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Identification of Organisation and its CSR and Sustainability Policies

Essay 

The essay assignment develops the research, analysis and writing skills you gained from completing the Journal Article Review assignment by applying them to writing an academic essay.

The purpose of this assessment task is to develop and assess your knowledge about a key managerial issue. You are expected to cite at least ten academic journal articles in your essay to demonstrate the range of sources from which you derived your knowledge.

The assessment will require students to select a company of their choice. The size of the organisation you choose is something for you to determine. The assessment is to be completed individually.

Note: Support/ challenge your finding against empirical/peer reviewed literature that is dated from 2010 to now.

The literature search can start with the University of Tasmania Library online database. See https://login.ezproxy.utas.edu.au/login?qurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.proquest.com/

Developing and searching for information:

Using your developing knowledge of management, create a list of issues to consider during the literature search and analysis of the activities of the organisation. Your search for information and analysis should consider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability policies and strategies; successful/failed CSR and sustainability approaches and their impact.

Note: It is assumed that the organization or company you choose want to be ‘successful’ in what they do.

Thus, in your analysis determine for ‘success themes’; seek literature support or challenge the themes you identify. Empirical Connections Connect data from the organization or selected company with theory. Consider what the theories argue with a view to successful management practice context. Presenting

the Write Up Write a report of your findings that has all of the elements described below:

Steps:

1. Identification of Organisation (organisations principal functions, the products or services it provides; clarify why the organisation exists) – no more than 100 words.

2. Identification of their CSR and sustainability policies and strategies/ successful approaches and their impact.

3. The strength and weaknesses of their CSR and sustainability programs, policies and approaches, successes and failures

4. Suggest how a shared-value approach may assist the company to produce a win-win solution. Use examples from the company and support with relevant literature/theories

5. How might a “triple bottom line” assessment of performance by companies change the approach to production or natural resource extraction? Use examples from the company and support with theories/literature

Note: it is assumed that the organization or company you choose want to be ‘successful’ in what they do. Thus, in your analysis determine for ‘success themes’; seek literature support or challenge the themes you identify.

Learning Outcomes:

1 Identify and define theories and concepts related to given situations

2 Critically review, analyse and explain management theories and practices.

3 Use the concepts and language of management in context

4 Apply management theories to complex practical situations.

5 Identify management theories/models and describe their implications for managers and organisations

6 Use independent judgement to provide solutions to complex management problems

Identification of Organisation and its CSR and Sustainability Policies

The aim of this paper is to discuss the operation of one of the largest banks of Australia named Commonwealth Bank of Australia and its CSR policies. This paper will be analysing Identification of Organisation, their CSR and sustainability policies. This will analyse the CSR policies in depth and find out very aspects of its utility. This paper will also point out the facilities of shared-value approach and triple bottom line approach so that the company gets scope for support the profit growth as well as the society it operates in.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is a multinational bank which has its business across the Asian countries, United States and New Zealand. The organisation has its most operation with the United Kingdom where it provides variety of services only financial and includes retailing, fund management, banking, superannuation, broking service, investment insurance and many other.  This is one of the largest Australian companies and since 1911(Commbank.com.au, 2020). In Australian securities exchange Commonwealth Bank of Australia has gained its popularity. however there are certain issues like data breach has affected the reputation of this bank but with the help of strong CSR policies, this organisation has attempt to regain its popularity in Australian market.

Corporate social responsibility of the Commonwealth Bank Australia has the objective to deliver a balanced and sustainable outcome for every stakeholders like customers, people, community and shareholders. The focus area obviously remains to the financial education and contribution to the community so that a good business practice can be developed. All the CSR policies of Commonwealth Bank of Australia is dependent upon three main pillars which include financial education, community contribution and good business practices (Haji, Coram and Troshani 2018).

 Financial education: Financial education is the first and foremost  aspect of the CSR initiatives because the company mainly operates in the financial industry as a bank through the investment in the education the bank helps people to acquire the skills about the economic and social needs. This can help prepare for growing workforce in the future. It is mainly related to education industry in which the organisation invests usually. Starting from award winning programs for primary and secondary along with vocational training to the students to the financial wellbeing the company keeps on investing in developing effective workforce for the future. Commonwealth Bank has youth app where the children can learn about real life money skills and set up savings goals for safe digital environment. School banking program is being taught to the new generation Australians so that they can have proper understanding of financial will being ultimately. In addition to this the organisation also invests for the indigenous Students by creating opportunity and programs that include mentoring scholarships as well as internships for the indigenous students.

Financial Education

Community contribution: this is the second most important aspect of the CSR initiatives of the Commonwealth Bank staff hear the organisation acknowledges the responsibility to invest for improving the well-being of the communities where the organisation operates (Maak, Pless and Voegtlin 2016). Here the organisation has taken initiative to support people as well as businesses in various ways like working to address the issues which will impact their wellbeing. Now the well-being obviously related to financial decision making where financial abuse in many cases leads to exploitation of the community in the business. Financial abuse according to the initiatives of Commonwealth Bank of Australia has related people in abusive relationship and other activities where they need to stay safe and feel empowered. Here the organisation drives financial inclusion and feel committed to ensure to give access to the appropriate and affordable financial resources. This will help the community members to make most of successful initiative solving the risk of financial exclusion. The company provides financial hardship assistance by understanding financial circumstances which is constantly changing to arise difficulties. The organisation has dedicated financial assistance team that can support people during their difficult times and find the right financial solution within a limited time.

Commonwealth Bank staff Foundation has a group of employees which are committed to drive positive change within the communities. The company has a long history of employees giving through the charity for people under the name of CommBank Staff Foundation (Commbank.com.au, 2020). This particular organisation managed by the employees of this organisation relates to the growth the youth based charities by the group. Since 2007 the organisation has initiated employee giving program where it has awarded more than 20 million dollar in the grants to the organisation that supports youth programs focusing on education, health and social inclusion. In addition to this the organisation is also associated with supporting the medical issues through CAN4CANCER. This is again and employee lead community initiative which collects a vital fund for the Cancer Research and prevention to support the cancer patients in Australia. Here it is associated with the partnership of Tour de Cure (Commbank.com.au, 2020).

The community services by Commonwealth Bank of Australia relates to Pro Bono services. It has large and diverse organisation with range of skills for donating to help the non for profit organisations and social Enterprises to achieve their goal. Commonwealth Bank of Australia employees volunteer their experiences and expertise through secondment and volunteering programs. It is related also with the disaster and crisis support (Rao and Tilt 2016). The organisation supports the customers as well as communities in the time of crisis by activating emergency assistance package for the customers who are affected by the floods, bushfire and storms. The organisation has also initiated help to the support of local cricket by supporting the local cricket players (Commbank.com.au, 2020). There is a sponsorship program by the Commonwealth Bank to the cricket club which invests for the future of the growing cricket players.

Community Contribution


Good business practices:

Good business practices can empower people and strengthen the communities. This is focused on the balanced, transparent and sustainable practices by the organisations. This is related to the decisions and policies for supporting a positive social, environmental and economic outcomes. In building transparent and inclusive stakeholder relationship, this organisation focuses upon code of banking practices. Organisation is a signatory to code of banking practices in Australia. This sets out proper standard for dealing with the small business customers and the individual ones. Code of conduct of this organisation sets out experiences for how the process will be done (Cheung, Hu and Schwiebert 2018). This code of conduct sets out the Expectations about how the bank acts and solve problems by making decisions. This is connected with the values, purpose and Expectations along with group policies for delivering write outcome for all the stakeholders. For ethical business decisions the organisation allows the knowledge and suggestion from the customers for fair dealing and establishing the facts (Commbank.com.au 2020). Justice the company invest in the indigenous education aspects similarly it also supports indigenous banking. Getting proper information about customer is the main priority of this bank. This you sure that the customers from aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community Gates the best support and right products from the bank (Jain and Gopalan 2017). The organisation also launched safe and safety awareness program for helping the older Australians to save themselves from financial abuse.

The initiatives that Commonwealth Bank of Australia has initiated through CSR policies are mainly related to support the stakeholders and ethical decision making for the business. The strengths of these initiatives include

First, support for responsible investment and responsible lending. This can reduce threat of financial abuse among the customers. In addition to this the diversity among the customers relating to the aboriginal communities the organisation takes positive measures for inclusion (Paynter, Halabi and Lawton 2018).

Secondly, the connection is committed to play its responsibility for limiting the climate change and it is found out in the social and environmental framework of this company (Thecommonwealth.org 2020). This organisation has followed measures detailed by Paris agreement and support the responsible transition to the net zero emissions by 2050. In addition to this Commonwealth Bank has environmental and social Framework which it follows strictly with the help of supply chain, distributors and the employees.

In addition to this organisation also supports diversity and inclusion of the stakeholders and Employees with wider community to be valued and respected. Diversity in the workforce accessibility and role modelling reconciliation are supported through various policies and strategies of Commonwealth Bank of Australia. This is doubled with the Assurance of human rights which enhances commitment of this organisation to meet the social framework effectively.

Good Business Practices

One of the most important weaknesses that Commonwealth Bank has been avoiding for years is related to the assurance of safe workplaces. There is no strong strategy to create inclusive work environment with the particular attention to the gender diversity as well as inclusion of the aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples (Fordham and Robinson 2018).

Secondly the initiative does not include protection of data of the customers both individual and companies. Data breach is a threat to sustainability of the bank because if it is seen that the company is incapable to secure the information, the dependability of customers will get reduced and people stop supporting them. This is the reason why in many situations data breach issues have taken place in this organisation which can question the sustainability drivers of this organisation. Too many of the critics if the organisation cannot secure the future of its authenticity and data then it cannot guarantee its sustainability initiatives.

Shared value refers to a new generation business thought that enhances competitive position of the company and advances society in which it operates. This is defined to be a method of creating economic value which also add value to the society as well as addresses the additional challenges. After taking this type of approach the companies can be align the success with the social progress. Corporate shared value enables people to see the social issues to be the business opportunities and gain profit from those. It helps the companies to make positive changes in the society (Loosemore et al. 2018). It is the process of profit making which does not separate the company from the society for community it is working with. It is however different approach from the corporate social responsibility which is very much popular Concept for attending sustainability by companies.  All of these efforts has focused on the minimising or eliminating the harm which the company’s actually do in the society. Corporate shared value does not replace the corporate social responsibility but it builds the idea to make positive actions as integral part of the daily business operations. This can add value for the investor as well as a society.

In the case of Commonwealth Bank of Australia corporate shared value can solve many issues which the company is not been able to eliminate through social responsibility. In this regard the Commonwealth Bank of Australia can follow some measures.

Reimaging market and product:

 In this first method the products and services of Commonwealth Bank of Australia is related. Here the organisation will be redesigning or recreating the products so that they can meet the need of the society. This product will be helping the undeserved or underserved customers in the society which will eliminate the gap where the company is not being able to reach. It is not possible for every company to understand the demands of the customers in every segment nor is it possible for them to reach every section of the society.  Through change or redesigning of the product and services the organisation will be reaching the customer niche.

Shared-Value Approach

Redefining productivity of the value chain:

This method inverse improvement of the practices for utilising resources in a better way. This can include efficiency and productive use of the material resources, human resources, financial resources and the capabilities of the business partners. The company when will be redefining the usage of its material resources or financial resources it can effectively improve the productivity. This will create value for both the society as well as the company itself (Hussain, Rigoni and Orij 2018). for example the bank if utilizes the skills of the human resources in an effective way and guide them through proper training to increase their skills can enhance efficiency which will be utilised by the company itself and the employees will be motivated for their personal and professional growth. Their standard of living will be higher which will be ultimately supporting the economy and social growth of the country itself.

Creation of supportive industry clusters:

This businesses can create shared value through improving supportive Institutions, available skills and supplier base in the communities where the organisation actually operates. This changes can enhance productivity, faster growth and support innovation (Porter and Kramer 2019). In this case of Commonwealth Bank, it will be gaining productivity if it supports other related companies by creating scope for investment for taking loans to grow. These related organisations will be there for gaining scope to grow in a positive way and support this Bank effectively.

Triple bottom line assessment of the performance by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia can change the approaches to production and extraction of natural resources in a sustainable way. According to the triple bottom line framework it is recommended that the companies must focus on the concerns related to environment and Society just as their profit making process. This theory refers to the fact that there must be 3 bottom lines which include people, planet and profit. The organisation needs to measure how socially responsible it is throughout its operation for meeting the demands of the people (Gou and Xie 2017). The planet measured refers to you how it is really it is extracting the natural resources for its operation. In this case of Commonwealth Bank of Australia extraction of natural resources is not important because it operates mainly in the financial sector but the organisation has initiated environmental policies to use solar power most of their branches. Another strength that Commonwealth Bank has sustainable property strategy. It has been measuring and reducing the environmental footprint from 2001 because it recognises its responsibility to limit the climate change. It improves environmental efficiency through operations and has become the first bank to start rolling out solar panel in the branches across the country. In triple bottom line there comes profit which is the traditional measure of growth of a company that will never get first preference for an ethical organisation (Beschorner and Hajduk 2017).

Triple Bottom Line Assessment

Conclusion:

Therefore it can be concluded that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is capable to operate for the growth of itself as well as for the society, environment and community. It has several plans and strategies to improve the ethical decision making which brings positive change in their operations and functionality. Ethical business decisions the organisation allows the knowledge and suggestion from the customers for fair dealing and establishing the facts. Justice the company invest in the indigenous education aspects similarly it also supports indigenous banking.

References:

Beschorner, T. and Hajduk, T., 2017. Creating Shared Value. A Fundamental Critique. In Creating Shared Value–Concepts, Experience, Criticism (pp. 27-37). Springer, Cham.

Cheung, A., Hu, M. and Schwiebert, J., 2018. Corporate social responsibility and dividend policy. Accounting & Finance, 58(3), pp.787-816.

Commbank.com.au, 2020. Opportunity From Good Business Practice - Commbank. [online] Commbank.com.au. Available at: <https://www.commbank.com.au/about-us/opportunity-initiatives/opportunity-from-good-business-practice.html?ei=Opp_GoodBP> [Accessed 25 May 2020].

Commbank.com.au, 2020. Personal Banking Including Accounts, Credit Cards And Home Loans - Commbank. [online] Commbank.com.au. Available at: <https://www.commbank.com.au/> [Accessed 21 May 2020].

Fordham, A.E. and Robinson, G.M., 2018. Mechanisms of change: Stakeholder engagement in the Australian resource sector through CSR. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 25(4), pp.674-689.

Gou, Z. and Xie, X., 2017. Evolving green building: triple bottom line or regenerative design?. Journal of Cleaner Production, 153, pp.600-607.

Haji, A.A., Coram, P. and Troshani, I., 2018. Effects of Integrating CSR Information in Financial Reports on Investors’ Firm Value Estimates. Available at SSRN 3305020.

Hussain, N., Rigoni, U. and Orij, R.P., 2018. Corporate governance and sustainability performance: Analysis of triple bottom line performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 149(2), pp.411-432.

Jain, A. and Gopalan, S., 2017. CSR Disclosure by Asia-Pacific Banks: Evidence from Comparative Assessment against India's Compulsory CSR Law. Deakin Law School Research Paper, (17-09).

Loosemore, M., Lim, B.T.H., Ling, F.Y.Y. and Zeng, H.Y., 2018. A comparison of corporate social responsibility practices in the Singapore, Australia and New Zealand construction industries. Journal of cleaner production, 190, pp.149-159.

Lopatta, K., Jaeschke, R. and Chen, C., 2017. Stakeholder engagement and corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance: International evidence. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 24(3), pp.199-209.

Maak, T., Pless, N.M. and Voegtlin, C., 2016. Business statesman or shareholder advocate? CEO responsible leadership styles and the micro?foundations of political CSR. Journal of Management Studies, 53(3), pp.463-493.

Paynter, M., Halabi, A.K. and Lawton, A., 2018. The neo-institutionalism influences on corporate social responsibility reporting development in Australia: A three company study. In The Goals of Sustainable Development (pp. 193-214). Springer, Singapore.

Porter, M.E. and Kramer, M.R., 2019. Creating shared value. In Managing sustainable business (pp. 323-346). Springer, Dordrecht.

Rao, K. and Tilt, C., 2016. Board diversity and CSR reporting: an Australian study. Meditari Accountancy Research.

Thecommonwealth.org, S., 2020. Climate Change | The Commonwealth. [online] Thecommonwealth.org. Available at: <https://thecommonwealth.org/our-work/climate-change> [Accessed 27 May 2020].

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