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Social Responsiveness

Social responsiveness may be considered as the level or degree of interest exhibited by an organization in discharging social responsibility. It is generally the top management which takes the major decisions regarding the choice of social concerns, definition of the scope of activities, and resource allocation to social responsibility functions. These decisions are based on the views, opinions, personal values, and considerations of the business ethics of the top management. Having decided, in principle, to discharge social responsibility, the top management should seek to align its social responsiveness with strategic management. By such an alignment is meant the reflection of social responsiveness in all the phases of strategic management. Thus, the role of strategists n strategic intent and hierarchy of objectives, strategy formulation and implementation, and evaluation will be affected by social responsiveness.

The role of the board of directors is crucial in generating a high level of social; responsiveness. Then it is for the chief executive to take up the tasks involved in discharging social responsibility. The strategic intent should consider social responsibility while delineating the purpose and corporate philosophy of the organization. The vision and mission of a organization could be stated in such a manner that the role of the organization in society is clear. This should be reflected in objectives setting. besides economic, non-economic objectives should also be set which can help an organization to decide what has to be achieved in the areas of social responsibility. An environment appraisal, which includes an assessment of the social environment, should help an organization’s strategists to forecast social concerns and issues that need urgent attention. Organizational appraisal should assist the strategists in assessing corporate competence to tackle the social problems which should, in addition, help the top management in setting the priorities of social responsiveness. The choice of strategic alternatives could be guided by these priorities. In fact, there is a strong case for the argument that “the inner coherence of the corporate strategy would be extended by choosing (social) issues most closely related to the economic strategy of the company, to the expansion of its markets, to the health of its immediate environment and to its own industry and internal problems”. So, the selection of corporate and business level strategies should take account of the social responsibility aspects too.

When it comes to strategy implementation, social responsiveness would seek to alter the pattern of resource allocation. This is a crucial test for the top management to stick to its concoctions. Without adequate allocation of funds not much headway can be made. Business organizations that are believers in social activism will have to assign duties and responsibilities to personnel, or may even have to create specific positives and systems so that social responsiveness does not suffer. Policies and procedures will have to be set or an effective discharge of social responsibilities.

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