Uncovering Why Sex Crimes are Under-reported in the United States

Introduction

Violent crime is a reality that contemporary society currently contends with. Sexual assault, in particular, is an appalling offense and considered one of the most atrocious deviant behaviors known to man. Legal, social, and administrative levels of society have responded promptly to this challenge by taking appropriate punitive measures which aim to dissuade potential offenders. The criminal justice system champions this response by handing out maximum sentences and publicly shaming perpetrators. Regrettably, sexual offenses continue to occur frequently and regularly remain unreported. Rape victims, typically traumatized by their experience, fail to report such incidences to relevant authorities. Victims are usually aware of the entire process, but would rather avoid it than face the offender and relive their experience during trial.

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Victims of sexual assault often choose to circumvent these lengthy and grueling proceedings by choosing to avoid reporting to relevant authorities.  Sex crimes have, therefore, been on a steady rise within the past three decades, a situation that is projected to worsen in the near future. Statistics provided by the federal government reveal a worrying trend that may portend a dreary future for criminal justice, particularly in the United States. It is currently estimated that 80 % of sex crimes go unreported, even with the vast resources provided by the Justice Department (Brennan Center for Justice, 2018).

Read also Sex Offender Legislation And Its Influence On Recidivism And Integration

Survivors of sexual assault incidences increasingly avoid filing police reports, which is also why the actual statistics of the modern-day debacle remains a mystery to leading researchers. Although sex assault in the United States is a typical occurrence, victims of these heinous crimes do not seem to receive satisfactory justice from the Judicial System. Because of this fact, many victims choose to remain silent as opposed to coming forward and facing offenders. They suffer alone, experiencing shame, and utter humiliation in private.

 Why Sex Crimes are Under-reported in the United States

 Fear of retaliation is one of the primary reasons why victims of sexual assault fail to report such incidences. Sexual assault is a distressing experience that is often emotionally taxing for victims. Many strive to acknowledge the occurrence of the actual event, put it behind them, and move on with their lives.  Although part of the healing process involves reporting the said offense to relevant authorities, most victims fail to do so owing to a fear of retaliation.  In most cases, victims are usually aware of their attacker’s identity as individuals in their circle of associates. Close acquaintances have been known to take advantage of this nature of the relationship to abuse their victims. They usually obtain crucial data about their victims and use this information to coerce them into submission. In such a case, perpetrators use the nature of a relationship shared as a front, which allows them to get close to their victims and attack during precarious scenarios (Brownmiller, 2015). Victims of sexual assault whose violation occurs in this manner may fail to report due to a general fear of retaliation from perpetrators. Similarly, an attacker’s socio-economic status may also influence a victim’s decision whether or not to report. Victims are routinely compelled by such individuals to maintain their silence or suffer dire consequences. Often, perpetrators are influential members of society known for their deep pockets and authority, in addition to wielding significant influence. Even though the Victims Witness Program has expressed a willingness to safeguard victims of sexual assault during trial proceedings, they remain vulnerable to implacable attacks from offenders and other members of society (Walby & Olive, 2015). Many, therefore, regard silence as the only logical option, which is a prime reason why sex crimes remain unreported.

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 A general inadequacy of legal knowledge of actions that constitute rape has also been blamed for the high rate of unreported sex crimes across the United States. A majority of the victims have little or no knowledge of the legal system and how sexual assault is defined from a legal perspective. The legal framework often endeavors to delineate specifics in sexual assault to ensure that prevailing statutes present a clear definition of the offense. Nevertheless, victims still grapple with the description of sexual assault and whether or not specific incidents can be regarded as “real rape.” The hesitation that sets in during this stage influences their decision to file a report with the appropriate authorities tasked with addressing such matters.

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Furthermore, the situation is typically worsened by insufficient legal knowledge of federal laws applicable to a specific case. The criminal justice system has been in existence for a long epoch, which has allowed experts to refine best practices and applicable laws in particular circumstances. Their participation in the system is often meant to ensure that a comprehensive legal system is applied to assure victims, particularly those of sexual assault, of justice. Adherence to the penetration threshold as the only appropriate definition of rape has now been found to influence a victim’s decision to report cases of assault (Horvath & Brown, 2013, p. 79). Most remain silent due to a general lack of understanding of rape as a crime and its interpretation from a legal standpoint. Additionally, administrative failings in the criminal justice system may be to blame for a high number of sexual assault cases that remain unreported within the United States. Victims of rape who fail to physically resist due to fear occasioned by the actual scenario have customarily experienced difficulties defining their experience as sexual assault (Maier, 2014, p. 62). In particular, the criminal justice system rarely conducts regular awareness campaigns to improve society’s understanding of rape, which ultimately impacts an individual’s decision to report such cases.

 Poor treatment of survivors of sexual assault also serves as a chief reason why victims fail to report sexual assault cases. Rape and other forms of sexual assault represent grueling experiences capable of harming an individual’s mental wellbeing. Many remain emotionally scarred for years on end and usually struggle with symptoms of anxiety and depression related to this life-changing event. Yet, the criminal justice system rarely treats them with the dignity they deserve, which is why many opt to remain tightlipped regarding their experience given the fact that it may have transformed their lives negatively. An area of concern that has recently emerged regarding the criminal justice system and sexual assault is the nature of sentences handed out to perpetrators. Wealthy and broadly influential suspects often hire expensive seasoned attorneys who are experts in exploiting loopholes in the legal systems. Victims of sexual assault are typically unaware of constituents of rape charges under the law and may fail to record crucial details capable of influencing their case. Through a carefully planned trial, accusers put up a spirited defense, which leads to a conviction where a lenient sentence is eventually handed down. In essence, it is as though rape is being criminalized since victims of sexual assault are now treated as though they were the offenders (O’Donohue & Scheme, 2019, p. 724). Besides, a negative interaction with the criminal justice system ultimately discourages victims from filing reports. The process often begins with law enforcement officers who are tasked with making an original record of the report as described by the victim. Coupled with inadequate advocacy support, chances of getting justice through trail are reduced, which then sets a dangerous precedent (Spohn & Tellis, 2014, p. 33). Their insipid response to an event of such magnitude and lack of empathy puts off sensitive individuals. Also, ingrained fear of skepticism and re-traumatization dramatically reduces the chances that a victim of sexual assault will turn to relevant authorities for redress.

Read also Evolutionary Theory and Crime – Sexual Deviance And Sexual Coercion

Conclusion

The rise in unreported sex crimes in the United States is a contemporary debacle currently facing society. Victims are increasingly choosing to remain silent than take their chances with the criminal justice system. They report failing to receive satisfactory justice and avoid facing offenders at all costs as a strategy to avert shame and humiliation. The fear of retaliation, inadequate legal knowledge of actions that constitute rape, and the poor treatment of survivors are some of the significant reasons why cases of sexual assault are rarely reported in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is capable of responding to this issue by laying out a clear framework with the primary objective of ensuring that victims of sexual assault are always assured of justice.

Major Criticisms of Political Science as a Discipline

What are three major criticisms of political science as a discipline?  Do you agree with these criticisms and/or solutions, and why or why not? Be specific in terms of (a) who has launched the criticism, (b) what their criticism is, (c) what are their proposed solutions to the problems being criticized (if any).

Political science is a discipline that has experienced a number of critics based on its structure and content. One of the major criticisms is that the discipline lacks clarity and boundaries on its placement with other social sciences and the association of its scientific theories to sub-fields that are technically applied. This is highly reflected by Gabriel Almond who claims that the discipline is made from a collection of information from other disciplines such as economics, and it lacks the principle on which it is based (Monroe et al., 1990).

Read also Evolution Of Political Science

The other criticism is that the discipline lacks actual foundation and origins. According to Sly (2018), the history of founded disciplines is normally meant to identify thinkers that started to pose the original questions of the discipline and eventual identification of who started to employ scientific methods in offering the initial response. The fact that there is no agreement on these among political scientists today is by itself clear evidence on political science discipline emergence and on its real formation as a social science. According to John Gunnell, it is still hard to track down the history of political science and hence, still hard to identify its origin.

Read also Political Science Questions And Answers

The other criticism is that the political science discipline still reflects the disparities and inequalities of power and influence established in society, which eventually impacts the study objective (Monroe et al., 1990). This criticism is launched by Benjamin Barber who believes that the political science core is not the issue but the disparity it creates to the society. I highly agree with those criticisms. Political science lacks a clear history, with most political scientists giving different theories of its origin.

Moreover, despite being regarded as a science, there is no evidence of any tests done to certify this. There are also disparities in the discipline with few minorities, especially black women among other things. Some of the proposed solutions include considering political theory as the core of political science. This will help in solving the issue regarding the principle of the discipline. Another solution will involve consolidating tangible figures regarding political science to determine its origin. The other proposed solution is determining ways to enhance inclusion in the discipline as a way of eliminating disparities (Monroe et al., 1990).

After the Breakup:The Troubled Alliance between Volkswagon and Suzuki – Case Study Analysis

Summary

            The decline in auto sales in the wake of a global financial recession prompted leading international carmakers to resort to radical strategies to remain afloat. One such approach entailed forming conglomerates to increase productivity and sharing of information critical to the development of ultramodern automobiles. In 2009, Volkswagen AG (VW) and Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki) struck a trailblazing liaison which would allow the former to enter the Indian market (Kluyver 33). However, the partnership crumbled shortly after with Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki) ending the framework agreement between the two former allies. The following is a comprehensive evaluation of the case study dubbed “After the Breakup: The Troubled Alliance between Volkswagen and Suzuki” to gain a better understanding of the dynamics in this relationship and reasons for its unexpected end. Additionally, this report will also explore essential facts, critical problems, alternatives, and the best course of action moving forward.

Important Facts

Expansion of the Automotive Industry

The global increase in population and income saw major players prompted major players to strive to improve their designs and manufacturing capabilities. Volkswagen was among such manufacturers that initially enjoyed market success since its inception in 1937.  The European market was capable of affording Volkswagen models, allowing the company to enjoy relative success within the region. Volkswagen is among the most significant vehicle manufacturers with accomplishments linked to its global expansionist policy. Similarly, the collapse of the cotton industry in Japan gave rise to Suzuki as a primary motor vehicle manufacturing company in Japan. The company’s attributes its success to a willingness to incorporate new technology and research findings into designs while endeavoring to set up shop in new locations across the globe.

Partnership between Suzuki and Volkswagen

The alliance between Volkswagen AG (VW) and Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki) aimed to address the growing need for fuel and cost-effective cars especially since this emerging eco-friendly trend was gaining traction globally. These new innovations initially targeted the Chinese and Indian markets due to the presence of a sizable middle-income population. Volkswagen’s strategy was to become a global leader in the automotive industry while embracing sustainability. The 2009 partnership pact with Suzuki aimed to fulfill the objective mentioned earlier while still remaining a formidable force in the market. Under the terms of this new partnership, Volkswagen was expected to 19.9% of Suzuki’s shares while Suzuki obtained a 1.5% voting stake in Volkswagen (Deresky). The alliance was expected to cause a rise in shares across the Japanese and German markets.

Termination of the Framework Agreement and Resulting Blame Game

Suzuki terminated the framework agreement on November 18, 2019, after a series of irreconcilable differences.  Suzuki’s Chairman had earlier expressed his reservations regarding the new leadership structure and was vehemently opposed to serving under a German (CEO).  Both companies had expressed the need for cooperation to increase their production capacity and a joint electric car project. However, Suzuki was against sharing dealership as earlier proposed by Volkswagen due to a high comparative cost of production. Suzuki’s Chairman finally decided to terminate the framework agreement since the collaboration was not viewed as a profitable venture.

Key Issues

Cultural Incongruity

The alliance between Volkswagen and Suzuki seemed doomed from its inception due to the stark cultural mismatch that existed between the two partners. Leadership approaches in Japanese and German culture were dissimilar, which then created friction during daily interactions. While the Japanese strived for personal responsibility and devotion, German culture espoused a management style comprising of meticulous planning and a clear work structure. These differences posed an existential challenge whenever the partners sought to agree on an issue of grave importance to the joint venture. For instance, Suzuki was adamant that it was only through a collectivist attitude that the merger would succeed while their German counterparts focused solely on final performance.

Communication Gap

The styles and frequency of correspondence between Suzuki and Volkswagen impaired progress that would have been made through their collaboration.  Communication during important meetings was punctuated by vagueness since the cultural differences hindered meaningful progress (Verbeke). Oral agreements also played a significant role in the ensuing confusion, which fundamentally worsened the relationship. The result was a general lack of transparency during crucial phases in the relationship which created an air of suspicion between the partners. A communication gap emerged during the decision-making process since participants failed to understand each other’s viewpoint.

Absence of Teamwork and Breach of Contract

A general lack of cooperation created cracks in the alliance and consequently resulted in its disintegration. During the formative stages, Suzuki’s Chairman had expressed a need for operational autonomy to avoid being overshadowed by its German partner. The Indian/Asian market emerged as an area of contention especially since Suzuki felt threatened by Volkswagen’s presence in the region. Resistance to these efforts finally resulted in a breach of contract when Suzuki sought engine blueprints from Fiat that Volkswagen had been unable to provide.

Alternative Course of Action

 The alliance between Suzuki and Volkswagen was among the best witnessed in the automotive industry. It was capable of producing mutual benefits which would have gone a long way in enabling the two partners to achieve their objectives. The best course of action would be an in-depth review of the relationship and the impact of cultural differences on a partnership to avoid similar pitfalls in the future.  Cultural differences are a reality in this contemporary market which is why it is critical to address them and the threat they pose to cooperation.

Recommendations

 In the future, companies seeking to partner in a joint industry venture should first review their partner’s cultural disposition to avoid conflict. A cross-cultural alliance should early involve an understanding of background while working on filling existing communication gaps. Volkswagen and Suzuki should concentrate on creating a clear memorandum of understanding to avoid contractual misunderstandings. Furthermore, a measure of performance is imperative to collaboration since it increases the chances of success. Understanding one’s partner and whether they are an appropriate match is also important and may determine a partnership’s success.

Assessment Questions

What are the significant cultural differences between European and Japanese managers that affect implementing strategic and collaborative agreements such as a joint venture?

Cultural differences among the Suzuki’s and Volkswagen’s leadership was chiefly to blame for the partnership’s abrupt ending. European and Japanese cultures are entirely dissimilar, which is also why the joint venture failed to succeed.  For instance, German managers focus on careful preparation and planning when seeking to implement a strategy. They are also keen on details and strict adherence to a specific agenda. German managers also favoured written documents during essential deliberations. On the other hand, the Japanese management style focused on hard work and loyalty when seeking to make headway. They also relied heavily on oral agreements during crucial meetings which were often disregarded their German counterparts.

Why did VW believe that Suzuki could assist in developing the Indian market?

After the 2009financial crisis, multinational companies sought to improve their global standing by creating subsidiaries in emerging Asian markets. The Indian market was of particular interest to Volkswagen due to its rapid population and a vibrant middle-class who would provide a ready market for the German automaker (Verbeke). Suzuki’s position in the market and its influence in India, therefore, became instrumental to Volkswagen when seeking to make headway in the market. Additionally, Suzuki had a better understanding of the Indian market, which would have been instrumental in developing vehicles that were specifically tailored for this particular population.

Is it normal for international companies that partner within a joint venture terminate the agreement in time? Why?

International companies forge joint ventures intending to reap mutual benefits from the partnership. Nevertheless, disputes and irreconcilable differences may emerge, which usually causes the termination of such agreements. It is, therefore, reasonable for international companies partnering under a joint venture to end their contract especially when the relationship fails to work.  Failure to agree on essential tenets may result in regular skirmishes. Poor communication, a lack of flexibility and compromise also results in regular tension which reduces productivity between business partners, leading to a termination of the agreement.

4. Did the problems between VW and Suzuki cause other international partners to avoid either company after the event? Problems between international partners are a regular feature in such alliances. Although a partnership may start on an optimistic note, challenges are always bound to emerge given the myriad of dynamics which often emerge. The problems witnessed between VW and Suzuki commonly occurs in joint ventures between companies with starkly disparate cultural backgrounds in an international setting. It is, therefore, quite unlikely that international partners would avoid either company for a classic example of incompatibility in a joint venture.

Who Influenced Western Culture the Most? Luther, Columbus, Gutenberg, or Charles Darwin?

The four men Martin Luther, Christopher Columbus, Johannes Gutenberg, and Charles Darwin played important roles in the society, influencing the paradigm shifts of in western culture. Luther was an important figure in the formation of protestant reformation; a movement impacted the western culture strongly by demanding religious freedom. Luther disagreed with the Roman Catholic doctrines and wrote about it to enlighten followers. He also translated the bible from Latin to Germany, making it easier for people to read the Bible on their own and make their own judgment. By so doing, Luther influenced western culture by promoting rights to freedom of airing own opinion and embracement of individualistic mindset in the western culture.

Read also Martin Luther King Jr and Thomas Edison Contributions To The World

Columbus was a navigator and explorer who discovered and eventually colonized America. He introduced the slave trade and other forms of product exchanges from the Bahamas to Spain. His voyages created an opening for colonization and its effect in different parts of the world, it promoted slaves trade and other goods exchange trades at the international level or between Europe and other foreign nations. Gutenberg was the inventor of a movable printer and he became the first person in Europe to enhance efficiency book production methods. His invention promoted reading in the region and knowledge development. It also became the foundation of other technological development during the industrial revolution in the western world (Rapson, 2003).

Read also How The First Industrial Revolution Contributed To The Rise Of Capitalism

Darwin was a scientist who developed evolution theory and the national selection theory of survival is for the fittest. His theory claimed that species were not created by God as a religion taught but they evolved from some primitive version. Although his theories were strongly criticized by religious groups that believed in creation, his work is being highly appreciated,  especially since his national selection theory can be highly used to explain capitalism and wealth variation in the society. His work brought a new perspective of life to western people, changing their culture from a religious-based perspective to a more scientific-based view (Rapson, 2003). 

Read also Darwinism And American Society – Sample Essay

Each of the four men made a unique contribution that influenced western culture in a great way even today. However, among them, Columbus can be regarded as a person who had the greatest influence in western culture. Columbus navigation resulted in the opening of trade between different regions or countries, which has since been a trend not just in western nations but in the entire world. His voyages can be said to be responsible for the growth of international trade and globalization experienced in the world today. He also played a great role in enhancing the slave trade which eventually resulted in population diversity and immigration during his time. The final result of slaves’ inclusion in the western society resulted in the diversity seen in the world today. The impact of Columbus’s action is strongly felt in western culture through international trade and globalization and through immigration and population diversity in the world.

HIUS 221 – Museum or National Park Visit

Museum or National Park Visit Proposal

Submit a brief proposal requesting instructor permission to either physically visit a suitable location or a website pertaining to the upcoming Museum or National Park Assignment. Submission should include a discussion on the site proposal as well as the general interest or reason behind the visit. If a student decides to utilize a website, such as a “walking
tour” link or a quality YouTube site of a historical museum or location, they will need to include the website address in their assignment submission.

Choose one of the following types of sites/locations

  • Local museum. 2. A
  • National Park. 3.
  • A befitting video website walking video tour or suitable YouTube link of a Museum or National Park.

The sites must be related to U.S. historical events between the 1500s-1865. Why? Your historical focus for the final Museum or National Park writing assignment has to fall within the area of the United States and the aforementioned historical time frame.

Sample Museum Visit Proposal

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is a foremost collector and preserver of the United States’ rich heritage. My proposal, therefore, seeks to request permission to visit the museum’s website in relation to the forthcoming Module 7 Museum or National Park Assignment. The museum is an ideal choice for this assignment primarily because it is a rich repository of significant historical events that took place in the United States between the 1500s and 1865. Its primary purpose is to preserve and display a comprehensive depiction of the social, political, and military history of the United States (National Museum of American History, 2012). Events stretching as far back as the Puritans’ arrival at Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 and the Southern Army’s 1864 march towards Washington, D.C are all displayed in the museum.

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The museum features three large exhibition floors showing perfectly preserved sections of American history, which are displayed on its website through a virtual tour. Through this platform, it is possible to undertake a room by room tour of the exhibitions on display in addition to reviewing supplementary information regarding specific eras in American history (National Museum of American History, 2019). The tour panoramas are user-friendly, allowing visitors to toggle from one room to the next throughout the presentation. Furthermore, high-resolution images provide a close-up viewing which allows one to zoom in on specific objects on display. Unseen archives are also presented on the website allowing visitors to develop an accurate understanding of the history of the United States and critical events that determined its current trajectory. The website’s functionality accommodates visitors and bound to improve their experience of history through an American perspective.

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HIUS 221 – Smithsonian’s National Museum Visit Paper 

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History was the most appropriate historical site to visit for this particular assignment. It is known nationally for collecting and preserving historical artifacts related to the United States, which is also why it is relevant to events within 1500-1865. Furthermore, I was impressed by the options that were made available by the museum, chief among them being a virtual guided taken remotely through its web facilities. The website offers a room by room tour of all artifacts on display, which is ideal for individuals interested in the history of the United States but unable to physically visit the museum.

Read also Cultural Activity Report – National Gallery of Art Museum

 As a lover of history, I was excited by the prospect of visiting the museum’s website for a virtual tour taking me back in time when epic historical events took place in the United States. I was particularly enthralled by the website’s high-resolution images, which made it possible to have a close-up viewing experience of specific historical items. It is commendable that the museum’s websites provide a guide during this tour, responsible for providing clear information and elucidation concerning the items on display.

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            I believe that digital technology is one of the most important innovations ever created by man. Through a simple click of a button, I was able to start my tour of the facility, which would have been impossible if I was not present in Washington, D.C. Furthermore, it is inexpensive. One can visit the website at any time and from anywhere, with an internet connection (Smithsonian.com, 2019). It saves time and money while still enabling one to have a similar experience to that of an individual on the actual site. The user-friendly tour panoramas also made it possible to move swiftly from one room to another during the presentation.

Read also Cultural Activity Report – Answered

            My guided tour began at Flag Hall. I had always heard my classmates speak positively regarding their experience at this section of the museum which ignited a fire of enthusiasm in me. The star attraction at this section was the wool Star-Spangled Banner, which flew above Fort McHenry, Baltimore in 1814. It is memorialized in the United States national anthem, which was also part of the reason why I awaited my review assiduously. The flag was encased behind a window for protection from visitors, given its fabric is close to 205 years old. Additionally, it was also in a surreal environment, which served as a representative depiction of life during this period in American history.  The chamber was particularly an essential feature of the exhibition since it brought the flag to life inside the dimly-lit environment.  Such moments remind one of the United States’ rich history and the debacles that had to be surmounted during its formative years.

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            From this point on, the guided tour proceeded to several locations in quick succession to ensure that most of the artifacts on display were viewed. The section titled American Stories was a window into the past at a time when the nation was still in infancy.  One of the most exceptional items on display was Thomas Jefferson’s portable desk and regarded as an essential piece of artifact. From my virtual remote viewing standpoint, I was utterly stunned by the quality of images that were on display. The desk appeared real, a historical relic from the past that had remained etched in the American psyche. Next was America on the Move exhibition. It contained life-size locomotives and automobiles, signifying the progress made in the transportation sector over the centuries. The experience was further enhanced by the movement of individuals in addition to intermittent sound and motion.

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            The most exciting segment of the exhibition was a display of the museum’s collection of cultural and geographic history. It is praiseworthy that the museum’s curator took this section of American history since it is largely ignored by others. Here, Native Americans were displayed in full splendor at a time when they roamed free as original landowners and continuing with their way of life. This brazen display of culture is an authentic display by the museum, which paints Amerindians in a new light as a people living a free and independent life before contact with Europeans. Furthermore, this section also documents the arrival of European colonialists and the clash of cultures that followed soon after. Settlers are also depicted moving westwards, expanding their territory, and the large-scale agricultural practices that followed. In essence, this section was an accurate depiction of the American story from two dissimilar perspectives. The Within These Walls exhibition was also quite striking. It transplanted the architecture of colonial America to the 21st century and, allowing a virtual visitor to experience life as it was during a period that is rarely spoken about.  

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History helped me appreciate the United States’ past through a virtual tour back through. Through ultra-realistic depictions, I toured the museum’s expanse and gained a renewed insight on relevant to events within 1500-1865. I would, therefore, recommend it to history enthusiasts seeking to refresh their knowledge of American history.

Generic Drug Pricing Strategies

 Research on the pricing strategies of generic drug manufacturers and analyze pricing strategies. Discuss the following:

  • Discuss the pricing decisions of generic drug manufacturers.
  • Evaluate the impact competitors and additional economic factors have on the results of the generic drug pricing strategies.What factors contribute to the advantages and disadvantages of various pricing strategies?
  • Discuss the social and financial implications of generic drug pricing decisions for various groups of stakeholders.
  • What would be the socially optimum pricing strategy for the United States? What would be the socially optimum pricing strategy globally?

Read “Generic Drugs Under Medicare: Part D Generic Drug Prices Declined Overall, but Some Had Extraordinary Price Increases,” by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) (2016) and “Defiant, Generic Drug Maker Continues to Raise Prices,” by Morgenson, from the New York Times (2017). Also use the New York Times article, “Defiant, Generic Drug Maker Continues to Raise Prices,”

Pricing Decisions of Generic Drug Manufacturers – Sample Paper

Generic drug pricing by leading pharmaceutical manufacturers is based on several imitable factors. The preponderances often base decisions on patient requirements and a drug’s projected demand. Furthermore, generic drug manufacturers also apply an exceptionality policy which gives certain players the exclusive right to produce a particular drug (The New York Times, 2017). The result of this scheme is the production of drugs that are on high demand, but in limited quantities which then allows manufacturers to tweak prices, sometimes even above the 1000% threshold. Medical pundits such as Dr. Tim Hunt now blame pharmaceutical companies for a steady rise in drug price across the United States. Pricing decisions are also designed to target specific demographics benefitting from government-led initiatives to cover their health insurance. In essence, the pricing decisions are specifically designed to target populations that are in dire need of essential but rare medications which are priced exorbitantly.

Competitors and a myriad of other economic factors also affect generic drug pricing. A system involving a clear monopoly of power inexplicably dominates the pharmaceutical industry. The market dynamics in generic drug pricing focus on supply and, therefore, use this dynamic to raise prices. Although domination in the industry seems incidental, prices are modulated periodically amongst competitors for maximum gain. Iterative interactions between consumers and sellers also results in relative differentiation which prompts shifts in generic drug pricing. Shifts in market equilibrium also enhance competition and affect the distortion potential often blamed by major players for chief differences in price as discussed earlier.

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Competitors also review the tendering process in most middle-income countries, which then allows them to gain a better understanding of the prices individuals are willing to pay. From this premise, pharmaceutical companies proceed to determine differential pricing which is then applied when determining the final cost for a dynamic and competitive market. Additionally, prevailing regulations also influence generic drug pricing since major pharmaceutical companies are required to adhere to major tenets of the law. External referencing is also applied by firms seeking to launch generic drugs in countries where their products are bound to fetch high prices.

Several factors contribute to the advantages and disadvantages of pricing strategies in the generic drug market. A primary advantage of these pricing strategies is the provision of consumers with immediate access to essential drugs. A bioequivalent of the original is accessible to nearly all individuals which then allow them to fulfill prescriptions for debilitating conditions. Additionally, the pricing strategies are cost effective for most healthcare providers grappling with inadequate resources. The affordability of generic drugs enables individuals and healthcare facilities to respond to economic pressures by benefitting from the low-cost advantage.  However, a major disadvantage that has emerged recently is the unpredictability of pricing trends.  Their fluidity often means that medications that should be readily available such as Codeine® (used to treat migraines) and Synthroid® (thyroid drug) are often rendered unavailable (Dicken, 2013, p. 34). The scarcity experienced in the market causes a rise in demand for the drug, which prompts manufacturers to adjust their prices thus creating an emerging challenge. A majority of the patients are usually individuals with scarce resources by a large prescription volume that should be filled if their health condition is to improve. This, therefore, creates an acquisition challenge that may very well impact their wellbeing

Generic drug pricing decisions have far-reaching social and financial implications for various groups of stakeholders. The dramatic rise in drug prices is often blamed for a rise in health complications linked to inaccessibility. In addition, the presence of an assortment of pharmaceutical companies in the generic industry causes confusion owing to a string of competing agendas. Individuals requiring drugs for their therapeutic value often end up having to contend with higher prices for the product. In essence, the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 created a generic market where market leaders determine the price of bioequivalent drugs which ceded a great deal of power to the aforementioned class of individuals (Kanof, 2019). The industry is controlled by natural monopolies which generate money by increasing the price of select generic drugs purely for financial gain. Pharmaceutical companies also exploit the inadequacies of regulation practices which allow them to the price for generic drugs with a total disregard for the needs of the target population but the resulting revenue from sales. Individuals with a co-pay policy bear the brunt of pricing policies of generic drugs since they do not have a third party such as Medicaid to help offset their hospital bills.            

Read also Pricing Strategies Recommendations For Various Situations

The socially optimum pricing strategy for the United States would be one that is sensitive to market prices. It is critical to focus on market factors as a way of ensuring that major players within the United States have been reviewed comprehensively. A socially optimum pricing within the United States is one that introduces aspects of competitive advantage while still providing individuals with specific perks. On the other hand, a socially optimum pricing strategy for the global market is one capable of improving formulary for consumers. It, therefore, allows pharmaceutical companies to gain a better understanding of the global geographic market and optimize their revenues accordingly.

Social and Business Elements of India

Subsidiary Country- India

The recent announcement by MTE Corporation regarding its significant expansion is a business strategy which aims to improve its footprint across the globe. To fulfill this objective, the company will acquire faltering domestic companies from a number of localities and may soon become the largest foreign-owned entity across Asia Pacific. India has been selected for this expansion. The following is a summary of the social and business elements and the competencies necessary to work and manage effectively in this environment.

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Demographics of the People and Society

            India is the second most populous nation in the world. As of 2019, its population stands at 1.4 billion and projected to surpass China in the near future (World Population Review, 2019).  The presence of an elaborate healthcare system and a low infant mortality rates were cited as some of the primary reasons why India’s population has been experiencing a steady growth since the early 1980s.

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Government

            India is one of the last remaining true democracies in South East Asia. Its federal government is a unitary administration established by the constitution of India to supervise the eight states in the democratic republic.  India adheres to the basic legislature, executive and judiciary structure of government with the president serving as the commander in chief and the prime minister the executive head. Moreover, the government has also established civil and criminal codes which govern its large population while ensuring that there is a semblance of order in the country.

Economy

            The Indian economy is one of the fastest developing markets in the region. Using its nominal GDP, purchasing power parity and per capita income, India proves to be a prospective area for international business. India’s young population is one of the main reasons why it is projected to continue growing (Banik, 2015). Furthermore, it also has a low dependency ration which increases the country’s integration into the global economy. India has also been identified as one of the most ideal environments in which to conduct business in, with its government implementing various stimulus measures to boost overall growth.  Foreign partners have also identified India as an ideal environment in which to conduct free trade agreements and conduct business in.

Communications

            India has an elaborate communication system which strives to serve its large population.  It includes telegraph services, postal system, broadcasting and the prevailing information services. The country’s postal system network is the largest in the world, encompassing tribal and rural areas. Recent advances in technology have also been applied in the area of communications in India where computerized systems are now applied when conducting the postal operations in the country. The presence of a Hybrid Mail Service and an extensive business channel make it possible to introduce important developments in the sector which ultimately benefit its general population. Moreover, the communication sector in India strives to provide cost-efficient services using high-speed computer networking for businesses.

Education

            The government of India lays great emphasis on the provision of education in the country. Public schools are a common hallmark of the education system in India which is usually free and compulsory for children between 6 and 14 years of age (Dash, 2014). India’s progress in education now makes it one of the most educated countries in South East Asia which also contributes to its economy. Additionally, the government has also expressed its willingness to provide this inalienable right to rural children who would otherwise have remained without any hope of advancing in the existing societal strata. To achieve its objective of having an educated population, the government of India focuses on high enrollment numbers while providing high quality education which will ultimately assure them of success.

Analysis of how Ethnicity, Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation, National Origin, and Disability Impact Aforementioned Business Elements

            India is an ethnically diverse nation with close to two thousand ethnic groups. The implementation of its affirmative action has improved the condition of historically disadvantaged groups, particularly those from scheduled castes. The government now insists on the adoption of an all-inclusive system for all  ethnicities, races, and regardless of gender as an initiative aimed a propelling  India to a new age. Although national origin and disability are not major issues of concern, sexual orientation is still a contentious issue in Indian society. Heterosexuality is readily accepted in Indian culture and largely viewed as the only acceptable sexual orientation. Anything contrary to this is shunned and may pose an existential challenge to any company embracing this type of policy.

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Competencies Necessary to Work and Manage Effectively in this Environment

For MTE Corporation to function at optimum level in India, several competencies are required to ensure that the firm manages effectively in this environment.  The company needs to ensure that its employees in the Indian hinterland are supervised appropriately during this transition period.  This new environment may prove to be sensitive which is why it is imperative to remain aware of all the different dynamics that exist. The company’s executives must also be ready to resolve any conflict that may emerge between its representatives and native employees.  They will also be required to manage performance in this new frontier as a way of making sure that sufficient progress is made in this new environment.

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The Global Performance Management

This paper evaluates characteristics necessary to work effectively in a global market. Analyzes how varying demographics impact the management of employee capabilities from a global perspective,
explains employee relations strategies, based on best practices, which overcome biases and lastly analyzes the challenges related to direct and indirect communication channels.

Introduction

The management of multi-national companies with a diverse workforce is an emerging challenge for executives confronted with dissimilar social and corporate cultures. It is, therefore, fundamental to evaluate the chief elements of global performance management with a particular focus on the characteristics required to function effectively in a global market, and effects of diversity in employee management from a global standpoint. Furthermore, this paper will also address employee relation approaches that can be applied to surmount bias and an appraisal of the main problems associated with direct and indirect communication conduits.

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The Nascent Phenomenon of Global Performance Management

             The 21st century heralded the introduction of numerous innovations and technological advancements responsible for the “global village” sensation. Major firms, such as Wal-Mart, Apple, CVS Health and ExxonMobil, embraced the establishment of subsidiaries in new localities which resulted in a diverse workforce as a key hallmark. However, it is striking that many of the aforementioned companies introduce performance management styles employed parent companies even though major differences exist in the host country. This strategy introduces numerous challenges when attempting to manage employees owing to a clash in socio-cultural values.

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For instance, the “pay-for-performance” culture which is popular among American firms is often at odds with the prevailing social culture in many host countries in South East Asia where subsidiaries have been introduced. According to Hastings (2016), a nation’s cultural belief system was initially not an essential part of performance but now functions as a recent development. A cultural adaptability assessment, thus, emerges as an integral tool when evaluating the suitability of a company’s performance management philosophy in its global operations. Hence, performance management ensures employees are fully cognizant of a firm’s expectations and mode of operation in a highly competitive market.

Essential Global Performance Management Characteristics

            Several characteristics stand out in any vigorous performance management scheme. It is important to first acknowledge that global performance management allows firms to set practical objectives attainable by both employees and managers. The main performance management characteristics are an ability to provide a clear course for the business, encouraging dialogue, championing comprehensiveness, remaining relevant and bolstering objectives. Adaptability in global performance management is integral in allowing a firm to address all cultural prerequisites presented by employees in a host country, especially since conservative jurisdictions have been known to clash with various elements of Western culture (Allio, 2011, p. 23).

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These characteristics can only be realized through a vibrant global performance program that focuses on holding frequent employee-manager conventions to assess progress. During such meetings primary objectives are discussed, appropriate responses provided and fitting progressive plans are deliberated as a proactive measure. The scheme can then be implemented across the board as an important parameter when reviewing a firm’s performance level (Cardy & Leonard, 2014). It is, therefore, instrumental in buttressing promotion pronouncements while remaining instrumental in pinpointing individual employees who may require additional training. Furthermore, supervisors are also accorded with a unique opportunity to improve their organizational communication skills while implementing a robust performance management scheme which may ultimately introduce a desired demeanor in the firm. Customary performance management schemes are increasingly becoming obsolete, with instantaneous feedback now being regarded as an upcoming appropriate performance management instrument.

The Impact of Diversity on Global Performance Management

            Diversity is one of the most outstanding aspects of a progressive society. The differences that exist from one individual to the next should be embraced for they render them imitable. Yet, diversity is not always valued by every culture which, consequently, ends up having a major impact on a firm’s standing in the business world. These factors have far-reaching implications and have a direct effect on performance management schemes and company standards which have been introduced. It also affects the relationship between managers and junior employees, resulting in constant conflict in the workplace environment. Benchmarking has also emerged as a major issue when endeavoring to perform a comprehensive evaluation of a firm’s performance.

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In the case of global performance management, the situation is often exacerbated further by the so-called “good performance” criterion which introduces specific cultures in a diverse setting (Schrage et al., 2019). Quantifiable criteria are common in Western culture due to an individualistic perspective that zeros in on an employee’s productivity, promptness, eminence and expertise specific to their current posting. A syndicalist culture such as the one found in India emphasizes the importance of a group as opposed to the individuality espoused in Western culture. The former value relational aspects typically linked to adhering to company rules and valuing conformity. Syndicalist cultures strive to provide a relaxed work environment to their employees which ensure that performance management plans are implemented completely.

Conclusion

 The rapid nature of transformations in the corporate world calls for a full embrace of diversity while introducing various aspects of adaptability. Western-style performance management schemes may be a metric for most organization yet these same plans may be incompatible with syndicalist cultures. A novel idea that may aid in the implementation of such changes is hiring a consultancy firm which will then play a major role in fine-tuning a performance management plan to correspond with the culture in a host country

Pursuing Environmental Sustainability in today’s Intermodal Transportation Industry

TLMT331 – Fundamentals of Intermodal Transportation Research Paper

Economic development is a hallmark of the 21st century and responsible for numerous improvements that have transformed the lives of millions across the globe. Poverty has reduced dramatically while noticeable changes are now commonplace in education and healthcare. Yet, these developments come at a cost. The introduction of intermodal transportation and subsequent deregulations has exacerbated the climate crisis and now ranks high among emerging issues of grave concern. Although intermodal transportation has introduced economic gains, it is a major threat to environmental sustainability. The transportation industry is a major producer of greenhouse emissions and a major existential threat to global wellbeing. Fossil fuel combustion increases CO2 levels of present in the atmosphere which ultimately results in unpredictable weather patterns (Craig, Blanco, & Sheffi, 2013, p. 34).

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Even though this fact is common knowledge, major players in the sector have been slow to act owing to numerous employment opportunities provided in the sector. Pursuing environmental sustainability in today’s intermodal transportation sector is, therefore, necessary for the present generation and posterity. Novel inventions such as fuel-efficient transportation systems that emit less carbon serve as one of the major strategies that governments can implement to reduce pollution and the emission intensity in various forms of intermodal transportation. It is, therefore, imperative to assess solutions for this emerging problem and whether “going green” will introduce changes that may affect the industry’s future.

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Background

 The global freight sector has recently been highlighted as an immediate threat to the environment. According to a study conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), intermodal transportation is now responsible for 29% of the greenhouse gases emitted globally (Environmental Protection Agency, 2019). This process began with a steady rise in industrial production during the second half of the 21st century which required the large-scale introduction of freight transportation.  Elaborate infrastructure was then familiarized across the board to improve connectivity between nations while ensuring that roads were specifically upgraded to service the production volume. Intermodal transportation was then embraced globally where jurisdictions in Europe, Asia, and the Americas signed bilateral and multilateral agreements to create a free flow of goods. Freight transportation now represents a huge portion of traffic and a prime initiator of CO2 emissions globally. This type of pollution represents an immediate threat to the wellbeing of millions across the globe with the World Health Organization (WHO) currently estimates that pollution accounts for 2.7 million annual deaths globally (Fahimnia, Bell, Hensher, & Sarkis, 2015).

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CO2 emissions are projected to increase twofold by the year 2050 with scientists projecting that freight, international maritime and air transportation serving as the major contributors. A call for environmental sustainability has, therefore, emerged as the only viable option capable of remedying the situation globally. The approaches proposed to target the movement of goods from one locality to the next while significantly lowering the climatic and environmental impacts of intermodal transportation. “Green freight” now refers to a model of transportation that champions transportation systems capable of reducing the intensity of emissions while still facilitating economic growth. Through a liaison system between governments and the private sector, stakeholders in the sector are also engaged directly to ensure that they participate in the implementation process. It is critical to contend with the reality that global economies and industrialization will continue growing given the current trend, which then puts the environment in danger of damage by intermodal transportation. Thus, environmentally sustainable intermodal transportation systems present an emerging approach that aims to introduce positive changes through a change in policy, market liberalization, and financial incentives.

Strategies to Introduce Green Freight and their Effect on the Future Of Intermodal Transportation

Leveraging Emerging Technology.

Innovations in intermodal transportation have been linked to an increase in pollution and a host of negative impacts that affect the environment. A fresh solution to this problem entails controlling the technologies used in intermodal transportation to reduce emissions while saving fuel. Engine monitors, emission transmitters and computerized routing ensure that fleet operators make a fuel-efficient choice during their runs. Furthermore, these technologies will also be responsible for turning idling engines off while reducing the total number of miles traveled. Remote monitoring also ensures the driver’s proficiency is always assessed before providing recommendations

 Transportation Maneuvers focusing on Fuel Efficiency.

Clear routing practices are an important prerequisite when seeking to introduce operational competencies which will ultimately prove to be environmentally efficient. Routing avoids unnecessary stops while proving the driver with the shortest itinerary to their destination. Similar to a “package flow”, transportation maneuvers significantly reduce idling time, delivery in addition to loading and packaging. The introduction of auxiliary power units (APUs) reduces emissions and speed in tractor-trailers (Janic, 2017, p.78). By so doing, efficiency is improved through saving fuel which then reduces carbon emissions. For instance, Maersk has embraced this approach and the speed of its maritime fleet as a novel strategy that aims to introduce environmental sustainability.

 Improving Packaging.

Shippers pay particular attention to packaging since it is capable of affecting the efficacy of intermodal transportation. Similarly, the type of packaging used is also capable of affecting the environment. This has prompted the emergence of a new trend where shippers use small packet packages to reduce the use of unnecessary layers. Additionally, the reduction of materials and the layers used results in lighter shipments which then increase the number of items that a container can hold. The result is a reduced number of trucks or containers required to transport the items which are sustainable since it reduces the amount of fuel required

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 Cooperative Intermodal Transportation.

Collaborative efforts have now emerged in the intermodal transportation sector to reduce carbon emissions linked to a host of negative impacts on the environment. A logistic triad conglomerate allows major players in the industry to pool, saving resources and reducing emissions that would have been produced by numerous trip (Szyliowicz, Zamparini, Reniers, & Rhoades, 2016, p. 88). The overall result is a reduction of the carbon footprint and transportation cost which then promotes sustainable practices in the sector. The rearrangement of schedules also provides shippers with adequate time to plan for the most cost-efficient route which limits the number of miles traveled and resulting emissions.

Read also Impact of Regulation and Deregulation on Intermodal Transportation in Europe and United States

 Streamlining Logistics Systems.

Physical logistics is an important part of intermodal transportation recently linked to a rise in carbon emissions. A complete overhaul and restructuring of these systems are therefore necessary if noticeable changes are to be realized in the environment. One such initiative entails pinpointing manufacturing facilities that are close to supply bases to reduce the cost of fuel. This approach also endeavors to achieve a state of economic equilibrium where fuel consumption is reduced while still maintaining realistic gains on behalf of a specific entity in the intermodal transport sector. It ultimately proves beneficial to companies relying on freight transportation while championing sustainability in the industry.

 Workforce Training and Compensation Plans.

The application of practical sustainable plans also goes hand in hand with robust personnel training programs in freight transportation. They are critical in raising the awareness of employees regarding the impact of emissions on the environment in addition to lowering operational costs. The introduction of new techniques such as avoiding the use of the air conditioning system and hard braking in intermodal transportation introduces fuel efficiency. Regular maintenance of the fleet also ensures that sustainable practices are easily applied and implemented together with other imperative incentives. Compensation plans now include additional fees for emergency orders using fuel-efficient modes of transportation.

 Restricting Delivery Hours in Urban Metropolis.

Environmental sustainability becomes viable when restrictions on freight deliveries are actualized in major cities. The European Union and the United States are among some leading jurisdictions that now apply legislations specifying specific hours during which freight deliveries can be made. For instance, trucks in the Spanish city of Barcelona are only allowed to make deliveries at night while following a specified route (European Conference of Ministers of Transport, 2015). The essence of such restrictions is to allow the transportation of freight at a time when traffic is reduced which then lowers the idle time linked to emission while on the road.

 The Introduction of Intelligent Intermodal Transportation Systems.

The application of emerging intelligent intermodal transportation systems introduces a treasure trove of benefits in the sector. One such benefit focuses on the reduction of congestion which, in turn, lowers emissions. The application of signal control schemes that are currently deployed in European and American freeways allows traffic control systems to also record emissions from individual automobiles (Siggerud, 2015, p. 89). Air traffic control systems also function with the primary purpose of improving efficiency while reducing emissions using performance-based routes. Fuel consumption is ultimately reduced, which then results in improved efficiency and a sustainable approach to freight transportation.

Government Involvement in Research Development

Governing administrations in the United States and the European Union have been responsible for the deregulation that introduced intermodal transportation into the mainstream. It is, therefore, incumbent upon them to promote research on technological changes taking place in the industry and sustainable freight transportation systems. Investment in such endeavors ensures that a clear direction is provided which ultimately aids technological developments with the primary objective of introducing technology-induced transformations. Modal shifts in freight transportation will also ensure that cargo is diverted to underutilized highways to reduce traffic-linked carbon emissions.

Regulating Engine Standards. 

The creation of succinct emission standards is critical in certifying that vehicles plying various highways satisfy regulatory requirements. Engine and emission standards are centered on air quality which can only be maintained clean-trucks programs (Reis & Macário, 2019). Stringent measures ensure that regulations are adhered to and pollution kept at a minimum. The United Nations also supports the regulation of engine standards which it regards as an important step towards reducing emissions and promoting environmentally sustainable approaches in today’s intermodal transportation industry.

 Normalizing Renewable Energy Standards.

The use of renewable sources of energy in the transportation industry is critical in reducing carbon emissions while championing sustainable standards. The decline of the use of petroleum fuel results in the implementation of sustainable strategies that address greenhouse emissions. Truckers are now encouraged to increase their consumption of biodiesel in their fleets which ultimately results in a significant reduction in pollution.

Conclusion

The recent global economic development has resulted in the deregulation and introduction of intermodal transportation which is now linked to increased emissions. Intermodal transport has emerged as an existential threat to the environment which is why it is essential to pursue environmental sustainability. Novel strategies include levering emerging technology, fuel efficiency, improving packaging, cooperative transportation, streamlining logistics, workforce training, restricting delivery hours, introducing intelligent intermodal transportation systems, government involvement, regulating engine standards and normalizing renewable energy. Their implementation is bound to transform the industry a chart an environmentally sustainable path for its future.

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.