Final Presentation

Vivien: Good Afternoon everyone! Our topic today is Are Entrepreneurs responsible for Taiwan’s Society? And…I’m Vivien.
Lisa: I’m Lisa.
Vivien: And this is our outline, first we will introduce the concept of CSR, and then Lisa will tell us why she thinks CSR is necessary, and I will argue that why CSR is not good for Taiwan, and final is our conclusion.
Vivien: OK, first I want to ask all of you: Have you ever heard about CSR before? Raise your…no? Haha~
Vivien: CSR is the abbreviation of Corporate Social Responsibility, and it is a form of corporate self-regulate combined into a business model. And we will explain, further explain it later.
Lisa: Carroll is a social…social economist. According to his theory, CSR has four..four-level responsibility. Its former is like a pyramid. The basic one is economic responsibility, and the second one is legal responsibility, the third one is ethical responsibility, and the higher one is philanthropic responsibility. And we…we will combine these four responsibilities into our arguments. We will introduce these responsibilities first.
Lisa: Economic responsibility is that the companies should be profitable. Entrepreneurs should provide the true value of goods…goods and services, and provide business with profits. The legal responsibility is that entrepreneurs should obey the law. It is required of business by society. And it’s like rule of the game. Entrepreneurs should maintain the order of the society by obeying the rule.
Vivien: The concept of ethical responsibility is very simple-- it asks entrepreneurs to be ethical. And that is to say, to do what is right, just and fair. This responsibility is expected or prohibited by societal members. And because the law are essential but not adequate, so ethical responsibility then serve as, umm… embracing and reflecting newly emerging values and norms.
Vivien: Philanthropic responsibility is desired or expected of business by society. It asks entrepreneurs to give back, and engages in volunteerism, and…umm…in order to support the community to become a better place. The major distinction between ethical and philanthropic responsibility is that although communities desire or…umm…expect business to contribute its money, facilities, or umm… employee time to the community, they do not regard firms as unethical if they didn’t umm… provide these services.
Vivien: And next, Lisa is going to tell us why she thinks CSR is necessary.
Lisa: I’m the supporting side, so I’m going to talk about why CSR is necessary. There are three important parts related to CSR: the first is economic progress, the third one is people…the second one is people, and the third one is environmental protection. Let’s start with…Let’s start from people! I divide people into three kinds: investor, employee, and consumer.
Lisa: To investors, their main purpose is to gain profits from the companies. So, the entrepreneurs’ responsibility to them is maintaining the regular function of the companies, and making them get financial returns on their investments. The failure of business can cause the collapse of economy. This condition associates one with others, so entrepreneurs need to have economic responsibility: making companies be profitable.
Lisa: To Employees, they are the important group in the business, but they are usually exploited by entrepreneurs. If we say the company is like a machine, they would be screws. Screw…Although the screw is small, it is still necessary in the operation of the machine. The entrepreneurs’ responsibility to employees is giving them proper and stead salary. When they are satisfied with employers’ giving, they will…will work hard for companies. If the employees’ lives are stable, they could pursue not only material comfort, but also the spiritual growth. It make…It can make the society and the companies progress.
But, there are two big problems in the workplace. One is wages, and the other is inequality. Like the words on the picture, the boss says, “I’m looking for someone who can take on a great deal…great deal of responsibility and make executive decisions and be willing to start at the minimum wage.” We can know that employers always ask more than what they are willing to pay. So employees need laws to protect their right. To the part…To the part of wages, the law regulates employers to provide…to provide wages which cannot be lower than basic wage. To the part of inequality, especially for women, the regulation of law is no discrimination. If entrepreneurs can…If entrepreneurs have legal responsibility, they can…they can get more satisfied and productive workforce instead of legal problems. Such as the sweatshop, it is not a proper existence.
Lisa: To consumers, they are the group who influence business activities a lot. The entrepreneurs’ responsibility to them is provide safe products and selling…sell them at fair prices. Nowadays, we are shopping not only in the physical stores, but also the online stores. No matter in which store, consumers need the protection of the laws. If the products we buy are imperfect, we have the right to return merchandise. To people who don’t have the good process of returning merchandise, they will…they must have no good impression on that store. And the entrepreneurs will lost the consumer loyalty. It is not good for business.
And this is another one about consumer loyalty. I think you may have this experience. When you see something on the commercial, and go to buy it, but what you really get is not the same on the commercial. The feeling is not good, so no exaggerated commercials is one of the entrepreneurs’ responsibilities.
And the next picture, you see this woman. She wants to buy beef burger, but it may contain traces of horse. Nowadays, we also worry about this problem because there are more and more counterfeits and contaminated food reported on TV news.
I think…I believe that everyone’s ultimate destination is having…having a better life. It is important that entrepreneurs have these responsibilities. Entrepreneurs cannot sacrifice people’s life in order to make money. Besides, they also…they should also care about the environmental issue…issues. Because a good environment…having a good environment, we can have a good life.
Lisa: my last part is about philanthropic part…philanthropic responsibility. After the business is successful, entrepreneurs should think about giving back to society. They can provide money to improve education…education system or medical equipment. If the equality of the society is promoted higher, it can bring more profits to the companies. Like Bill Gates and Wang Yung-ching, they are two successful entrepreneurs. Both of them not only devote themselves into the business, but also have charitable contributions. If entrepreneurs can compete on business and charitable contribution, they are..they would be more advantaged than others.
Lisa: Then Vivien will talk about why CSR is not good for Taiwan.
Vivien: Thank you, Lisa. In the following section, I’m going to analyze it in two ways: first is through Carroll’s pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility, and another is I will talk about the advantages and disadvantages for entrepreneurs and the people.
Vivien: We introduced Carroll’s pyramid a few minutes ago. And in the economic level, we ask entrepreneurs to sell their products at fair price and provide investors with adequate and attractive returns on their investments.
Vivien: But are the prices in Taiwan really fair enough?
Vivien: Let’s look at this picture first. The blue line is Consumer Price Index, also called CPI, it can reflect the price changes of the product or services, and the red line is the average wage in Taiwan. We can see that from 1999 to 2007, the sa, salary is higher, the red line is higher than the blue line, but after 2007, the situation become opposite. And the gap between the two lines become wider each year.
Vivien: And this picture is also about Taiwan’s CPI, it gets higher every year.
Vivien: And the last picture talks about Taiwan’s salary from 1998 to 2012. The red line is notional average salary, which means average salary. And the blue line is the real wage, which... The difference between them is that the average wage…the average salary only looks about how much we earned, but the real wage also consider about the inflation(通貨膨脹). So by looking at the real wage, we can know the purchasing power(購買力) of the consumers. From this chart we can see that, yes, our salary added, has added six thousands and eighty dollors for the past 14 years, but the price of the products raise more than that. So is the price in Taiwan fair enough? NO!!!!!
Vivien: Next is legal responsibility. And, it is very simple, whenever we talks about law, it asks us to follow the rules.
Vivien: But in Taiwan, the problem is that the law, which are made by the lawmakers, may reflect the personal interests and political motivations of legislator rather than appropriate ethical justifications. The government and the entrepreneurs stand on the same side and carve up all the interests, and leave the people on the other side with nothing or and even harmful things.
Vivien: And the third level is ethical responsibility, its expectation is to ask us, to ask us to do what is right, fair, and just. I think there is nothing wrong with this concept. But it seems very hard for our, for Taiwan’s entrepreneurs to do this.
Vivien: Last year, Taiwan had an astonishing food scandal AGAIN!! And this time is about the oil we eat every day. 長基, also known as 大統、and富味香、味全, these are all well-known brands, but they did not sell their products in a proper way.The Extra virgin olive oil in the bottle is not 100% olive oil but they also contain other kinds of, other cheaper kinds of oil in it, but they sell the oil in the price of high level oil, and that is very unethical!!
Vivien: The last level is philanthropic responsibility, it asks businessmen to give back and volunteer to help.
Vivien: For example, the famous fast food restaurant McDonald, they have dedicated in helping children that has, who are seriously ill, and they build the McDonald House Charities to take care of them, and hold the McHappyDay to raise the fund of charity. But… needless, needless to say that McDonald has fulfill their phi, philanthropic responsibility, but in the meantime, the foods they sold have a lot of problems in it. Umm…Apart from the high calorie, the oil they use have, the oil they use is not very good, the acid value is over…this, the acid value is twenty times over the umm… standard. And last year, a man shockingly shows a hamburger he bought 14 years ago!!! It shows that McDonald’s food put tooooo much preservative in it. And, 14 days is very horrible, and 14 years?! Do you dare to eat that hamburger? Umm, the concept I want to show is that the moment when they show their charitable, charitable moves to us, their firms still do things that will harm our society, and they don’t really pay responsibility for their, umm for their harm, but donating money to the, those issues that are more appealing and more noticeable, and…which will gain public notice more effectively. And thus blur the point that they are the original of these problems and let us think that they are good companies.
Vivien: Well, there are advantages and disadvantages for the entrepreneurs and the people.
Vivien: For entrepreneurs, they can promote corporate image through engage in volunteerism, businessmen can make people more willing to buy their products because people will think that they care about our society. Apart from this, umm businessmen can have deduct, tax, tax deduction by fulfilling social responsibility.
Vivien: For example, in Taiwan, if entrepreneurs give disaster relief to the government, they can have the umm deduction rate up to 100%! That means they don’t have to pay any income tax at all!
Vivien: But in the meantime, entrepreneurs have to take the risk of wasting money. Because umm… doing, fulfilling responsibility is not equal to more profits right?
Vivien: For the people, although it is true that they, those enterprises give out the money to help people, but at the same time, the pollution is still there, the original problems are still there, too. Why do we want entrepreneurs to take responsibility? Because we think they earn money but leave all the problems to the society. And, to take responsibility means to make up for what you have done. But why did our socie, why did our society keep asking entrepreneurs to do charity without solving the original problems they have done?
Vivien: Does our society turn out to promote hypocrisy?
Vivien: As for the advantages for the people.Well, we can’t erase the good deeds that those entrepreneurs have done. All the foundations and their contributions indeed help the community to become a better place, but that doesn’t mean entrepreneurs can cover up all the bad things they have done.
Vivien: And here comes our conclusion.
Lisa: The relationship between entrepreneurs and the society is like jigsaw puzzle or gear. It is so close that they influence each other. Therefore, the entrepreneurs cannot escape the responsibility to harm the society. Instead, if they want their business widespread and have the strong…have the strong viability in the marketplace, they must have corporation…corporate social responsibility. The sustainable management is based on what you do.
Vivien: And as for my conclusion, I think Taiwan has not ready for CSR for the following reasons: first, umm, entrepreneurs don’t have the heart to do what is required or expected by society, all they can see is money. And second, the government can’t help but stand with the entrepreneurs, they only think about themselves and have no minds on people’s welfare. And fi, last, the people in Taiwan are too coward to against powerful people. If we can, can’t depend on the powerful people, we have to unit and form the power ourselves, not just endure and, and complain it on the internet.
Vivien: And that is our, our presentation, thank you for listening.

Q&A time

First Question:
Cabecita: Do you think the public’s expectation is the power to push the entrepreneurs have responsibility?
Lisa: Umm…umm because the society…I think the entrepreneurs and the public is in the same community. So, if the entrepreneurs want the public to accept them, they should try to fulfill the public’s expectation. I think the public’s expectation is the push…can push the entrepreneurs to do the responsibility.

Second Question:
Vicky: Hi~Vivien! You have talked about the collusion between the…government and the business. So can you give us some about the collusion between the government and the business?
Vivien: Umm…there’s an example last year, the Council of Agriculture in Executive Yuan, in Chinese we call it行政院農委會, umm… loosen the restriction of reservoir’s watershed (水庫集水區). And in the meantime, the Environmental Protection Administration in Executive Yuan, in Chinese we call it 行政院環保署, also wants to revise, umm, environmental impact assessment(就是環評). So what is this all about? That means that those enterprises now can build houses in the watershed, legally, and don’t have to care about the environmental impact assessment, too! Well, I think this is very ridiculous!! And it will harm the environment very badly. And I think this is an example that can show the collusion between government and the entrepreneurs.

First Comment:
Tim: I want to say, say some opinions to Vivien. Yeah, ah…I think you good ah, a good ratitude, good critique of the CSR. Ah, I think your PowerPoint is somehow hard to understand because you talk about ah, CSR is a, is a façade, is a veil, veil upon the real problem. Umm…so, ah, you, you still, you, you explain it well, you think very various examples, so I think you give a, give a quite good critique of it. Thanks.
Vivien: Thank you.

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