From Responsible to Responsive
To what extent do companies and business leaders have responsibilities that go beyond looking after the economic interests of their owners and shareholders? This chapter investigates that question in the light of a story about the owner of an Icelandic fishing company, who has to decide whether to maintain activity on four locations in the country, or downsize to one location, which appears to be the best solution from an economic perspective. The owner can analyse his alternatives using the Navigation Wheel, or he can apply Archie Carroll’s two models, one focusing on levels of corporate responsibility and another identifying corporate responsiveness. The former model distinguishes between legal, economical, ethical, and philanthropic dimensions of responsibility, while the latter conveys how a decision-maker in business can choose between four response levels: Reaction, defence, accommodation, and pro-action. The Icelandic fishing story serves as an illustration of what these alternative perspectives can mean in a concrete and practical setting.
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