfill customer’s need and put people in the first place. Most of all, companies have to help consumers live a safe and healthy life through the process of reasonable consumption.
  That is not all the ethical responsibilities which the companies have to take, the relationships between companies and their employees, customers, stockholders, the relationships with same trade, society and government…it’s all about ethics.
  Perhaps only Nordic and Swiss can do it.
[figure 1]

The public’s view of business ethics has never been very high. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many citizens see business ethics as essentially a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron, and think that there is only a fine line between a business executive and a crook

  But public’s expectation to business ethics is still higher than actual business ethics. As we can see from figure 2, there is always a gap between society’s expectation and actual situations of business ethics. In Taiwan, I think most of the people know what the right value is. We always criticize people for not doing the right thing or didn’t devote enough effort to the society. But when we are in the position, most of the people tend to take the money and do nothing, just like the person we criticized at.
Figure 2: Society's Expectations vs. Actual Business Ethics

  The problem is not people don’t know what is right for them to do, but they always put their own profit in the first place and act differently according to the position they’re in.
However, sometimes the problem is that we don’t know whether we are doing the good things or the bad things.


A good number of what we are now called unethical practices were at one time considered acceptable. Or, it may be that the practices never really acceptable to the public but that, because they were not known, they were tolerated, thus causing no moral dilemma in the mind of public.

  Top-echelon executive lack of careful oversight, corporate boards fell down their duties to keep an eye on top executive’s behavior…ethical scandals are not one man’s fault, but the problem of the whole system.
  So what happened to Taiwan’s society?
  The concept of entrepreneurs should be ethical is good, undoubted. But Taiwan is still inadequate to apply this concept. “Ethics is the discipline that deals with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.” The state of ego trip shouldn't surpass the moral standard in our mind.


Reference

Archie B. Caroll&Ann K. Buchholtz (2008). Business, society, and stakeholders: Corporate citizenship: social responsibility, responsiveness, and performance. In Melissa Acuna (Ed.), Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management, 7th edition (pp.41-45). Mason: South-Western

Archie B. Caroll&Ann K. Buchholtz (2008). Business ethics and management: the public’s opinion of business ethics, business ethics: what does it really mean? In Melissa Acuna (Ed.), Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management, 7th edition (pp.237-249). Mason: South-Western

Corporate social responsibility from the economics and ethics’ point of view. Retrieved October 30, 2013, from China.com.cn: http://big5.china.com.cn/gate/big5/www1.china.com.cn/economic/txt/2010-01/20/content_19271204.htm

Lynch, T. (1996). Enterprise ethics. Retrieved October 30, 2013, from Heng Chang: Information about the Test on Business Management and Marketing: http://blog.sina.com.tw/examservice/article.php?pbgid=33715&entryid=252772


2013年10月27日

First Annotation Representation's Transcript

Vivien: Umm…our topic is “Are Entrepreneurs responsible for Taiwan’s Society?”
And…according to Europe Union, the definition of corporate social responsibility is the concept of combining entrepreneurs’ concern to the society and environment to their company’s commercial activities and the relationships with their shareholders.
And…according to Carroll’s theory, he divided corporate social responsibility into four levels. The first level is economic responsibilities.

Lisa: The company has to be profitable.

Vivien: And the second level is legal responsibilities.

Lisa: The company has to obey the law.

Vivien: The third level is ethical responsibilities.

Lisa: The company has to be ethical.

Vivien: The fourth level is philanthropic responsibilities.

Lisa: The company has to be a good corporate citizen.

Vivien: And today we will focus on the economic responsibilities.

Lisa: From the book, Business & Society, the definition of economic responsibilities is: “An institution whose objective is to produce goods and services that society wants and to sell them at fair prices­prices that society thinks represent the true value of the goods and services delivered and that provide business with profits adequate to ensues its survival and growth and reward its investors.” And we think that there are three kinds of people in the society playing the important roles in the economic responsibilities of corporate social responsibility. First, I want to talk about the investors. They are closely related to the business. The major purpose is to gain profit from the successful companies. Therefore, the entrepreneurs’ responsibility to them is maintaining the regular function of the companies, and making them keep getting the adequate returns on their investments. If investors are not benefited from the business, the society will be in a state of chaos. The failure on business causes the collapse of the com…the economy, which also males the public feel afraid.

Vivien: Umm…yes, I think entrepreneurs’ goal is to maximize sales and minimize costs. But…of course entrepreneurs will do their best to…to promote growth rate and let their company gain profit. But…in the corporate social responsibility’s point of view, businessmen make their effort to let their investors gain profit. But I think not only businessmen but also most of the people in the world care about our own profit. But…umm…and so under the realistic circumstances, entrepreneurs make money for themselves, not for the investors.

Lisa: The second part is the general public. The entrepreneurs’ responsibility to the general public is making the products safe and selling them at the fair prices. According to the news in the recent years, there are many tainted foods reported on TV, which makes the general public nervous and scared. The perfect quality of products has to be guaranteed by the businessmen. Besides, the commercials cannot be exaggerated. Although the entrepreneurs want to make a profit, they cannot still deceive the general public and sacrifice the people’s health.

Vivien: Umm…as Lisa has mentioned, uh, company has to sell their pro…sell their products at fair price. But what is actua…what actually is “fair price”? Maybe you’ll say that it is the price a little higher than their costs. And, a definition said that fair price can represent the true value of the goods and services, and let businessmen earn profit simultaneously. But, the price of the goods and services should depend on the invisible hand of the market. Umm…we’re now in an era of capitalism, so…umm…the economic activities should base on supply and demand. So, for example, when the supply can’t meet the demand, the price will get higher, but the quality of the goods or services…umm, won’t become better, and is very likely to become lower. In this situation, how can entrepreneurs meet the corporate social responsibility’s expectation?

Lisa: Umm…not only the investors and the general public, employees are also the important part in the development of the business. They also need cares from entrepreneurs. The company is like a machine, and the employees are like screws, which are necessary in the operation of the machine. The entrepreneurs need employees to work for them, and employees’ living expenses depend on works. When employees are paid good salary, they will devote their hearts to works. The entrepreneurs’ responsibility to employees is giving the steady salary which corresponds with their works. Umm…in conclusion, the…the operation of the business influences the society. The healthy environment of the society is a decisive element of economic development. Therefore, the entrepreneurs have the responsibility to maintain and protect the resource and people of the society. Thank you.

2013年10月20日

Economic and Legal Responsibilities of CSR

  A scholar called Carroll divided CSR into four parts: economic responsibilities, legal responsibilities, ethical responsibilities, and philanthropic responsibilities. In this part, I will focus on the economic and legal responsibilities.
Figure 1:The pyramid of  corporate social responsibility
  First is economic responsibilities. The main goal of this part is to be profitable, which means entrepreneurs should make good and deliberate decisions in order to make profit for the company. Thus give their investors plentiful pleasing profit.

An institution whose objective is to produce goods and services that society wants and to sell them at fair pricesprices that society thinks represent the true value of the goods and services delivered and that provide business with profits adequate to ensues its survival and growth and to reward its investors.

  Yes, entrepreneurs’ goal is to maximize sales, minimize costs. In a selfish point of view, not only businessmen but also most of the people in this world care about our own profit. The reason why businessmen establish a company is to make profit for himself, not for the investors, publics, or their own country. Entrepreneurs will do their best to promote growth rate and investors will have their share. However, the outcome may be the same, the motivation is different.
  Another question is that what actually is a good’s “fair price”? One may say that it is the price that is a little higher than costs, which can “represent the true value of the goods and services” and let businessmen earn profit simultaneously. But the price of the goods and services should depend on the invisible hand of the market. We’re now in an era of free market economy, the economic activities should base on the mechanism of supply and demand; that is to say, when the supply is unable to meet the demand, the price will get higher. In this situation, the price may be very high, but the quality of the goods or services didn’t become better, and is very likely to become lower.
  Friedman’s word somewhat can be a conclusion: “(management is) to make as much money as possible while conforming to the basic rules of society, both those embodied in the law and those embodied in ethical customs.”
  Second is legal responsibilities. Businessmen have to obey the law and regulations. Although this responsibility is very fundamental, Taiwan didn’t have related laws so far. The only relevant regulation is the Corporate Social Responsibility Best Practice Principles for TWSE/GTSM-Listed Companies.

In order to assist companies listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation ("TWSE") and GreTai Securities Market ("GTSM") (collectively referred to as "TWSE/GTSM listed companies") to fulfill their corporate social responsibility initiatives and to promote economic, social and environmental balance and sustainable development, the TWSE and GTSM hereby jointly adopt the Principles to be followed by TWSE/GTSM listed companies.

  The principle aims to help companies exercising corporate governance, fostering a sustainable environment, preserving public welfare, and enhancing disclosure of corporate social responsibility information. The conception is good, but it doesn’t have any compulsion, which means the company which didn’t follow the rules won’t get any punishment.
 Generally speaking, if Taiwan didn’t have laws about CSR, why would we expect entrepreneurs to accomplish CSR?


Reference
Archie B. Caroll&Ann K. Buchholtz (2008). Business, society, and stakeholders: Corporate citizenship: social responsibility, responsiveness, and performance. In Melissa Acuna (Ed.), Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management, 7th edition (pp.40-49). Mason: South-Western

Corporate Social Responsibility Best Practice Principles for TWSE/GTSM-Listed Companies. Announced on February 2nd, 2010. Amended on August 22, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from Law Source Retrieving System of Stock Exchange and Futures Trading: http://eng.selaw.com.tw/FLAWDAT0201.asp


2013年10月5日

Are Entrepreneurs Responsible to the Society? (reject)

In Taiwan, students have learned the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) since junior high school. The original purpose of this restriction is to demand corporation paying the price for harming the environment or other things that aren’t good for society. According to EU, the definition of CSR is the concept of combining entrepreneurs’ concern to the society and environment to their company’s commercial activities and the relationships with shareholders. The prerequisite is: entrepreneurs volunteer to do this.

Now the problem is: enterprisers are not very happy about this inexplicable burden, but the public want them to take charge of more responsibility.

Entrepreneurs are like all the other jobs, what’s different is that they probably earn much more money, or their factories are distributed over the world. Enterprisers are humans, they are not great men. Publics should not add responsibility that have nothing to do with them.

There are four reasons why I reject corporate social responsibility.

First, the purpose of establishing a company is to earn money, and what managers should care is the interests of their shareholders. Social responsibility is not their purpose to establish a company, and when companies have financial problems, the society tend to leave them alone and run their course.

Second, entrepreneurs are not professionals that know how to solve social problems. It is not important that whether managers have the ability to deal with social problems.  The government is the one who is responsible for social problems. Instead of asking enterprisers to take social responsibility, governments should increase their taxes. Then the money will distribute to different departments that in charge of different problems.

Third, corporate social responsibility is a very vague concept now. Although there are some compacts or disciplines that have relations with this, but these are just codes that we can cite from. If the government do want entrepreneurs to take social responsibility, then the legislature should legislate for this duty.

Fourth, if enterprisers focus on social responsibility actively and invest in too much capital on it, there are possibilities to dilute the main purpose of profit-seeking business. To make matters worse, it will weaken the nation’s competitiveness on economy.

To sum up, corporations are not responsible for government’s social problems, and they didn’t have related professions. What businessman have to do is to seek profit for stockholder and staffs. If they spend too much capital on corporate social responsibility, it might weaken the competitiveness of the company.

Another problem is that we shouldn’t see social responsibility as a reward measure for entrepreneurs. It is because they get nearly everything they want from society that people start to think about this new duty. Then why should they get rewards from fulfilling their obligation?

The main point of this article is not to deny the concept of this responsibility, but how we think about it and how government have to react about it. Everyone is responsible for this society, the point is how to manage it well.


Reference

http://www.docin.com/p-501053900.html

企業社會責任的發展
http://www.sanlien.com/ad/san_tech.nsf/foundationview/B64FE38450674E6B4825767A0012C9ED/$FILE/06%E4%BC%

81%E6%A5%AD%E7%A4%BE%E6%9C%83%E8%B2%AC%E4%BB%BB%E7%9A%84%E7%99%BC%E5%B1%95.pdf

企業的社會責任及回應行動
http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/jw!b17nxUGRGB5rcCdttdRaqC8-/article?mid=183

2013年10月3日

Is religion necessary or not? (reject)


The necessity of Religion has been put on a question mark for hundreds of years. It is no doubt that religion have both qualities of good and bad. A thing or a conception that truly exist must have its positive and negative influence. But the word “necessity” means the need for something or something that is needed. The question is: does religion have the essential function?

When it comes to the main function of religion, we will come up with answers like maintaining social order or aiding in psychological transitions. On the other hand, when it comes to the disadvantages of religion, shackle our thoughts, fan up the crowds would be familiar answers.

Feuerbach said that religion is nothing but the knowing of perception of infinite; Or, in the understanding of the infinite, the conscious subject in its own infinite nature of instinct as the object to know. He believes that religion will damage and eliminate the most important sense of humanthe desire to pursue knowledge.

It is the age of science and technology now, what we believe is things that are found or can be proved by scientific method. Religion originally helps people to understand unknown things in nature and our daily life, for example, lightening, drought, plagues… But now religion is the concept of abstract and mysterious things. Most of the elements that construct their theory are things we have never seen before (though some people claim that they saw angels or heard the voice of God), and their existence cannot be proved.
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On October 1st, 2013, there’s a religious conflict between Buddhist and Muslim in Western Myanmar. More than 800 Buddhist attack a Muslim village and burn down their houses. According to the news report from Al Jazeera, one Buddhist said the reason why they plan this attack is because a Muslim defamed Buddhism.


Last year, the civil war in Syria eventually became the religious conflict between Sunnite and Shiah.





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Reference
http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/13/10/3/n3977885.htm%e7%b7%ac%e7%94%b8%e5%ae%97%e6%95%99%e8%a1%9d%e7%aa%81%e5%86%8d%e8%b5%b7-%e7%a9%86%e6%96%af%e6%9e%97%e8%ba%b2%e9%80%b2%e6%a3%ae%e6%9e%97%e9%81%bf%e9%9b%a3.html

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B7%AF%E5%BE%B7%E7%BB%B4%E5%B8%8C%C2%B7%E5%AE%89%E5%BE%B7%E5%88%97%E6%96%AF%C2%B7%E8%B4%B9%E5%B0%94%E5%B7%B4%E5%93%88

http://www.anntw.com/awakening/news_center/show.php?itemid=35641