What is social contract theory?

The social contract theory holds that in earliest history man lived in a “state of nature.” No government existed. Each man was only as secure as his own power and mental awareness could make him.
By agreeing with one another to make a state by contract, men within a given area joined together, each surrendering personal freedom as necessary to promote the safety and well being of all. By this contract the members created a government. The social contract gives rights and responsibilities to both the citizenry and the government.
For example, in The United States, citizens yield the powers of prosecution of, and punishment for, criminal offenses to the judicial branch of government. The government, for its part, bears the responsibilities of maintaining public safety for the citizens through the police, court systems, correctional facilities, and all supporting structures.

Applied Social Psychology Theories

Social psychology seeks to understand how people think, feel, relate, and influence one another. This sort of influence can be either actual, imagined, or implied, which further means that individuals are predisposed to social influence even when other people are not present. Since the concept of human behavior is a product of the interaction of different mental states and instantaneous social situations, social psychologists prefer to use various standards of assessing behavior, among which the most instrumental are laboratory-based, empirical findings and specific theories. Theories in particular are the core principles that determine how behavior is analyzed with regard to specific contexts. With reference to this, applied psychology plays an important role in the study of behavior in different social contexts and themes including group performance, negotiations, aggression, and general human behavior.

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Social Identity Theory

            Social identity theory is perhaps one of the most significant theories in the field of social psychology and particularly in the context of group behavior. The theory attempts to examine how the categorization of people into in-groups or outgroups impacts perceptions, attitudes, and behavior. It enables psychologists to predict particular behaviors with relation to perceived grouped status differences. A review of Hackman in his co-authored article Group Behavior and Perfromance reveals a precise illustration of the social identity theory and how it functions as a basis of foretelling behavior. First, he contends that groups are diverse in the way they carry out tasks and thus their productivity can be measured using various approaches. According to his view, while some psychologists may concentrate on measuring the productive purpose of a group, some may opt to measure the extent to which the experience of working in a group affects the individual wellbeing. Those who chose to focus on the process of work also scrutinize the group’s organization in order to find out how it relates to effective functioning. Moreover, Hackman cites various approaches which psychologists are fond of using while analyzing the link between group members, how individuals in the group interact, as well as various tools that are utilized. The underlying philosophy in his argument involves the variance of social behavior along the range between interpersonal and intergroup behavior, which is also the key aspect that enthuses the theory of social identity.

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Theory of Drive

            Another equally important theory in social psychology is the theory of drive which claims that the presence of an audience brings about arousal and thus produces typical and dominant responses depending on the situational context. As pointed out by Juror Proof in Group Polarization & How It Impacts Your Verdict, the concept of judgement is complicated by many dynamic processes that are often a result of a group. Juror’s decisions and attitudes normally undergo certain alterations when they are placed in a group setting. They tend to become more extreme on their view points in the midst of other jurors as opposed to when they are on their own. This form of behavior change is known as polarization and can prove influential in the decision-making process. This is in perfect harmony with the theory of drive which claims that the presence of a passive audience can trigger or inhibit better performance in a certain task.

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Social Exchange Theory

            Social contexts that involve social change and stability as a development of bargained exchanges between two or more parties are better characterized by the social exchange theory. It maintains that human relationships are a product of subjective cost-benefit analyses and an assessment of alternatives. In his article The art of negotiation: How to improvise agreement in a chaotic world, Wheeler demonstrates that negotiations are directly dependent on the social exchange theory. He introduces a new approach to negotiation and describes the overall process of negotiation as one that involves ongoing learning, adapting, and influencing. Thus, negotiations demand for human exploration and agility that enables the negotiation parties to find a common ground on which they can form solid and beneficial relationships. Examples of simple negotiations occur when buying a car, selling a house, or even landing a new contract. Thus, social exchange theory attempts to explain the dynamics behind the maintenance of human relationships between two or more people.

Social Learning Theory

            The social learning theory is one of the most common theories in social psychology. It was curated by Albert Bandura, who proposed that human behavior is learned through modeling. This implies that observing others consequently spurs the formation of ideas on how to perform new behaviors. As a result, the conception of these ideas act as a guiding tool of performing an action (Bandura 69). However, not all behavior which is observed is necessarily learned. The learning process involves a series of steps where an individual needs to pay attention, retain the information, reproduce by doing what they observed and finally motivation to perform the act. An example is perceived from the aspect of violence and aggression where children who are exposed to violence at home from an early age develop aggressive attitudes and may end up bullying other children in schools. In an article published on the Huffington post website, Keiper illustrates how children who emulate bullying, violence and aggressive behavior like substance abuse and suicide often come from violent homes. The author goes on to show reports by the CDC of how bullies and their victims reported that they were physically hurt by family members or that they witness violence within their homes. From the article a relationship to Albert Bandura’s social learning theory is imminent in that children who bully others and emulate aggression act in a way that imitates what they see at home as well and their experiences with violence and aggression at home.

Attribution Theory

Attribution theory strives to explain how an ordinary individual tries to understand human behavior. The theory was curated by a psychologist, Heider who explained that people try to make sense of human behavior often through a cause and effect system. There are two aspects of the attribution theory, which encompass external and internal attribution. External attribution is concerned with assigning the cause of a behavior to occurrences outside the individual’s control. On the hand, internal attribution explains a behavior with relation to internal characteristics like a person’s personality.  In an article published on 2 know myself blog, (Farouk) shed some insights on understanding human behavior. The author explains how individuals try to understand human behavior by looking at specific variables and disregarding other considerations. This is similar to the cause and effect notion where a person tries to understand the reason behind another person’s action by looking into the cause from a restrained angle. Internal attribution adds on this perception where people often conclude that an act of kindness is directly linked to a kind person. This may not necessarily be the case, therefore spurring an inaccurate judgment on an individual’s character.

Radwan gives the example of a person who perceives himself to be successful. However, he starts experiencing an insecurity that he left his car open, therefore developing a habit of checking his car very often. The insecurity came as a result of a dream where his car is stolen. A person may not understand the habit that the subject develops because of internal attribution. The author further explains that the subject behaves the way he does because he holds himself responsible for his success, and consequently responsible for any possible failures. This implies that the behavior he develops is not necessarily about the car but rather about the fear of losing his success. The latter aligns to the theory of attribution, per say internal attribution, where the behavior of an individual can be understood by linking the effect to an internal cause like personality or self-esteem.            

In conclusion, applied psychology plays an important role in the study of behavior in different social contexts and themes including group performance, negotiations, aggression, and general human behavior. The analysis of behavior in each of these contexts is further linked to one or more theories which attempt to rationalize the occurrence of various behavioral patterns. Hence, social psychology attempts to explain the manner in which attitudes, personality, motivations, and behavior are affected by social groups. An individual’s acuity of the events around them influences their emotions and behavior, a phenomenon that is likely to trickle further down to others. Most importantly, social psychology helps psychologists to understand group behaviors and how they can be manipulated, the nature of negotiations, the occurrence of aggressive behaviors, and the personality of an individual.

Contract Formation and Working with Vendors to Ensure Successful Completion of Business Projects

Successful completion of any project highly depends on the success of the procedures put in place to enhance project development. Some of the most important procedures that determine project success include contract management, procurement, proposal assessment, and following the right contract awarding procedure among others. In most cases, the company managing a project needs to work with the vendor to ensure that all the required supplies are provided on time and in the right quality and standards. This means successful completion of the project does not only need having the right skill or project team players, but also ensuring effective procurement procedures. Poor procurement procedures cannot only impact the project completion time, but also the budget. It is therefore important for the project team to ensure to the right vendors are selected to complement their effort in successful project completion. A contractual relation should also be established to ensure that vendors are guided by legal terms and that they are held liable for any form of kind of loss that originates from breach of the contract. This paper discusses various subtopics that are related to ensuring proper understanding of contract formation and working with vendors to ensure successful completion of business projects. 

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Procurement and Contract Management and their Importance to the Business World

Procurement refers to the structure that typifies the administrative system sanctioned by customers for the project procedures execution and subsequent project management. The procurement process is regarded as an all-inclusive process in which designers, engineers, constructors, and other consultants offer to give services for construction and proposal to conduct a complete project to the customer. According to Dagba and Dagba (2019), a procurement strategy involves several processes. These processes are normally progressive and interconnected in nature, and their efficiency and effectiveness have a significant influence on the flop or achievement of projects. The processes include the pre-acquisition phase, contract award and tender process, supplier, and contract management. Each one of these processes needs a careful and specific design with the ability to give assurance of the best probable results (Dagba & Dagba, 2019).   According to Dagba and Dagba (2019), procurement contains the action applied by the purchasing company to integrate supply chain to manage time, lower cost, and enhance productivity. Procurement also ensures transparency in the purchasing process, giving high value for money. Procurement practices are said to maximize the profits bottom line via cost minimization which is a critical indicator for the fruitful business results.

Contract management refers to the practice that gives assurance to both interested groups to an agreement that fulfills their separate duties effectively and completely, to offer the operational goals essential from the agreement, and precisely to give value for money. Contract management involves active control and monitoring of the contract between the contractor and the disposing and procuring entity, to guarantee delivery of a reliable and cost-effective service at an agreed price and standard (Dagba & Dagba, 2019). According to Muhwezi and Ahimbisibwe (2015), contract management is the last stage in the process of bidding and mars the start of a contractual connection between the contractor and the disposing and procuring entity. Contract management comprises of contract administration, relationship management, and delivery management. Because of this, handling and formulating contracts is a necessary talent by the units of a public agency in the managing of the highest percentage of activities.

Contract management is crucial for procurement process success. It is a strategically important issue for all involved parties. A contract between a contractor and an entity mirrors the agent-principal relationship as described in the agency theory. The contractor possesses business based objectives while the entity desires to realize the value for money. This generates a variation in objectives, which results in uncouth behaviors that include withholding information creating information asymmetry. Contract administration which is a component of contract management aims at guaranteeing the enforcement of terms of the contract while paying attention to the attainment of stated contract output and input (Muhwezi & Ahimbisibwe, 2015). Based on agency theory interests divergence between agent and principal can be mitigated through instituting effective contract management processes, and through monitoring activities to restrict actions of opportunistic which are features of inter-functional coordination. Contract management ensures that contracted intended objectives are met. This entails guaranteeing that whatever is needed is delivered at the needed degree of quality, keeping the association constructive and open between contracting parties and guaranteeing that there is formal contract governance (Muhwezi & Ahimbisibwe, 2015). Contract management also involves constant contract review to mitigate various risks associated with procurement. These risks include price risk, proposal risk, performance risk, liability risk, contractual risk, and schedule risk. Processes of contract management such as control systems, review meetings, and contract signing explicitly define the game rules. Consequently, processes of this kind oblige inter-functional coordination. In Muhwezi and Ahimbisibwe’s (2015) view, procedures, and rules as reflected in the processes of contract management can be an effectual method for attaining inter-functional coordination.  

Request for Proposal Selection Tools and how to Improve the Assessment of Proposals

A request for proposal (RFP) directs buyers through a process of binding business requirement to technical needs, as the specific platform wherein the software requires to execute on, or the systems in which the solutions have to interface. RFP elucidates why a certain project has to be undertaken. According to Staaden and Lubbe (2006), RFP includes the statement of purpose, background information for the company issues, the RFP process description, primary requirements for services or/and products being proposed, the work statement, and software and hardware environment among others. The work statement is required to describe the work needed for product procurement and to assist vendors establish if they can deliver needed services and goods.

 A proposal is given by the vendor to the purchase stating what the vendor is willing to offer in terms of the products and price. The vendor describes the product offered, their technical and functional condition, weaknesses, flexibility, and strength among other factors that can influence purchasers’ decisions. In a proposal, every vendor is trying to sell his or her product to the purchaser. To assess the proposal, the purchaser needs to have a little knowledge of the product and the market place. This process can be improved by ensuring an intensive market survey to gather all product information in the market. This will help in basing the assessment based on acquired information. It can also be improved by effectively identifying project requirements to determine the very essential products that cannot be compromised. This will ensure that the company can check on its product requirements and always settle for what will address its need. Having a general knowledge of the market prices will also help in regulating the cost of operation among other things (Jayshingpure, Khona, Narkhede & Nagare, 2016).

The Concept of Procurement Planning and Various Strategies Necessary for Project Success

Procurement planning refers to the process employed by institutions or companies to plan purchasing activity for a particular period. This process is normally terminated during the process of budgeting. The procurement planning basic concept is that effective planning will yield cost savings, extra efficiency in business operations, and enhanced profitability. The planning process contains several steps with its bottom line being the future impact of today’s decisions (Willy & Njeru, 2014). Procurement planning involves the identification of what requires to be procured, how the companies requirements can best be met, the goods scope, the required services or work, what procurement methods or strategies to deployed, defining the time flames, and the full procurement process accountability. Requirements assessment, according to Onyango (2014), is a systematic process for addressing and determining the requirements or deviations between desired wants or conditions and current wants or conditions. This is an essential part of procurement since it is an essential tool to assist in identifying suitable solutions or interventions by identifying the issue clearly to guarantee that limited resources are channeled towards implementing and developing an applicable and feasible solution for projects identified.

Procurement planning is the basic function that sets the step for subsequent activities of procurement. An error in procurement planning contains wide implications for the organization, assessed from the two indicators of participation and accountability. The planning ideals according to Aimable et al. (2019) propose that procurement planning can be applied in a completely harmonious atmosphere. Procurement planning function endeavors to respond to the queries of what needs to be procured, when it should be procured, where it can be procured, when the resources will be accessible, the procurement techniques to be employed, efficiency in the process of procurement, how failure or timely procurement will impact the item user, the disposing and procuring entity, and individuals to be engaged in procurement. In Aimable et al. (2019) views, a good procurement plan involves an extra step of defining the process experienced to contractually appoint the suppliers. A procurement plan assists procurement entities to attain maximum expenditure value and permits the entities to address and identify all relevant problems regarding a specific procurement before the publication of procurement notice to possible services, works, and goods suppliers (Aimable et al., 2019).

Project success can be ensured by several strategies. One of these strategies is effective procurement management. The procurement process plays a great role in determining project pricing and whether it will go above or below the budget. Some of the involved procurement management activities include procurement planning, plan execution, controlling and monitoring, and closing. Planning entails documenting all procurement decisions of the project, approach specification, and identification of possible sellers. Execution involves getting suppliers’ responses, choosing suppliers, and awarding of the contract. Controlling and monitoring involve managing procurement connections, monitoring the performance of the contract, and making required amendments and deviations. The closing process entails finishing project procurements (Kafile & Fore, 2018). Another strategy to ensure project success is ensuring effective management of involved human resources and sub-contractors. One way to ensure this is by involving the right personnel with the right skills needed to complete a task. Another measure includes avoiding delays in the delivery of the required project raw materials. Delay in the provision of project resources is likely to result in delays in every other execution in the project. Effective procurement planning yields effective cost and time management. Risk management is another measure likely to enhance project success. Every project is faced by many risks that include economic risks such as inflation, raw material scarcity risks, climatic and environment risks, skills scarcity risks, and employee conflict risks among others. Such risks are likely to influence the general performance of the project. Sometimes they can cause excess delay or budget overflow. Managing risks play a great role in ensuring project success (Kafile & Fore, 2018).

How to Select the Most Qualified Vendor in a Proposal

The process of supplier selection is among the most essential tasks for every company to create an effective supply chain. It is a crucial task for companies to choose the right supplier in a competitive environment since potential supplier assists organizations to generate products of high quality at a reasonable price. To select a supplier objectively, companies employ qualitative and quantitative techniques. Optimal supplier selection can permit businesses to develop quality innovative products and attain a competitive advantage in the market. An effectual process of supplier selection plays an essential role in the success of any business and follows some significant steps. The wrong or right selection of suppliers is said to impact quality, price, and time of delivery, therefore the scope is to reduce purchase risk and create a strong association between supplier and buyer (Duica, Florea & Duica, 2018).

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The vendor selection process involves several stages. The first stage is identifying potential vendors. For a business to survive in an intensely competitive market, it is very essential not to depend on existing vendors but to also discover and search for new ones. The purchaser also must be cognizant of the requirement to guarantee that such vendor needs to qualify for needed qualifying latent vendor and job identifying. The vendor selection process can be costly and time-consuming. Purchaser frequently develops a long-term supply founded on a potential vendor. Some of the essential points to consider when selecting a vendor include new vendor importance especially superiority compared to the firm existing vendor. This superiority is measured based on innovativeness and adoption of modern technology which can result in a drastic reduction in the cost of production. Purchasers might require several vendors to reduce the risk involved as a result of supply disruption and to introduce competition (Jayshingpure et al., 2016). The other aspect to consider is the reputation of the vendor. Vendor non-performance can result in job completion failure. The purchaser should focus on avoiding vendors with a negative reputation to reduce risks of delay due to shortage or due to the provision of faulty products that must be recalled. Purchasers should also check the capability of the vendor before giving them a contract. The purchaser needs to conduct vendor qualification screening to lower vendor non-performance chances that include delivery of faulty or non-conforming products, non-delivery, or late delivery. Purchaser should also guarantee that the vendor will be a responsive and responsible partner in daily business connections with Purchaser Company. The other step involves reference checks. In this case, the purchaser needs to contact former customers to inquire about the vendor’s ability to honor terms of the contract, service performance, problems and conflicts in the past and how they were addressed, and performance in product delivery. The next step involved checking on vendor financial status. Purchaser should utilize published performance ratings of the vendor to establish the financial status of the vendor and probable financial viability in the medium to short term. For instance, the purchaser should check on recent debts by the vendor and determine the risk of the vendor being bankrupt before satisfying its duty toward the purchaser (Jayshingpure et al., 2016). Purchasers should also assess the vendor’s certification demonstrating vendor adherence to documentation, rule and regulation, training, and procedures to guarantee consistency in adhering to the set quality standards (Jayshingpure et al., 2016).

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After potential vendors’ identification, this is followed by requesting the vendors to give information regarding their services or good. At this stage, three forms of information are demanded which request for information that focuses on gaining information on different alternatives accessible to address the current needs. Requests for proposal can also be given when the purchaser contains a sense of the marketplace and a work statement that has a specific set of performance limits fulfill its need. Requests for quotes can also be given when the purchaser can create a work statement that states the real requirement of needed services or goods. The next step will be an evaluation of the vendor using a data bank with an authorized vendors’ list. Databases should contain organizational profile, technical competence, and quality assessment. This will ensure that the selected vendor is the best and can ensure timely delivery of the product and delivery of high-quality products to cater to the purchasers’ needs (Jayshingpure et al., 2016). The evaluation process should consider the vendor’s cost criteria, risk factor, technical capability, vendors profile, quality assessment, service levels, and organizational profile. The next stage will focus on the review of contract terms. The contract terms include information of both the purchaser and vendors. It also specifics what is expected of the vendor, how the contract will be executed, and the payment terms. It should also include some special clauses that address special situations such as liquidity damages clause (Jayshingpure et al., 2016). This will be followed by the contract negotiation process between the vendor and the purchasing team. Both the purchasing team and the vendor try to persuade for favorable contractual terms. The two should settle on terms that fit both of them best. The purchasing team will then select the vendor that serves them best and him or her with the contract. Sometimes, the purchasing team may offer multiple-award contracting to minimize the risk of delays or other risks that can impact the progress of the business (Jayshingpure et al., 2016).

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Evaluation of the Contract and the Legal Aspects of Procurement in a Project

A contract needs to meet a certain standard dictated by the laws. This standard ensures there are no developments of bias contracts that aim at oppressing any of the involved parties.

evaluation should thus focus on ensuring that a contract meets certain operational standards that protect the two contracting parties equally. Similar to other contracts, procurement contracts must be supported by the legal structure for them to be legally recognized and valid. One of procurement contracts’ legal requirements demands that contract should not be amended or altered by both parties and in any manner after the contract has been drafted, signed, and given to the contractor except when such amendments or alterations are done for a government benefit. It is therefore the greatest essential to guarantee that public procurement contracts are for the interest and the benefit of the general public in social services provision areas and infrastructure development.  The law also requires procuring entities to monitor the performance of contractors over the works schedule or requirements statement identified in the contract through monthly, weekly, or daily reports from the procurement entity’s supervisor accountable for works or services. If the performance of the contractor is satisfactory the contracting entity has to approve payment through certification and measurement, opposing the procurement entities will draw the attention of the contractor to any short-coming and might refuse to authorize advance payments until the defects identified are corrected (Mchopa, 2015). The law also focuses on enhancing transparency in the contract awarding process. This ensures the elimination of all corrupt deals in procurement procedures. The contract is by law only awarded to those who qualify based on merit. Law ensures fair competition. It also ensures any loan secured for project purposes should just be used for the designated purposes and nothing more. This ensures that a contract is legally bidding and with legal standards, the government ensures there is fair competition in contracts awarding (Thai, 2001).

Comparisons of the Critical Elements of a Contract Including Relationships between the Client, Supplier, Completion Terms and Payment Terms

A contract refers to an agreement involving two or more individuals that is executable by law. For a contract to be regarded as valid it needs to have five of the most essential elements which include acceptance and offer, capacity, lawful purpose, consent, and consideration. A legal contract starts by making an offer that has all essential and appropriate terms of the contract. The second party accepts the offer. After the acceptance of an offer a consideration; thing such as service or an item is exchanged among parties engaged in the contract. Both parties in each binding contract must possess the capacity or ability to comprehend the nature and terms of the contract. Every individual engaged in the contract need also to agree or consent freely to the agreement terms. Besides, each negotiated contract must be within the laws of the country, and thus ever contract must contain a legal objective or purpose (Jayshingpure et al., 2016).

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In a contract, the client refers to the individual seeking business goods or services or professional services. A client comes to the supplier with a problem to be addressed. The supplier is an individual or a business that offers specific goods or services. The client and supplier work together to develop a contract in which the supplier offers the products that the client needs, which the client makes payment based on the contractual payment terms. To ensure effective relationship the client and the supplier develop a contract that has contractual terms used to guide on what supplier is required to supply when to supply, how to supply, for how long, and in what condition among other things.

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Contractual terms also define what the client needs to fulfill in terms of payment. Terms of payment include the amount to be paid and when the payment should be made. Payment can be made after the total completion of the project or on monthly bases based on the nature of the business or halfway on the project. The completion terms go hand in hand with payment terms such that the client and the supplier must agree on what the percentage of completion the supplier must attain to be given a certain percentage of the payment (Jayshingpure et al., 2016). 

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Conclusion

Procurement is an important part of project management. To ensure the successful completion of the project, the project team needs to engage a qualified purchase team that defines the best vendor to assist in the supply of the needed materials. To achieve this, the purchasing team must go through a complex process of identifying the available vendors, and from them select the best vendor that will be able to supply the needed products and promptly. The team should also focus on getting the best sales deal from the vendor to minimize the operational cost. This is not a simple process. To manage this, the team must go through several professional steps. The team must also ensure to make rational decisions based on presented situations. The purchasing team should only award a contract to a vendor or vendors who can satisfy their needs without fail by ensuring the vendor’s operational credibility and financial ability. All legal standards also need to be considered to ensure that the contract is binding and the company does not suffer for the vendor’s mistake. The review of the process demonstrates the importance of making the right choice while selecting a vendor.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Introduction

Corporate social responsibility can be defined as business practices that involve initiatives that are meant at benefiting society. It could involve different tactics such as engaging in greener business operations and donating a portion of an organization’s proceeds to charitable causes among other strategies (Crifo & Forget, 2015).  Reinhardt, Stavins and Vietor (2008) simply define corporate social responsibility as the act of sacrificing profits in the social interest.

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Today, corporate social responsibility is not a new aspect but one that most firms are aware of and practice it to some extent.  There exists a corporate social responsibility policy that works as a self-regulatory device through which a business organization monitors its operations and procedures and ensures it complies with the set laws, ethical standards as well as local and international norms. The main idea behind the concept of corporate social responsibility is that organizations have various responsibilities to maintain on a day to day basis.  The responsibilities vary in importance, some being basic and other tertiary. The basic responsibilities usually obligate a company to the shareholders and the law and have to be met under all costs. On the other hand, there are higher level responsibilities that are meant to benefit the society and in most cases, they are met after the basic responsibilities. It is however worth noting that the implementation of corporate social responsibility in a business may go beyond compliance and involve activities that appear lean towards some social good (Carroll & Shabana, 2010). This is mostly beyond the organization’s interests.

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This piece of paper will give an in-depth discussion of corporate social responsibility and various aspects associated with it. Much emphasis will however be on the economic perspective of corporate social responsibility. Some of the issues that will be highlighted include the reason why firms should engage in corporate social responsibility, the various types that corporate social responsibility may take and the feasibility of engaging in profit-sacrificing corporate social responsibility. Other aspects include the market imperfections that drive corporate social responsibility, corporate social responsibility as it relates to financial performance as well as social and environmental performance

Why corporate social responsibility exist

Corporate social responsibility is an aspect that has been widely debated, with some parties supporting it fully while others criticize it. According to Caramela (2016), corporate social responsibility is becoming more mainstreams as many business organizations entrench sustainability into the core of their business procedures as a way of creating shared value for business as well as the society. Many firms have realized that sustainability and social good is not only vital for the people and the environment but also for business success.

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On a practical level, corporate social responsibility stands for the initiatives, policies and practices that in one way or the other help companies to manage themselves with transparency and honesty. In turn, this helps them to have a positive impact on environmental and social wellbeing. Corporate social responsibility has also become a concern for the consumers. Consumers are now more aware of the global social issues and thus they place some significance on corporate social responsibility when choosing where to do shopping.  Customers are drawn to organizations that give back to society and it is therefore a good thing to exercise corporate social responsibility in order to be successful and remain relevant.  Other than customers, top talent or experts consider an organization’s corporate social responsibility strategy when choosing where to work (Carroll & Shabana, 2010). This shows the importance of corporate social responsibility, not only for the sake of the society but also for them to succeed and remain relevant.

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According to Okpara and Idowu (2013), it is a win-win situation when a company engage in socially responsible initiatives. In addition to appealing to top talent and socially conscious employees and customers, an organization is in a position to make a valid difference in the world, an aspect that is quite impressive. Engaging in corporate social responsibility is also a way of earning the public’s trust, through honesty and transparency. It is advisable to engage the workers and customers in giving back. This not only enhances transparency but also make them feel that they are appreciated and they have a voice. The corporate world has considerable power, which should be used to make positive changes in the world and solve social problems. In turn, this may help bring individuals of different backgrounds and interests together for a better cause.

Forms of corporate social responsibility

Business organizations have various responsibilities that they are supposed to maintain, other than carrying out activities for profit making. These responsibilities are part of corporate social responsibility. In the event that the responsibilities are orchestrated in a pyramid, the basic ones should appear at the bottom while those relate to benefiting the society are placed higher. Corporate social responsibility could take various forms. Some of them include economic responsibilities, legal responsibilities, ethical responsibilities and philanthropic responsibilities.

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Economic responsibilities

The economic responsibilities of a firm are usually a priority. Every business is basically concerned with making profits. Profits makes a company grow and keep on moving forward. A business that is not in a position to make profits cannot survive for long and for this reason; it cannot take care of its social and other responsibilities that come second to making profits. Being profitable is one step towards a company becoming a good corporate citizen (Carroll & Shabana, 2010).

Legal responsibilities

Orlitzky, Siegel and Waldman (2011) point out that legal responsibilities are quite essential for a business firm. They entail the requirements that are placed on the firm by the law. Apart from making sure that a business organization is profitable, it is important to ensure that it abides by all the laws that surround the business. Some of the legal responsibilities that ought to be maintained by a firm include criminal law, labour law, securities regulations and environmental law among others.

Ethical responsibilities

The importance of ethical responsibilities cannot be underemphasized. The economic and legal responsibilities are major commitments of a business firm. It is therefore after an organization has fulfilled these basic responsibilities that it can be in a position to embark on ethical responsibilities. These are the obligations that an organization puts on itself, not because they are mandated to do so but because they believe it is the right thing to do. Some of the responsibilities that could fall under this category include engaging in operations and procedures that are environmentally friendly, not doing business with oppressive nations and paying fair wages and treating employees ethically among others (Orlitzky, Siegel, & Waldman, 2011).

Philanthropic responsibilities

The last category is philanthropic responsibilities. These obligations can only be possibly met if an organization is in a position to meet all the other responsibilities as discussed above. These obligations go beyond the set requirements as well as what the organization deems right. They entail efforts directed towards benefiting the society. This could include donating money and other resources to local and national charitable causes, participating in projects aimed at conserving the environment and providing services to community organizations and programs among others (Carroll & Shabana, 2010).

All these forms of corporate social responsibility are essential in maintaining a conducive environment between the stakeholders and the wider society. The fact that maintaining the above discussed responsibilities requires money and other resources means that it is not an easy thing but one that the business organizations ought to make sacrifices in order to participate in the obligations. There is need to set up and implement an effective strategy that allows for participation in corporate social responsibility activities while at the same time running the business smoothly and retaining a substantial amount of profit.

Feasibility of engaging in profit-sacrificing corporate social responsibility

The right time for firms to engage in profit-sacrificing corporate social responsibility is contentious since it is not easy to pin point the optimal time. Reinhardt, Stavins and Vietor (2008) assert that in some instances, business organizations engage in corporate social responsibility activities voluntarily, while in some cases, they do it under pressure from market or other social forces. All in all, the end result is corporate social responsibility. Regardless of whether the initiatives are voluntary or not, the social expectations and market pressures that surround a company greatly   influence their economic sustainability.

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Voluntary corporate social responsibility

This is usually viewed as the purest form of corporate social responsibility whereby the stakeholders sacrifice profits voluntarily. This could involve employees and shareholders acting as the major economic agents when it comes to funding the activities. However, this is not usually automatic and there could be some resistance or lack of willingness. In some instances, employees such as the executives could sacrifice part of their earnings to promote social good. This is more so if they are offered a chance to use their earnings and benefits to support corporate social responsibility projects. This is an explicit move. On the other hand, the employees could engage in corporate social responsibility in an implicit manner for instance when an organization works in a field that is socially responsible (Reinhardt, Stavins & Vietor, 2008).

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Reluctant corporate social responsibility

As opposed to voluntary corporate social responsibility, this kind of initiative could be out of lack of an alternative. Here, the corporate decisions are made by directors and managers as opposed to the organization as a unit. In most cases, the decisions further the profits of shareholders who are profit-minded in nature. Investors could be left with little choice other than accepting some level of corporate social responsibility profit-sacrificing initiatives. External constraints could also force investors to accept profit-sacrificing initiatives. This could be applicable in the developing world whereby environmental regulatory stands are way behind compared to developed nations (Reinhardt, Stavins & Vietor, 2008). The strength of shareholder oversight and the structure of managers’ compensation greatly influence the amount of profits that managers may sacrifice against the wishes of investors.

Unsustainable corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is not always sustainable. In most instances, business organizations that engage in costly corporate social responsibility activities are forced to be involved in various aspects such as increasing prices, paying smaller dividends, accepting smaller profits and  cutting down on wages and other costs as a way of dealing with the economic consequences involved. A good example is whereby a company’s stock price may go down until it is proportional to returns. In turn, this makes it difficult to attract new capital since returns are way below the market averages. There could also be other short-term economic consequences that are associated with engaging in costly and unsustainable corporate social responsibility. They include increased insurance costs, loss of reputation, increased borrowing and insurance costs and loss of market share among others.  On the other hand, long term consequences could include corporate takeover, shareholder litigation or even closure (Reinhardt, Stavins & Vietor, 2008).

 All this shows that inefficient organization are not in a position to participate in corporate social responsibility and survive. As a result of economic survival of the fittest, companies that get involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives that are not sustainable often do not go far. Getting involved in unsustainable corporate social responsibility simply means that the company suffers at the expense of meeting some other social responsibilities, which should never be the case. The decision of whether a company may sacrifice its profits in the social interest is influenced by many factors. This could include the size of the company; with larger organizations being in a better position to sacrifice relatively more profits. Also, public visibility could work towards increasing pressure on companies to engage in corporate social responsibility activities (Reinhardt, Stavins & Vietor, 2008). The scope and line of operation also matters, with firms in certain industries being more likely to participate in corporate social responsibility than others.

Market imperfections that drive corporate social responsibility

The economics of corporate social responsibility could be understood as a response with respect to market imperfections, as a way of satisfying social preferences. Market imperfections that drive corporate social responsibility decisions could in one way or the other affect competition, regulation or contracts (Crifo & Forget, 2015). The imperfections could fall under incomplete contracts, imperfect competition and public goods and altruism.

Incomplete contracts

One way of understanding the economics of corporate social responsibility in firms is examining the delegated responsibility in imperfect contracts. Contracts are intrinsically incomplete thus necessitating the allocation of discretionary power to company executives. Therefore, by allowing the executives to exert their discretion in a manner that favours the interests of other stakeholders and not only the shareholders, corporate social responsibility strategies could act as an effective tool when it comes to incomplete contracts. Under this setting, corporate social responsibility strategies are compelled by incentives in a company’s agency association with its stakeholders, founded on internal pressure from the directors, employees as well as shareholders (Kitzmueller & Shimshack, 2012).

Imperfect competition

Corporate social responsibility can also be understood as a business strategy in imperfect competition. This is more so when aspects of market contestability, information asymmetries and product differentiation are involved. According to Crifo and Forget (2015), firms may use corporate social responsibility as a vehicle to compete with rivals, signal on credibility goods attributes as well as differentiate on the market. This therefore works as a tactical corporate social responsibility policy that a firm uses to gain competitive advantage over the competitors. Looking at imperfect completion thoroughly, it is evident that corporate social responsibility strategies are fuelled by incentives in the organization’s market structure, with respect to the competitive pressures that comes from the competitors, consumers or reputation issues.

Public goods, bads and altruism

Externalities, altruism and public goods are an example of market imperfections that drive corporate social responsibility. Orlitzky, Siegel and Waldman (2011)  argue that most corporate social responsibility initiatives, especially those founded on social and environmental factors, are geared towards generating positive externalities or minimizing negative externalities. It can therefore be said that the firm’s corporate social responsibility strategies are driven by incentives that surround the firm to curtail public bads while at the same time produce public goods. The external pressures could originate from altruists, activists or even regulators. The market imperfection-driven corporate social responsibility initiatives could draw their motivations from; responding to private politics or social pressure, daunting public politics or public regulations and exercising their moral duty in undertaking social activities.

It is evident that one of the above market imperfections or a combination of them is capable of driving corporate social responsibility strategies in organizations. Whatever the case, it is important to ensure that the interests of all the stakeholders involved are considered.

Corporate social responsibility and financial performance

Corporate social responsibility influences the financial performance of an organization in different ways.  There has been contentious debate on the issue of whether corporate social responsibility causes an increase in financial performance or not. According to Carroll and Shabana (2010), although the impact of corporate social performance on corporate financial performance of a firm could be minimal, it is usually positive and important. Despite the fact that corporate social performance has no much effect on value, it is interesting as it does not destroy shareholder value. There is no standard answer as to whether corporate social responsibility can contribute to superior organizational performance or whether financial performance would be a necessity for corporate social responsibility.   A desirable attribute is for a firm to be successful on both financial as well as social levels. This is however not always possible.

Crifo and Forget (2015) assert that not much has be said with regard to the connection of corporate social responsibility and the financial performance of a firm and as such, there is need for further research in this areas as a way of making it more understandable. In fact, some studies have shown positive, negative or even neutral influence of corporate social responsibility on financial performance, making it hard for one to come up with a convincing result of the relationship between the two aspects. However, it still remains a significant issue for corporate management and should not be ignored.  In case a positive relationship could be a possibility between corporate social responsibility and financial performance, it is advisable for the management to pursue the activities to yield positive results. On the other hand, in case some actions seem to be negatively associated with an organization’s financial performance, then the management ought to be cautious and trade carefully in this area.

Corporate social responsibility and social and environmental performance

Apart from financial performance, corporate social responsibility also touches on the social and environmental performance of a firm.  The fact that corporate social responsibility results with public goods that are provided privately means that it is essential to assess its effect on nonfinancial performance as opposed to relying on financial performance only. The nonfinancial performance could be understood through environmental and social performance. When it comes to market imperfections that affect regulation, it can be said that the effect of corporate social responsibility in social performance are contentious since corporate social responsibility does not essentially heighten social welfare. On the other hand, corporate social responsibility could be understood in terms of public politics. Here, it can be a less costly adventure for government mandates. For this reason, it may increase welfare although it could also work by distorting regulatory decisions in a manner that affects social welfare negatively. All this translates to the fact that the effect of pre-emptive corporate social responsibility is influenced by various factors such as if it is done unilaterally or via a voluntary arrangement with the regulator (Crifo & Forget, 2015). It could also be dependent on whether the regulator is influenced by a given interest group or is purely out to maximize welfare.

Corporate social responsibility could also be understood in terms of private politics. To some extent, social pressure from nongovernmental organizations could be beneficial for the society since the negative externalities are minimized. The organization could act as an essential function and could enhance sterner international standard, this enhancing welfare.  

Altruism is also an aspect of concern. A positive externality could be as a result of pro-social attributes that stem from image concerns. The image value that is associated with a responsible company has the ability to increase the private individual return of an organization and to some extent minimize the negative social externality costs to be rectified (Crifo & Forget, 2015). This translates to the fact that corporate social responsibility that is motivated by altruism could substitute publicly offered public goods, thus enhancing social welfare.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is apparent that the concept of corporate social responsibility is surrounded by a lot of controversy especially with regard to its relevance. Nonetheless, it is evident that it is a concept that cannot be overlooked if a business is to succeed in the contemporary competitive business world. A company could engage in various corporate social responsibility activities depending on how well they do in terms of profits and how they find it best to give back to the society.  The responsibilities could be economic, legal, ethical or even philanthropic. The feasibility of firms engaging in profit-sacrificing corporate social responsibility is also an aspect that is not standardized and could vary from one company to another and depending on the business situations involved. While some firms engage in voluntary corporate social responsibility, others participate in reluctant corporate social responsibility and other are involved with unsustainable corporate social responsibility. All these are influenced by many factors. Market imperfections are also economic aspects that influence firms in engaging in corporate social responsibility initiatives. They include incomplete contracts, imperfect competition and public goods, bads and altruism. It is also worth noting that corporate social responsibility does not work in isolation but rather interacts with various economic aspects that surround organizations. For instance, corporate social responsibility influences the financial, social and environmental performance of organizations.  A firm should be careful when deciding to engage in corporate social responsibility initiatives and consider all the underlying factors. This will work towards allowing for sustainability and not compromising the operation of the organization.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics at Speedy Hire Plc

Introduction

Corporate social responsibility and ethics look at actions that companies take towards embracing responsibility and encourage positive impact for the company and the society; this is realized when companies can engage with employees, communities, environment, the government, and the consumers. With ethics, the company sets various operational strategies to ensure implementation of required practices in organizational and employee development. The following essay looks at the corporate social responsibility and ethical activities as practiced by Speedy Hire Plc (SpeedyPlc, 2018). This is a limited company based in the United Kingdom specializing in the hiring and contracting business. 

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Corporate social responsibility and ethics at Speedy Hire Plc.

The corporate social responsibility and ethics for speedy hire Plc. is based on its mission which motivates employees and stakeholders in coming up with services that bring about positive reputation and encourage the integration of their services from the provider to the consumer and the community (SpeedyPlc, 2018); this has been realized through various strategies in service delivery. Their approaches are also long-term and ensure that the company has positioned itself in the international markets as a service provider through its 36 years old experience. When looking at the corporate social responsibility and ethics of speedy hire Plc. it can be discussed in different areas as follows.

Read also A Multinational Corporation Has No Moral Or Social Responsibility To Engage In Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programs

In the political environment, the company’s board is made up of a non-partisan, voluntary political action team. The company is legally registered with the responsible authority. In their daily operation, the company also provides its employees with the freedom to create interest groups. In these groups, employees can come up with various support projects that ensure their welfare is met apart from those provided by the company (Jenkins & Yakovleva, 2009). Concerning the community, the company also engages in social responsibility programs like rehabilitation of parks and sites. With this, the company has been given a positive appeal by the citizens. Its operations are also transparent meaning everything they do is compliant with the laws of the country.

Read also Is Pursuing a Policy of Corporate Social Responsibility a Useful Part of a Company’s Competitive Strategy

In the social perspective Speed Hire Plc. ensures that its employees work in an all-inclusive environment. This makes them free to share issues, they are free and can support the leader they want without fear of being fired. Also, this is expressed in the way information is shared in the organization. The company has enacted boards, send newsletters, email and Whatsapp group alerts. They continuously conduct working group meetings where managers can meet employees and share issues that are trending in the company. By doing this, the company ensures synergy among its employees and the board. Being open makes employees feel special thus less employee turnover (Georgen, 2009). While experienced employees continue to provide the company with excellent services, its awareness and reputation are also boosted. Other ethical aspects of the company operations are where all employees are required to follow written practices and policies (SpeedyPlc, 2018). This is made possible when the company understands the uniqueness of each employee, meaning they may all come up with different ideas on how to operate the company.

Having a set policy ensures uniformity in approaching managerial and administrative issues thus harmony is increased. Employees are also given time to take care of family and personal matters through days off, insurance plans, leave, retirement plans, performance appraisals, wellness programs and resources for their departments.  Environmental, Speedy Hire Plc.  Also, the company has involved itself in various environmental conservation activities. This is because most of its operations in one way or the other often affect the environment, for example, cutting down of ecological systems, road blockage, noise pollution during on-site construction and resident evacuations (Larcker, Tayan, & Gutman, 2013). This will present negative regard for the company meaning that its corporate social responsibility ensures that invests more in things that matter to the society like education scholarships, employing the locals and reconstruction of sites. 

On the legal grounds, the company has invested a lot in strategic planning; this includes factors like safety and health of their employees and the community. All employees are subjected to machinery training and are insured by the company in case of accidents. Waste control is also essential as it ensures reduction of bad air and disorganization in the community.  The company also has a code of policies about the UK Cadbury report of 1992 (Larcker, Tayan, & Gutman, 2013). The report made recommendations on how companies need to implement corporate governance and ensure that they provide their employees and stakeholders with directions on which the company must head.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Speedy Hire Plc. is among the top rated companies in the united kingdom. When it comes to corporate social responsibility and ethics, the company has executed it so well through proper regulation and monitoring of every aspect of its operations.  Other issues that have enabled the company to do well include training needs, capacity building for employees and establishing a common organizational culture. With these aspects, employees can work more responsibly, become productive while the company meets ethical standards for each of their operations.

How Social Constructed Realities Can Impact Organizational Effectiveness

Social constructed realities comprises of all the beliefs, norms, values and natural way of doing things that members of a given organization have come to appreciate as the accepted standards of operation. Whereas there may be no written laws or guidelines regarding such realities, they get established in an organization by virtue of continuous practice over a long period of time. It is worth noting that some social constructed realities can be beneficial to the organization and hence help sustain the organization over time. Some may, however, hinder the changes required in an organization in order to keep up with the dynamic world and business environment. The impact of such Social constructed realities on the effectiveness of any organizations can not go unnoticed (Bushe, & Marshak, 2012).

To begin with, if any organization is to be effective in delivering its objectives it needs to  keep up with the ever changing world as well as conditions under which the business operate. The organization needs to continuously audit its structures and systems to ensure that they are up to date and are effective in delivering the objectives of the organization.

In the event that the organization is not able to meet its objectives, there is need for the diagnosis of the system and structures of the company. This is a process that helps organizations identify the root cause of the specific issues that affects the organization (Cumming &Worley, 2015). The very process of identifying improvement opportunities in an organization is a way of appreciating the need for change. Social Constructed realities blind the organization from seeing such improvement opportunities. The necessary change required in the organization.

Any organization, that is committed to effectiveness, need to acknowledge the fact that the organization functions as part of a larger environment. The environment affects the functionality as well as the effectiveness of the organization. The organization therefore needs to be flexible enough to keep up with the changing trends of the environment. This, however, is hindered by the social constructed realities (Bushe, & Marshak, 2012)..

The importance of flexibility in organization’s structures and systems in adapting to the dynamic environment cannot be over emphasized. Social Constructed realities form a formidable force of status quo that maintains most organization in the same performance over a long period of time. The Social Constructed realities are motivated by the fear of change. Most members of the organization fear the effects that may come with change. In some instances however, people have perfected skills by doing the same thing routinely. This brings fear that a change in the organizational way of doing things may render them irrelevant. This fear makes them resist change and attempt to maintain the status quo. Self contracted leads to a since of self satisfaction to the level that improvement opportunities pass unnoticed. The group performance norms are part of the social contracted realities that resist change in an organization (Cumming &Worley, 2015).

For any findings and subsequent proposal of a diagnostic process to be useful in the improvement of the organization’s effectiveness, all stack holder need to agree and be committed to the process of change. The feedback of the process should motivate all the members of the organization to embrace change. In The event that this motivation is lacking due to some socially constructed realities, then change will certainly not happen. In some instances, the proposals of change may elicit denials and fighting back. This has the effect of causing anxiety, resistance and consequently inhibiting change in the entire organization. If positive change and hence effectiveness is to be realized in any organization, the diagnostic report needs to elicit positive energy and motivation that will be harnessed to problem identification and solving. Moreover, processes in the organization should be in such a way that they encourage change. Systems that make provisions for root cause analysis and continuous improvement ought to be in place in order to encourage and adopt fruitful changes. This can however, not be possible if the social contracted realities such as fear of change, Well learned skills, member complacency as well as group performance norms are still embraced in any given organization (Cumming &Worley, 2015).

In Conclusion, beliefs, norms, values and natural way of doing things that members of a given organization have come to appreciate as the accepted standards of operation may hinder the effectiveness of the organization to a large extend. Sustaining the same method of doing things for a long time may render the organization ineffective and irrelevant in the long run. It is worth noting that some social contracted realities can be beneficial to the organization and hence help sustain the organization over time. Organizations that embrace values such as integrity and desire to learn are likely to change faster in response to this dynamic environment. Some may, however, hinder the changes required in an organization in order to keep up with the dynamic world and business environment. The impact of such Social constructed realities on the effectiveness of any organizations can not go unnoticed.

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Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability – BUACC5934 Financial Accounting

Assignment  Instructions– Ethics, corporate responsibility and sustainability

Acknowledging the conceptual differences between the three concepts – ethics, CSR and sustainability and their complementariness:

  1. Review the 2016 or 2017 annual report for two ASX companies from the following list: BHP, Fortescue Metals Group, Rio Tinto Group with a view to understanding how each company integrates the three concepts into their business environment. One of the companies must be BHP. (500 words)
  2. Has there been any significant environmental disasters reported in the recent annual reports for either company? (500 words)
  3. Describe the impact of the accident on the natural environment, communities, and global sustainability. (500 words)
  4. Review the literature on corporate social responsibility with a view to understanding how companies can become more genuine in their operations abroad, especially in remote communities. (500 words)

Rio Tinto Group Vs BHP Billiton – Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility And Sustainability Sample Paper

Company Overviews

Rio Tinto is amongst the leading international mining groups and combines Rio Tinto plc, which is a London-based and listed public company, and Rio Tinto Limited that is also listed on the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange). The two firms have been combined in an organization with a dual listed structure as one economic enterprise known as Rio Tinto Group. The company has diverse interests in products and geography with most of its assets being in North America and Australia. Moreover, Rio Tinto also operates in Africa, Europe and Asia. The company’s core businesses include underground and open pit mines, refineries, smelters and mills, in addition to service facilities, exploration and technology.  On the other hand, BHP Billiton was founded in 2001 as a result of a merger between BHP, which is a natural resource-based firm, and Billiton, which is a mining company. At present, the company operates in a total of 25 nations, and employs roughly 41,000 individuals and its current market value stands at over $250 billion (bhp.com, 2017, pp. 1-48). Rio Tinto Group and BHP are involved in a number of corporate social responsibility activities, and also incorporates sustainability and ethics in its operations. These are as discussed below

Sustainability

According to Rio Tinto Group annual report, the company’s products assists in satisfying the needs of consumers and improving their living standards, and this is mainly realized through safe operations and closure of operations, sustainability and responsibility. Rio Tinto’s long term approach to business has ensured sustainability given that the development of first rate ore-bodies into big, long-life and effectual operations, as well as the development and application of technology at the mines, smelters and refineries are performed with sustainability in considerations. This has enabled Rio Tinto to sustain a competitive edge through the use of business cycle.

Through its business cycle, Rio Tinto group has been able to ascertain that its values underpin the manner it manages social, environmental and economic effects of its operations. The company carries out rigorous review processes and evaluations that are targeted at ascertaining that only approved investments offering attractive returns in the long-term, while simultaneously ensuring minimal adverse effects linked to its activities on the environment, individuals and communities (riotinto.com, 2016, pp. 1-99).  Further, in closing all its assets’ life cycles, Rio Tinto begins the planning for its operations closure during the initial development stages so as to minimize the risks while maximizing outcomes. The closure planning is mainly targeted at minimizing the social, environmental and fiscal liabilities and the associated costs through discovery of sustainable and beneficial prospective land use. The company also rehabilitate its mining sites whenever probable.

On the other hand, with regards to BHP, it can be observed that to ensure sustainability in its operation, the company ensures protection of the environment by demanding that its suppliers’ operations must be in a manner that is protective of the environment and also compliant to the various applicable environmental laws, standards and regulations, environmental reporting and permitting.

Corporate Social Responsibility

With regards to Corporate Social Responsibility, Rio Tinto is determined to leave a lasting legacy in areas of its operations. Thus, recognizing that any major production operations tend to have key impacts on the communities where it operates, Rio Tinto has not only created jobs and business opportunities for the locals and local organizations but has also developed infrastructure. Moreover, the company makes efforts towards ensuring that the communities in which it operates are not left devoid of economic engines to drive them. For instance, In the Saguenay, Rio Tinto has extended the life of its investments and also promoted broader investment in the community before closing down its operations. The company has also engaged the community in securing the communities future in Vaudreuil through its aluminium refinery facility which is a significant employer in the community.

Consequently, concerning its CSR activities, BHP defines its CSR policies as requirements for tackling risks, and overtly asserts that it does not tolerate misconducts that are linked to forced, compulsory and child labor. To comply with its various CSR policies, BHP tends to make use of several methodologies. This takes in but is not restricted to carrying out progress evaluations in relation to its performance in comparison to the United Nations’ Global reporting Initiative and the Global Compact Principle that have been developed with the objective of aligning the companies’ operations. BHP also holds a yearly forum on CSR, and this is intended to bring together the various representatives of the company’s senior administrators, the communities’ opinion leaders and major non-governmental organizations with the objective of debating and discussing environmental issues that are pertinent to the organization. Investing in various community projects and also documenting its contributions to the community and spending to facilitate the achievement of the UN MDG goals. This also offers the organization with a consistent framework for assessing tangible progress.

Ethics

With regards to ethics, Rio Tinto seeks to develop sturdy, lasting and trusting relations with its host communities, and acknowledges and respects the individual’s human rights and cultures, as these are some of the principles that are found in the company’s values, standards and policies and makes up its ethics. The company undertakes economic and social impact assessments with the objective of comprehending the various implications of its activities to enable the reduction of the negative effects.  To attain this, the company works together with the local communities to develop vivid and transparent contracts that are vital to the provision of access to land that is required and for the direction of benefits individuals affected by the activities of the firm.

On the other hand, with regards to ethical practices at BHP, the company has instituted a number of measures to stem out incidences of corruption, extortion and bribery. For instance, Boiral and Henri (2017, pp. 283-317) asserts that the discussion regarding the actual extent of the responsibility and accountability has persisted on. In this regard, BHP maintains that all contracts pertaining to payments and transactions and inclusive of those that are in connection with hospitality and gifts, as well as other notable expenses have to be precisely documented in logical and comprehensible details in the records and books of the suppliers working on behalf of BHP. In its ethics policies, BHP also calls for the fair treatment of all its workers, payment of reasonable living wages, workplace safety and health, as well as freedom of association amongst the workers and managers.  BHP also makes attempts geared towards the safeguarding of various protected areas and heritage sites through the use of environmentally friendly fuels including bio-fuels in its operations, compliance with the various laws, as well as the protection of the environment and the indigenous rights and freedoms.

Significant Environmental Disaster

One of the significant environmental disasters that Rio Tinto has faced [in recent times regards its Panguna Mine in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. According to Lin, Li and Bu (2015, pp. 28-39), the residents of Bougainville for a ten year war against the company and won leading to the mine’s closure. The company was accused of having used a number of bulldozers and chemical defoliant during the construction of the copper mine, and this destroyed the rain forest which was a major source of subsistence to the local populations.  Rio Tinto was also accused of dumping billions of tons of various harmful mine wastes that were generated from its mining activities into the pristine waters and on land, filling up key rivers with numerous tailings and polluting key bays and the Pacific Ocean, several miles away. The pollution from the mines was extensive leading to the exposure of the island residents to harmful chemicals and probable death and disease.

Regarding significant environment disasters caused by BHP, it can be noted that in the year 1996, BHP Billington was sued by Gordon and Slater for having cause one of the globe’s most destructive environmental disasters as a result of it discharging more than one billion metric tones of waste materials along with tailings into one of the key sources of OK Tedi River that is found in Papua, New Guinea. The pollution resulted in deforestation that covered close to 3000 square kilometers, in addition to turning the tropical rain forests into savannahs, and also causing an acute decline in the area’s fish population (95 percent decline).

Impact of the Disaster

The impact of the environmental degradation that occurred on Bougainville Island as a result of Rio Tinto’s operations include the observation that the water and air pollution resulted in serious health challenges amongst the locals, and this included asthma, upper respiratory conditions and TB amongst others. Moreover, the disaster led to loss of livelihoods by the locals given that they were no longer able to carry out farming activities, fishing and hunting. The traditional diets of the locals were replaced by processed foods and this also increased obesity incidences. Moreover, the environmental degradation disaster also led to international condemnation by various human rights groups given that it did not only affect the local residents but the oceans also got polluted. As a result, the company was forced to close the copper mine and this resulted in huge losses being suffered by Rio Tinto.

Similar to the case of Rio Tinto, the pollution of OK Tedi River that is found in Papua, New Guinea by BHP resulted in the loss of livelihoods by the locals are residents of Papua New Guinea are highly dependent on the rain forests for food and business products. The deforestation, therefore, implied that they were unable to access their traditional foods and also business commodities including medicinal plants and timber.  Moreover, the reduction of the fish population and the subsequent destruction of forests implied that the local residents were nolonger able to fish and hunt animals for food. As a result, they opted for processed and imported food stuff that are considered as unhealthy and this resulted in increase in cases of diseases and conditions such as obesity. The pollution additionally resulted in the contraction of diseases by the local including Asthma, TB, various skin conditions and upper respiratory diseases. At the global level, the pollution caused by BHP activities led to global outcry especially from various environmental rights groups. As a result, the outcries led to the portrayal of a negative image of BHP owing to its actions, and given the observation that it was perceived as failing to take into account the rights of the local residents.

How Companies Can Become More Genuine In Their Operations Abroad

Having observed the various ways through which Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton have conducted their CSR activities and also faced challenges due to environmental disasters resulting from their mining activities, it can be concluded that there is a need for the two organizations to become genuine and enhance their CSR activities abroad. To attain such enhancements, Bice (2014 pp. 62-80) observes that one way an organization can become increasingly genuine in its foreign operations and in remote areas is by strengthening the support for CSR initiative so as to consistently attain higher degrees of CSR associated services to the organization’s operations in their foreign operations, as well as developing networks and local partnerships with various communities as well as strengthening the organization’s leadership, best practices and excellence in the company and the industry. Consequently, Ross (2017, pp. 187-201) asserts that additional training and increased support for the organization’s workers so as to ascertain that they are adequately equipped to detect various issues in time and actively contribute to their solution prior to their escalation.

Moreover, improving CSR in foreign operations requires the refocusing of the CSR experts roles by reinforcing its mandate and promoting sturdy CSR guidelines for the company. The company should seek for guidance in integrating such guidelines into their programs and operational approaches (Fuisz-Kehrbach, 2015, pp. 101-115). The CSR expert should also build on the activities that are carried out in foreign operations through the refocusing of the efforts on continuously working to avert, recognize and resolve various disputed during their initial stages.

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Issues of Quality and Corporate Social Responsibility in Supply Chain Management – Annotated Bibliography

Alderson, W. (1957). Marketing behavior and executive action.  Irwin: Homewood, IL, 1957.

The author of Marketing behavior and executive action article, Alderson, defines the management of a supply chain as the measures and approaches that help harmonize suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses and retailers to actualize specified qualities and quantities of goods, their distribution to the right location at the right time, ensuring minimization of costs and achievement of required service levels. According to Anderson, the development and application of the standard of postponement can greatly promote a system’s marketing efficiency.He also suggested that for this to effectively take place, the distribution system in question must be a complete.Alderson concluded that postponement couldbe used to reduce the expenses associated withcarrying inventory as well as reducing the level of marketing related risks. Alderson argue that marketing efficiency is a major analytical tool, which can be used in supply management since it deals with an important aspect of the supply management process, inventory management.

Chaabane, A., Ramudhin, A., &Paquet, M. (2012). Design of sustainable supply chains under the emission trading scheme. International Journal of Production Economics135(1), 37-49.

Companies are fully responsible for the production process of the products they offer their customers. This means that they are liable for not only what happens during production but also during the process of delivering those products to the distributing warehouses, and the process of distributing the goods to different retailers who are responsible for the delivery of those goods to the consumers or users. Chaabane, Ramudhin and Paquet, (2012) explain how the concerns on the environment and legislation are moving organizations to new evaluations of the effects on environment by the supply chains they have in place. According to the authors, management of supply chains tries to actualize supply chains models that put organizations in a better position towards long-term economic performance maximization. To cope with the current robust supply chain changes, organizations are relying on responsiveness, robustness and flexibility strategies. The authors attribute the dragging in global economy to managerial decision-making chanced by focus on short-term profitability. They pose that organizations have been forced to hatch different strategies and approaches to actualize sustainable operations in the bid to cope with the hardships resulting from the depletion of non-renewable resources such as oil and metal.

Hsu, C. W., Kuo, T. C., Chen, S. H., & Hu, A. H. (2013). Using DEMATEL to develop a carbon management model of supplier selection in green supply chain management. Journal of Cleaner Production56, 164-172.

Hsu, Kuo, Chen and Hu, (2013) utilized DEMATEL (Decision-making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory) technique to research the best method for managing carbon in green supply chain with the aim of enhancing management of carbon by suppliers. The authors came up with thirteen techniques that could be effective in managing carbon. They had three scopes from literature review and interview information from there experts working in the manufacture of electronics. Their research proposes that carbon information management systems and education on carbon management are two key contributors to selection of competent suppliers in carbon management. The authors further suggest that structures and relationships identification would be very helpful to managers in getting a glimpse of cause-effort relationships and provide room for selection of suppliers with better knowledge of carbon management as well as improvement of their performance.

Prajogo, D., Chowdhury, M., Yeung, A. C., & Cheng, T. C. E. (2012). The relationship between supplier management and firm’s operational performance: A multi-dimensional perspective. International journal of production economics,136(1), 123-130.

Prajogo, et al., (2012) in their book recognize the impact of social compliance on operational performance in clothing manufacture more specifically fashion products for import deeming it as the main influence. According to the authors, proper study of vital supplier management practices is paramount to achievement of improved performance of firms operations. They note how diverse management practices will contribute to diverse performance results therefore confirming the vitality of reliance on specific supplier management practices that contribute to aimed at or better performance.

SupplyChainBrain (n.d.). “Ethics Issues Are at the Heart of Supply-Chain Management”. Supply Chain Brain. u.d. Retreived on November 11, 2015 from: http://www.supplychainbrain.com/content/research-analysis/chainlink-research/single-article-page/article/ethics-issues-are-at-the-heart-of-supply-chain-management-1/

The competitive inclination among companies often leads to lack of ethics in most companies’ operations. Companies outsourcing policies have been changed by laws and policies that have been enforced with the aim of ensuring that the prevailing issues relating to outsourcing are solved effectively. The author uses the article to examine the relationship between outsourcing practices and unethical behavior portrayed by companies. The author continues to argue that with more and more customers becoming interested in companies’ overseas operations, including the working conditions of their employees, unfair treatment of workers could harm a company’s reputation, reduce its sales and destroy its brand identity. The author concludes by suggesting that companies that wish to maintain their competitiveness in this age of increased consumer awareness must strive to build and sustain more appropriate supply chains.

Sarkis, J., Zhu, Q., & Lai, K. H. (2011). An organizational theoretic review of green supply chain management literature. International Journal of Production Economics130(1), 1-15.

Sarkis, Zhu, and Lai, (2011) reckon the popularity Green supply chain management (GSCM) has achieved within academia and industry. In their research, Sarkis et al. used theories in organization. The literature offers channels for addressing the aims of understanding the current position of the field and opportunities of future research and its direction. The book puts recent GSCM literature into nine extensive organization theories undertaking profound investigation of adoption, spread and GSCM practices outcome. The authors make various observations. The theory is a reliable source of directions for future investigation and research in green supply chain management. It recognizes availability plenty of opportunities for furthering investigation and research based on theories that have already been implemented (Sarkis,  Zhu, & Lai and 2011). The text identifies various vital questions that require evaluation. The book further reckons availability of more space for new themes on review of GSCM that are yet to receive proper attention in terms of investigation. The book also finds that literature detailing the application of GSCM study is very recent a statement that indicates how that GSCM and organizational theory application are at the growth level. A fifth observation made by the research is that there are more organizational theories emerging that are critical to addressing of un-tackled blossoming issues in GSCM. As a final observation, the book acknowledges that even with developing theories in GSCM researches need to develop theories on organizational phenomena.

Hochman, Steve. “Green Supply Chains.” Forbes. Forbes, 4 Apr. 2007. Web. 18 Sep. 2014.

When a company makes the decision to go green, it takes on a Corporate SocialResponsibility (CSR). In his article, Hochmanexpresses how various firmsthat implementedthis form corporate social responsibility of have reported gaining a competitive advantage over its competitors as a result. The author mentions Starbucks and Hewlett-Packard as an example of how adopting green supply chains can help a company gain a competitive edge. Hochman continues to state that over the last decade, more and more companies have been seen to advance in theiruse of green supply chains and corporate social responsibility and he uses the article to support this observation through presenting relevant examples.

Stadtler, H., &Kilger, C. (2000). Supply chain management and advanced planning. Berlin et al.

In their book, Stadtler and Kilger try to explain what supply chain management entails and how it affects a firm’s planning processes. They argue that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management and Advanced Planning Systems (APS) are vital to proper organization and optimization of funds, materials, information and product flow. This fourth edition of the books is mainly centered on fundamental concepts in Advanced Planning Systems. It concentrates its analysis on successful structuring of supply chains and Advanced Planning Systems. To provide better clarification, the book presents case studies analyzing different business sectors. Stadtler and Kilger (2015) opinionate that Supply Chain Management encompasses any aspect of organization in firms and the flow of information and materials within manufacturing and distribution of a product. Currently, firms are strengthening ERP systems concerned with order handling and execution with APS to achieve better flows, counter challenges and ensure timely delivery. The author is more concerned with structuring of successful supply chains and Advanced Planning Systems implementation using case studies and solution algorithms introduction for better understanding.

Wenzhong, Zhu. “Research on Offshore Service Outsourcing and the Related Issue of Corporate Social Responsibility.” Journal of Applied Sciences 13.8 (2013): 1220-6. Print.

With most companies resorting to outsourcing, there have been more and more ethical issues arising from outsourcing jobs related issues. Wenzhongexpresses key terminologies such as outsourcing, subcontracting, and off shoring. He also describes corporatesocial responsibility and its impact on planning. He discusses about the history of outsourcing as well as stakeholders’ theory. He also examines different outlooks and theories from different researchers’ that support or contradict on how outsourcingaffects different types of stakeholders. The author resolves that It is advisable for companies that wish to outsource to ensure that they understand international standards that govern social responsibility, as well as confer with their stake holders, especially those in the company’s host country so as to know their apprehensions in regards tocorporate social responsibility issues. The author concludes by suggesting that companies that wish to maintain their competitiveness in today’s market must adopt appropriate corporate social responsibility practices including effective and ethical supply chain management.

Beske, P., &Seuring, S. (2014). Putting sustainability into supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal19(3), 322-331.

The author uses the book to study and describe supply management and its effects on a firm’s stakeholders. A conclusion can be drawn from both of them that supply management comprises of any measure or aspect that contributes to the determination of cost of goods and service production and the their meeting of the needs of the customer. They also support the argument that management of the supply chain tries to achieve efficiency at all levels in the chain. Levi et al. explain that management of a supply chain is difficult. They reason that this is due to the fact that different aspects of the chain get carried out at different places and therefore designing and managing the chain from one location, which is usually the case, becomes difficult. They conclude that uncertainty fills all levels of the supply chain, which hardens the management further. The aim of this report is to perform a critical evaluation of supply chain management.

Main Ideas that Shaped Declaration of Independence

Unlike other founding documents, the Declaration of Independence is not legally binding. However, it stands out as a powerful document since it was the first formal statement by the United States people asserting their right to choose their own government. As McClellan (1989) puts it, the Declaration of Independence is one of the most famous documents in the history of the world, whereby over the years, it has exerted a powerful influence on humanity. It is worth noting that the Declaration of Independence was shaped by the philosophy of government, including natural rights, natural law, contract theory, religious liberty, and limited government. This paper explores the specific ideas that shaped the Declaration of Independence. 

Read also Difference Between the Draft and the Original Product of Thomas Jefferson on Declaration of Independence – Annotated Bibliography

The main ideas that shaped the Declaration of Independence are philosophical. The first part of the document offered a philosophical justification for secession. The justification was based on the belief that all men are entitled to certain fundamental rights, and the primary purpose of a government should be to protect the said rights. These alienable rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This stems from the belief that all persons are created equal, supported by Genesis 1:27, which states “so God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Moreover, citizens have the right to abolish a government if it fails to fulfill its obligations. Jefferson asserted that Americans hold the said truths to be self-evident. Notably, this ideology is informed by the social contract theory. The document emphasized that governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the governed consent (McClellan, 1989). Social contract theory posits that people live together in a society under an agreement that establishes their political and moral behavior (Muldoon, 2016). The form of government-citizens relationship described by the Declaration of Independence match up to the theory.

Read also Comparison Paper – Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Thomas Jefferson’s Letter

Natural rights and natural law also shape the central understanding of rights as posited by the Declaration of Independence. The ideology of natural law stems from the belief that there is a higher power governing humankind and political rulers’ affairs. Natural law entails the principles inherent to humankind’s nature as moral, rational, and social being. These principles cannot be causally ignored as they govern the political and legal affairs of humankind. The natural law shaped the Declaration of Independence as it informs the natural rights philosophy that undergirded the document. As Locke argued, the true natural state of humankind is not civil society but rather the state of nature. According to Locke, natural rights include life, liberty, and estate (McClellan, 1989). It is worth noting that these natural rights are mostly similar to the unalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Therefore, natural law and natural rights significantly shaped the document.

Read also Christianity, Deism As Significant influences on the Founding Fathers

It is worth noting that some political ideas integral to today’s America are not found in the Declaration of Independence. The document did not address issues such as the need for a limited government. Although the document asserted that people should have the power to abolish a government if it failed to meet its obligations, the Declaration of Rights did not address the issue of restricting government power. Other political ideas not present in the document include the individual rights and liberties that were later incorporated in the Bill of Rights. As such, concepts such as religious liberty are not addressed by the document. Nonetheless, what the Declaration of Independence failed to address should not overshadow its importance to the US and the world.

Respect for the Rule of Law – GOVT 376

Introduction

The rule of law has a long tradition in the United States. According to Ten (2017), even before the US became a nation, there were talks among the colonists regarding the laws becoming the primary governing aspect, not individuals. After the US gained independence, the Constitution became the foundation of law. It created a framework for ensuring a precise balance among the three government branches and, most importantly, protects individual rights. The Constitution identifies various individual rights, among them rights to due process, and limits the government’s actions. The founding fathers emphasized respect for the rule of law because they understood that it was instrumental in maintaining God’s established law. Dees (2014) elucidates that as a subcomponent of spiritual infrastructure, respect for the rule of law ensures God’s natural law continues to proliferate in America. Thus, if power is exercised within the constraints of law as provided for by the Constitution, it will ensure God-granted authority; hence, promoting unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

Historical Background of The Respect of The Rule of Law

            The founding father of the United States founded the nation on a robust spiritual infrastructure. According to Dees (2014), their spiritual connectedness helped them understand that the government is a ‘necessary evil’ – meaning that although it is essential to ensuring order and prosperity if ungoverned can harm Americans. Therefore, they deemed it necessary to incorporate the rule of law as a fundamental safeguard to ensure the US’s sustainability as a democracy (Ten, 2017). The rule of law refers to a principle under which every individual, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are – (1) publicly promulgated, (2) equally enforced, (3) independently adjudicated, and lastly, (4) consistent with fundamental human rights (Revival, 2018). Thus, the phrase ‘the rule of law’ refers to the provision that laws must be followed, and they equally apply to everyone.

            The founding fathers meant for the rule of law to govern the US, as opposed to arbitrary decisions made by powerful government officials. In 1780, John Adams wrote in the Massachusetts Constitution, “to the end it may be a government of laws, not men.” This implies that every American has the right to treated the same under the rule of law, and not society view right and wrong. Ten (2017) elucidates that the rule of law in its original and most useful sense refers to imperium legume, which translates to ‘the empire of laws, not of men.” It entails removing the arbitrary will of public officials from the administration of justice in the society, as much as possible (Waldron, 2016). As such, it implies constitutionalism as it facilitates equal and impartial justice for all.

            Besides John Adams, the work of Lon Fuller regarding the rule of law was and is still influential. Fuller, faced with the question of whether it was better than the best man rule or the best laws to rule a nation, approached it pragmatically. He argued that the government, per the procedures and forms of law, has a distinctive value that can help close the gap between positive law and morality. Fuller acknowledged that the link between legality and justice is tentative. Nonetheless, the absence of respect for the rule of law can undoubtedly deprive a system of its power as law (Zanghellini, 2016). It is such considerations and arguments that led to the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution. The Amendment states that no person shall be deprived of liberty, property, or life, without due process of law (Revival, 2018). The historical background of the ‘rule of law’ explains why equality before the law has been an integral part of the American government system.

It is also worth noting that the traditional background of the rule of law points out to its foundation in spiritual infrastructure. According to Dees (2014), there exist three institutions ordained by God, including family, Church, and the nation. According to Dees, God ordained the State as an institution with the intent to safeguard the unalienable rights bestowed upon every human being. Dees explains that the development of the law and political theory that led to establishing the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights is shaped by robust spiritual infrastructure. A perfect example of the Declaration of Independence, which states that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Another example is the Pledge to Allegiance to the United States of America. The pledge emphasizes that the US stands as one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all (Revival, 2018). Thus, the rule of law is undergirded by biblical guidelines.

Respect for the Rule of Law in Contemporary US

            Over the years, respect for the rule of law has been deteriorating. Revival (2018) explains that no state can maintain the rule of law if citizens do not respect the established laws. America, as a nation, has significantly lost respect for the law. Americans have become overly capitalist to the point that they focus on ‘making by all means’ even if it means disregarding the law. Alistar (2019) elucidates that the 21st century has seen the US deal with escalated moral erosion evident in the increased criminal activities rate. When people disregard existing social contracts, it leads to defining deviancy down so that things society considered unacceptable becomes acceptable. For instance, it is not uncommon to hear Americans praising an individual for his/her achievements even though they may have succeeded through dubious means. Gómez (2017) elaborates that the country is not extremely lawless, but this is not because people hold the law sacred but rather because they fear being caught. Thus, without deterrence tactics, people the country’s level of lawfulness would be or near bankruptcy.

Besides the indirect signs of deteriorating respect for the rule of law in America, there exist direct signs. To start with, in the modern US, the executive branch leadership and activist judiciary tend to seek to establish law without following due process. According to Dees (2014), for these individuals, the Constitution is not sacrosanct. For them, the ends justify the means and, as such, separation of powers, the established checks and balances, as well as other principles of the US government only apply when supportive of their agendas. They flank to established law by executive orders or non-compliance; thus, disregarding Congress’s due process. Revival 2018) concurs with Dees’ argument whereby they state that the US has gradually lost its respect for the rule of law to the point that not everyone is accountable under the rule of law. If the rule of law is not equally enforced, then it ceases to be effective.

The judicial system also plays a central role in maintaining the rule of law. Therefore, it is also imperative to examine the current state of the rule of law from a judiciary perspective. According to Raz (2017), anything is the law for lawyers in today’s America as long as it meets the conditions and validity stipulated in the system’s rules recognition. As a result, there are many grey areas in the judicial system that have created loopholes for infringement of the rule of law. Gómez (2017) explains that the rule of law is a virtue that requires more than the law itself to ensure effectiveness and compliance. An effective way to uphold the rule of law in society is to remain clear on the aspects and values that the rule of law does not serve.  Lawyers and other professionals in the judicial system who take advantage of the loopholes resulting from the lack of clear stipulations on what does not constitute law demonstrate declining morality in the US. Aagaard (2018) explains that guilt is mostly determined by his/her legal team in the modern US judicial system. If one has a strong legal team, they will likely be vindicated even though they might have committed a crime. On the other hand, one may be declared guilty in a court of law, even if they are innocent. This shows how far the US has lost its respect for the rule of law.

            In concurrence with the argument made by Aagaard (2018), Platon and Pech (2018) elaborate that the reason why there are so many minorities in American prisons is the corrupted rule of law. Platon and Pech argue that it is not that minorities commit the most crimes in the US, but the law seems to be different for different individuals. Additionally, many innocent individuals in the American prison system are wrongly convicted because of their profile or lacked proper representation in a court of law (Gómez (2017). Such occurrences render equality, the central aspect of the rule of law, questionable. Equality before the rule of law is an integral part of the American system of governance as intended by the founding fathers. When a majority, whether acting intentionally or unintentionally, violates the equality of any individual, it translates to the rule of law and contradicts the Bill of Rights. The rule of law must be undergirded by an independent, self-confident justice system that upholds the values of equality and justice.

It is worth noting that this paper does not suggest that the US has completely lost its respect for the rule of law. However, overwhelming evidence shows that adherence to the rule of law in this nation has significantly dwindled. Whereas this might seem like a small issue, the fact is that even the slightest disregard for the rule of law can be detrimental to a nation. Gómez (2017) explains that if properly unaddressed, a small problem can quickly escalate to a massive issue as it leaves the door wide open for other evils. The deteriorating respect for the rule of law has been a long gradual process that has been surprisingly overlooked.  As a result, currently, the US has allowed self-interest to prevail against the reason of the common good, leading to violation of unalienable rights, whether directly or indirectly, as the rule of law is not fully respected.

Root Cause of Deteriorating Respect for the Rule of Law

            When faced with the question regarding who or what has caused the deteriorating respect for the rule of law in the US, one might be quick to answer it is the government. However, it is worth noting that the government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. The US Constitution begins with the phrase ‘we the people’ and then emphasizes the unalienable rights. As Dees (2014) elaborate, we the people is a phrase that refers to the citizens from whom the government derives its just powers. As such, to identify the root cause of the problem at hand, one must look within ‘we the people.’ Alistar (2019) illuminates that the rule of law is only functional if the citizens of a country agree that it is essential to follow laws in their everyday lives.  The rule of law codifies the core values of a nation and, therefore, it is only by looking at it under the lens of ‘we the people’ that one can understand its functionality.

Dees (2014) suggest the primary cause of the deteriorating respect for the rule of war is the moral and spiritual erosion that the US has experienced over the years. According to Dees (2014), the laws of the land are supposed to be based on God’s natural law. It is for this nation that the Founding Fathers, even though they agreed to separate the State from the Church emphasized that America stands as one nation under God. Laws are established to maintain God’s established order, and if not underpinned by morality, they cease to be effective. In early America, citizens held morality at high standards and, this was evident in the way they carried their day-to-day lives. Notably, they did not live that way, for they feared being caught and punished by the law, but because they knew it was the right thing to do. In today’s America, people have largely lost their moral compass (Alistar, 2019). Even for the evils that they do not commit, it is because of the deterrence effect resulting from the established criminal laws. Consequently, this has resulted in the current state of the rule of law.

When citizens are not just to each other, they transfer the same power to the government. The continued lack of respect exhibited by US citizens over the years due to their eroded morality and spirituality has empowered the government to become unjust. As Dees (2014) put it, the government is natural evil, which, if effective, facilitates equality, justice, and prosperity, but if ineffective, hurt its people. The latter is what has happened in the US. The government has lost its respect for the people and, as a result, is hurting the people by being unfair to them, whereby elected officials and established systems and institutions are working to serve their selfish interests rather than promote equality and justice. Therefore, as the Americans are busy trying to find ways to circumvent laws, the government is borrowing a leaf from their dishonest practices. The outcome adversely impacts citizens.

            As mentioned earlier, deteriorating morality is the cause of the lost respect for the rule of law in the US. However, it is worth noting that morality is related to spiritual infrastructure. A country’s spiritual infrastructure determined the direction it is going to take in almost all aspects. Dees (2014) elaborates that while a country may have many infrastructures, the most essential is spiritual infrastructure. It is the one that ensures that a nation maintains its ‘true north’ and thus, spiritual infrastructure exhibits a nation’s true strength. Among the ten defining subcomponents of spiritual infrastructure is respect for the rule of law. Therefore, if a country’s spiritual infrastructure weakens, then respect for the rule of law is bound to suffer. Dees explains that US dependence upon God has waned alarmingly over the years, and this poses a significant threat to the US a nation. Agreeably, the deteriorating lack of respect for the rule of law amplifies Dees’ concerns.

Respect for the Rule of Law and the Unalienable Rights

The unalienable rights that undergird the US have a biblical foundation. The Book of Genesis states that all humans are created in the image of God. This can translate to mean that all humans are equal and thus deserves equal treatment as it is their God-given right. Also, in James 2:9 (KJV), the Bible illuminates that if a person shows partiality, they commit a sin and be convicted by the law as transgressors. Notably, the unalienable rights incorporated in the Declaration of Independence include life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Respect or lack of the same for the rule of law directly impacts the three.

Life

The unalienable right to life means that Americans have an entitlement to live, and their lives may not be surrendered to or taken. With this right comes the government’s responsibility to protect Americans’ lives from any threats (Berkowitz, 2020). The rule of law is the provision that ensures the promotion and protection of the common normative framework. It provides a structure through which the exercise of power is subject to specific rules that guarantee all human rights. If the rule of law is not upheld, human rights, including the right to life, are in jeopardy. For instance, the rule of law ensures that a country is safe by ensuring due process is followed when combating violent crimes. Lack of the same can lead to increased violent criminal activities that threaten the lives of the Americans. Therefore, the deteriorating rule of law threatens Americans’ right to life.

Liberty

Liberty refers to an individual’s right to choose how they want to live their lives. Therefore, the unalienable right to liberty renders Americans free to have their own choices (Berkowitz, 2020). For instance, Americans are free to choose which religion to follow or even not have religious affiliations at all. The rule of law ensures that such rights remain reserved to the Americans. However, if, for instance, the government was to pass a law that forces people to follow a specific religion or dictates how they worship, it contradicts the rule of law since the due process is not followed. The rule of law, therefore, ensures that Americans enjoy their right to liberty. The dwindling respect for the rule of law in the US threatens this unalienable right.

Pursuit of Happiness

The unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness entails an individual’s right to choose the actions that allow them to achieve happiness. However, their actions must not interfere with other individuals’ happiness (Berkowitz, 2020). Suppose an individual is to be lawfully prohibited from doing an act that promotes their happiness. In that case, it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they interfere with other people’s happiness by them doing so. In the Loving vs. Virginia case of 1967, the Court challenged a Virginia statute that prohibited interracial marriages. The Court cited that interracial marriages aligned with the right to the pursuit of happiness. If the rule of law does not adhere to such statutes and other actions could pose a significant threat to the pursuit of happiness.

The Seven Mountains of Culture

Besides the unalienable rights, respect for the rule of law relates to the seven mountains of culture. The seven mountains of culture include arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media, and religion (Dees, 2014). All these factors depend on the rule of law to thrive. Thus, a lack of respect for the rule of law negatively impacts the seven mountains of culture. For instance, when the government is formulating rules and regulations that affect the seven areas, it ensures that due process is followed. Thus, this promotes constitutionalism in the way things are done in America. If this constitutionalism were to be lost, then the nation would turn chaotic.

Recommendations

The above-discussed adverse consequences of deteriorating respect for the rule of law alludes to the need for urgent measures to remedy the problem at hand. This paper would have suggested that the government engage in a rigorous exercise of closing the loopholes within the rule of law and streamlining systems, institutions, and individuals in government offices. However, as identified in this paper, the key problem is not the systems, institutions, or government officials but rather the country’s weakened spiritual infrastructure. Therefore, the paper recommends that the government invests in efforts aimed to restore spiritual infrastructure in America. For instance, the government can invest in awareness campaigns to teach people the importance of having a strong spiritual foundation. The initiative will not be affiliated with any religious affiliation as it would be against the Constitution but would instead emphasize the need for people basing their day to day life as per the teachings of the religion of their choice (Sacramento, 2020). If successful, this will restore people’s belief in leading a righteous life – one that is free of immorality and respects the rule of law as God intends. Therefore, a long-lasting solution to the deteriorating respect for the rule of law in America is the restoration of its spiritual infrastructure; that is, as it was in its infant years.