Term Paper: Public Relations (Corporate Social Responsibility)

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[. . .] The use of minimal energy in manufacture, the dematerialization where more is done with less, the recycle-ability of HP's products are all factors that demonstrate the company's social responsibility. Moreover, HP is devoted to creating newer and more innovative products that satisfy the customer while at the same time use fewer resources. HP states that it understands that while it may not be possible for everybody to actually purchase a product physically, it is true that a lot of people would want the benefits and advantages of such products. This is the reason why HP claims to be able to optimize its hardware while at the same time reducing the costs as well as reducing the impact on the environment. (Social and Environmental Responsibility Report)

Some of the publicity materials that Hewlett Packard has put out emphasize the fact that it is not what the company does that is important, but how it does it is. This shows the strength of character and the moral obligations that the company feels that it is ready to follow at all times. The CEO of the company, Carly Fiorina, stresses that all the people involved in the company must follow these timeless values and uphold them in order to ensure the continued success of the company all over the world. The fact that the company follows an open door policy wherein any misdemeanors can and must be reported to the managers immediately has given its employees a sense of security and protection, both of which go a long way towards ensuring the continued success of the company. Anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws are strictly followed and these ensure the cutting down of corruptive influences within the company. (CEO's Message) These are the multitude of ways in which Hewlett Packard demonstrates its social awareness and corporate social responsibility. The company shows its true concern for all its employees, their dependants, the society, the environment, and the conservation of vital resources. The set of guidelines and policies that all its employees are expected to follow no matter what goes a long way towards ensuring the long-term success of this company in the field of a multitude of players.

Hewlett Packard is generally known as a 'good corporate citizen' because of its attitude of caring for the well being of the society where the companies have been set up. Public relations have played no small part in building up this image of a corporate giant playing the role of a 'good citizen'. Strategic communication within the company and the maintenance of public relations has brought the company to where it is today. Internal communications in combination with strategic planning will prove to be of great benefit to the company in the future. The fact that Hewlett Packard insists that all its employees understand and follow and are strict about adhering to the various guidelines and principles laid down by the company goes a long way towards building success for the company. In fact, this 'organizational culture', as it is referred to, has become known as the 'Hewlett Packard Way', and other companies would also benefit by learning from these rules and emulating them. (Special Report, Internal Communication Strategies)

The HP Way that is egalitarian and decentralized and that states that the brain power of a company's employees is its major resource remains, to this day, after 65 years since its inception, the virtual DNA for other Information Technology Companies and it is sometimes even said that it was primarily responsible for the emergence of the U.S.A. As the world leader in IT. Among the public relations methods practiced by the company was the granting of high bonuses to its employees whenever there was a significant increase in the productivity of the company. This was an all time new idea when it was first instituted in the latter part of the 1930's. In the 50's, when HP went public, shares were offered to all its employees! The offices of the company employees were built with an open plan, which was supposedly aiding in the free flow of ideas from the employees. (Hewlett and Packard, Architects of the Info Age)

The message: 'HP trusts its employees' was kept taped to all the supply closets of the company, which were not ever supposed to be locked. Ethical and morally correct behavior never took a back seat with HP and the person who crossed the line was fired immediately. A profit was all-important, and if a particular business did not reach its profit goal, it was killed off. This ensured that Hewlett Packard showed a profit of 20% every year for about 50 years without fail! The employees of HP were also expected to set apart their time and resources for social welfare and also civic causes. They had an example to emulate in their employers Hewlett and Packard who would unfailingly donate a huge 95% of their share in the profits of the company to charity. The policy they followed was that the employees who worked hard for it deserved it more than themselves. This sort of thinking did a lot of good to the employees of other companies all over Corporate America and eventually served to change their lives for the better. (Hewlett and Packard, Architects of the Info Age)

The former CEO of British Petroleum was of the opinion that it was not possible for a company to be socially responsible until and unless the shareholders of the company had received good returns on the investments that they had made in the company. This is however, a debatable point. Whether the shareholders received good returns or not the primary responsibility of a company, especially in the modern day world where awareness of social issues is at a higher level than ever before, is towards the society and the environment. For example, the anti-globalization movement that is at present taking place all over the world served to rudely awaken the multinationals from their comfortable positions. The whole world was in fact shocked at the anti-globalization protests that took place at the trade meetings of international organizations, which soon led to these topics becoming important subjects for discussion in the forum of world politics.

In defense of global free trade, there was general consensus that it was in fact good because it provided more employment to more people all over the world; it lowered consumer prices and led to widespread prosperity for the entire world. The protests stated that there were more negative impacts by the MNCs on society and the environment than was safe. The examples quoted were the Bhopal Gas tragedy in India in 1984 caused by a breach in the Union Carbide plant, the desolate working conditions in factories of Nike and Reebok-sweatshops, as they are better known and so on. However, notice has been taken of all these complaints, and the giant corporations and multinationals are trying to better their social responsibilities towards the people who are working for them as well as for the environment in which their companies are situated. Multinationals are therefore here to stay. (Who is monitoring the multinational?)


CEO's Message" HP Standards of Business Conduct. Retrieved at http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/csr/sbcbrochure.pdf. Accessed on 7 September, 2004

Corporate Social Responsibility" 2004. Retrieved at http://www.takingitglobal.org/themes/csr/. Accessed on 7 September, 2004

Corporate Social Responsibility" Retrieved at http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/csr/. Accessed on 7 September, 2004

Danng, Lyng. 2004. "Who is monitoring the multinational?" 17th May. Retrieved at http://www.vibewire.net/articles.php?id=2671Accessed on 7 September, 2004

Hewlett and Packard, Architects of the Info Age" 2004. Business Week. March, 29.Retrieved at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_13/b3876054.htm. Accessed on 7 September, 2004

Our Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility" Retrieved at http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/csr/commitment.html. Accessed on 7 September, 2004

Social and Environmental Responsibility Report" hp social and environmental responsibility report. Retrieved at http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/csr/csrreport02/hp_csr_full_lo.pdf. Accessed on 7 September, 2004

Special Report, Internal Communication Strategies" 2004. Retrieved at http://performance-appraisals.org/Bacalsappraisalarticles/articles/comstrat.htm. Accessed on 7 September, 2004 [END OF PREVIEW]

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