Corporate Social Strategy


Doing business in international settings presents many challenges to managers. There is no magic solution to meeting these issues as they arise. Companies can prepare for the types of challenges by designing a corporate social strategy that matches and balances the company’s economic strategy. These questions are a good place to start the process:

  • Are we being socially responsible in what we do? Do we meet the expectations of our host country as well as our home country? Would stakeholders in either country question our behavior?
  • Are we responsible to the stakeholders in each country where we do business? Do we treat employees, customers, suppliers, local communities, and others in a fair and just way?
  • Do we recognize emerging issues, as well as, immediate social issues, in the countries and communities where we operate? Are we anticipating change rather than just reacting to it?
  • Do we abide by the host government’s regulations and policies? Do we have good systems for ensuring that our employees and the agents who represent us follow or corporate policies?
  • Do we conduct business in ways that respect the values, customs, and moral principles of each society? Do we recognize that there may be times when they conflict with principles of other societies? Are we ready to address these conflicts in thoughtful, positive ways?

Companies that address these questions before trouble strikes are better prepared to meet global challenges to corporate responsibility. They are better prepared to prevent crises, anticipate change, and avoid situations that compromise the values and principles for which the company stands. A corporate social strategy helps managers achieve both the economic and the social goals of the company.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

Case Analysis


A common criticism of prepared cases goes something like this: “You repeated an awful lot of case material, but you really didn’t analyze the case.” Yet, at the same time, it is difficult to verbalize exactly what analysis means—that is, “I can’t explain exactly what it is, but I know it when I see it!”

 

This is a common problem since the term analysis has many definitions and means different things in different contexts. In terms of case analysis, one thing that is clear is that analysis means going beyond simply describing the case information. It includes determining the implications of the case information for developing strategy. This determination may involve careful financial analysis of sales and profit data or thoughtful interpretation of the text of the case.

 

One way of thinking about analysis involves a series of three steps: synthesis, generalizations, and implications.

 

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

Luminous Analogy between Cholesterol and Overhead


Overhead is a lot akin to cholesterol. Both have been targets of severe criticism. Both can induce fatty deposits; one clogs the insides of human arteries, the other congests a corporation’s metabolism.

Both have been severely misunderstood. Cholesterol plays a very important role in human chemistry. It forms the nucleus of the vitamin D molecule, the neutrient that builds strong bones. It is a component of several sex and regulatory hormones and contributes to the fluidity of cell membranes. Often thought to be fat, it isn’t. Actually it helps make the bile salts that emulsify fats in the intestine.

Cholesterol is manufactured within the body. Problems arise, though, when it is ingested. Its internal production goes on regardless of the amount taken in, and its chemistry is such that it is hard to break down once a surplus occurs.

Cholesterol comes in two types, depending on how it is being transported in the bloodstream. As those who have had tests for cholesterol know, one of these types (called HDL) is sometimes dubbed “good cholesterol” because it moves to the liver where it can do something useful for the body. “Bad cholesterol” (identified as “LDL”) tends to stay put, thus resulting in deposits on artery walls. Heart attacks are often associated with high levels of the LDL variety, and decreased risk of having coronary disease with concentrations of HDL.

The relative balance between HDL and LDL is, in part, controllable. LDL increases when diets are rich in animal fats; regular aerobic exercise leads to more HDL.

Overhead like cholesterol is something that naturally occurs to make effective functioning possible. It plays a key role in regulating the proper balance among a business’s diverse activities. As with cholesterol, problems arise when too much overhead is imposed on the business from the outside. It is hard to remove once in place and, like some people’s dietary limitation regimes, it can be painful to cut back. Corporate aerobics, such as workout, can keep overhead in check, but only temporarily.

There are also two kinds of overhead: good and bad. Good carries its own weight, and then some; bad only contributes bulk. The processes workout and process reengineering, are good tools to help make these distinctions. But in some cases, a deeper, more thoughtful, examination is necessary than can be provided in the gungho, take-no-prisoners atmosphere of these outplacement mechanisms for work and time.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact www.asifjmir.com