Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Donovan Bank Ltd is a major retail bank that operates in the Republic of Southland, a ?prosperous, developed economy in Europe. Like many other financial insti | EssayAbode

Donovan Bank Ltd is a major retail bank that operates in the Republic of Southland, a ?prosperous, developed economy in Europe. Like many other financial insti

 Donovan Bank Ltd is a major retail bank that operates in the Republic of Southland, a  prosperous, developed economy in Europe. Like many other financial institutions, the  bank was adversely affected by the global financial crisis but recovered both quickly and  strongly. In the past 10 years the bank has been consistently profitable and has grown  at a faster rate than most of its competitors. The bank offers competitive products and adopts an aggressive sales strategy. Managers  and staff working in customer facing roles are given demanding sales targets, with  generous performance-related rewards comprising annual bonuses based on the value  and volume of products sold and linked to the profitability of the bank.  Experts working in the capital markets regard investment in the shares of Donovan Bank  Ltd very positively. The bank has increased its dividend payments for eight consecutive  years and analysts believe that the financial performance of the bank will continue to be  robust, especially in the short-term. These factors have driven up the share price, and  hence the market capitalisation, of the bank. The financial regulator of the Republic of Southland arranges annual review visits to all  major financial institutions in the country. At the most recent review meeting, regulatory  officials raised several matters of concern with the board and executives of Donovan  Bank. Two years ago, the regulator introduced a set of ‘Putting Customers First’ guidelines to  promote positive outcomes for customers. These included a requirement to put the  interests of customers at the heart of all banks’ activities, to ensure that products and  services meet customer needs, to ensure fair dealings at all stages of the customer  journey and to provide appropriate after sales service. The regulator’s concerns included  the following: • The number of customer complaints against Donovan Bank were at least 20% higher  than any of the banks’ major competitors. The complaints related to lack of  transparency in relation to fees and charges, poor administration and delays in  responses to routine communications, failure to address errors and obstacles to deter  customers from closing accounts and switching to competitors. • The regulator noted that Donovan Bank was often regarded negatively by the  financial press, with frequent articles accusing the bank of complacency towards  existing customers, as it could rely on securing new customers based on the  strengths of the products offered. • The regulators’ statistics showed evidence of a high level of customer attrition,  suggesting that the bank was selling products that were not consistent with customer  needs. This resulted in some customers closing accounts soon after opening them. It  was also suggested that customers were being advised to buy more products than  they actually needed, and it was possible that some existing customers would  3 continue to maintain account relationships that were not actually beneficial for them  as a result of customer inertia. • Several former managerial employees of the bank had written in confidence to the  regulator complaining that they had left to pursue alternative employment because  they had felt pressurised to achieve increasingly demanding sales targets. The board of Donovan Bank convened after the annual review meeting to discuss these  issues. Several of the non-executive directors who had attended the review meeting  were concerned at the findings of the regulator and insisted that it was imperative to  change the culture of the bank by moving away from an aggressive, sales-led approach  in favour of a more customer-centric approach. The regulator had made it clear that it  regarded compliance with its ‘Putting Customers First’ guidelines as mandatory and it  would not hesitate to take action if it felt that service standards at any bank were  compromised, even if the bank was financially strong. When discussing the best way forward, the board was divided. Some directors argued  that as a public company listed on the stock exchange, its primary duty was to its  shareholders, and that they bank had exceeded all expectations in recent years.  Conversely, the majority of directors concluded that they would have to act to ensure  that customers’ interests were served at all times and that urgent change was  necessary. Required: As an independent consultant engaged by the board of Donovan Bank Ltd,  prepare a report addressing the following: a) The ethical case for aligning the strategy of the bank with customer  interests and how these interests may be reconciled with the objective of  maximising shareholder value. b) Actions that the board should implement to change the culture of the bank  to ensure that customers’ interests are consistently protected and promoted  at all times 

2000 words

Carroll, Archie B.

The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders, Business Horizons, July-August 1991

For the better part of 30 years now, corporate executives have struggled with the issue

of the firm’s responsibility to its society. Early on it was argued by some that the

corporation's sole responsibility was to provide a maximum financial return to

shareholders. It became quickly apparent to everyone, however, that this pursuit of

financial gain had to rake place within the laws of the land. Though social activist groups

and others throughout the 1960s advocated a broader notion of corporate responsibility,

it was not until the significant social legislation of the early 1970s that this message

became indelibly clear as a result of the creation of the Environmental Protection

Agency (EPA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). the

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Consumer Product

Safety" Commission (CPSC).

These new governmental bodies established that national public policy now officially

recognized the environment. employees, and consumers to be significant and legitimate

stakeholders of business. From that time on, corporate executives have had to wrestle

with how they balance their commitments to the corporation's owners with their

obligations to an ever-broadening group of stakeholders who claim both legal and

ethical rights.

This article will explore the nature of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with an eye

toward understanding its component parts. The intention will be to characterize the

firm's CSR in ways that might be useful to executives who wish to reconcile their

obligations to their shareholders with those to other competing groups claiming

legitimacy. This discussion will be framed by a pyramid of corporate social

responsibility. Next, we plan to relate this concept to the idea of stakeholders. Finally,

our goal will be to isolate the ethical or moral component of CSR and relate it to

perspectives that reflect three major ethical approaches to management—immoral,

amoral, and moral. The principal goal in this final section will be to flesh our what it

means to manage stakeholders in an ethical or moral fashion.


What does it mean for a corporation to be socially responsible? Academics and

practitioners have been striving to establish an agreed-upon definition of this concept for

30 years. In 1960, Keith Davis suggested that social responsibility refers to businesses'

"decisions and actions taken for reasons at least partially beyond the firm’s direct

economic or technical interest." At about the same time, Eells and Walton (1961)

argued that CSR refers to the "problems that arise when corporate enterprise casts its

shadow on the social scene, and the ethical principles that ought to govern the

relationship between the corporation and society.”

Figure 1 Economic and Legal Components of Corporate Social Responsibility

Economic Components (Responsibilities)

Legal Components (Responsibilities)

1. It is important to perform in a manner consistent with maximizing earnings per share

1. It is important to perform in a manner consistent with expectations of government and law.

2. It is important to be committed to being as profitable as possible.

2. It is important to comply with various federal, state, and local regulations.

3. It is important to maintain a strong competitive position.

3. It is important to be a law-abiding corporate citizen.

4. It is important to maintain a high level of operating efficiency.

4. It is important that a successful firm be defined as one that fulfills its legal obligations.

5. It is important that a successful firm be defined as one that is consistently profitable.

5. It is important to provide goods and services that at least meet minimal legal requirements.

In 1971 the Committee for Economic Development used a "three concentric circles"

approach to depicting CSR. The inner circle included basic economic functions—

growth, products, jobs. The intermediate circle suggested that the economic functions

must be exercised with a sensitive awareness of changing social values and priorities.

The outer circle outlined newly emerging and still amorphous responsibilities that

business should assume to become more actively involved in improving the social


The attention was shifted from social responsibility to social responsiveness by several

other writers. Their basic argument was that the emphasis on responsibility focused

exclusively on the notion of business obligation and motivation and that action or

performance were being overlooked. The social responsiveness movement, therefore.

emphasized corporate action, proaction, and implementation of a social role. This was

indeed a necessary reorientation.

The question still remained, however, of reconciling the firm’s economic orientation with

its social orientation. A step in this direction was taken when a comprehensive definition

of CSR was set forth. In this view, a four-part conceptualization of CSR included the

idea that the corporation has not only economic and legal obligations, but ethical and

discretionary (philanthropic) responsibilities as well (Carroll 1979). The point here was

that CSR, to be accepted as legitimate, had to address the entire spectrum of

obligations business has to society, including the most fundamental—economic. It is

upon this four-part perspective that our pyramid is based.

In recent years, the term corporate social performance (CSP) has emerged as an

inclusive and global concept to embrace corporate social responsibility, responsiveness,

and the entire spectrum of socially beneficial activities of businesses. The focus on

social performance emphasizes the concern for corporate action and accomplishment in

the social sphere. With a performance perspective, it is clear that firms must formulate

and implement social goals and programs as well as integrate ethical sensitivity into all

decision making, policies, and actions. With a results focus, CSP suggests an all-

encompassing orientation towards normal criteria by which we assess business

performance to include quantity, quality, effectiveness, and efficiency. While we

recognize the vitality of the performance concept, we have chosen to adhere to the CSR

terminology for our present discussion. With just a slight change of focus, however, we

could easily be discussing a CSP rather than a CSR pyramid. In any event, the long-

term concern is what managers do with these ideas in terms of implementation.


For CSR to be accepted by a conscientious business person, it should be framed in

such a way that the entire range of business responsibilities are embraced. It is

suggested here that four kinds of social responsibilities constitute total CSR: economic,

legal, ethical. and philanthropic. Furthermore. these four categories or components of

CSR might be depicted as a pyramid. To be sure. ail of these kinds of responsibilities

have always existed to some extent. but it has only been in recent years that ethical and

philanthropic functions have taken a significant place. Each of these four categories

deserves closer consideration.

Economic Responsibilities

Historically. business organizations were created as economic entities designed to

provide goods and services to societal members. The profit motive was established as

the primary incentive for entrepreneurship. Before it was anything else, business

organization was the basic economic unit in our society. As such, its principal role was

to produce goods and services that consumers needed and wanted and to make an

acceptable profit in the process. At some point the idea of the profit motive got

transformed into a notion of maximum profits, and this has been an enduring value ever

since. All other business responsibilities are predicated upon the economic

responsibility of the firm, because without it the others become moot considerations.

Figure 1 summarizes some important statements characterizing economic

responsibilities. Legal responsibilities are also depicted in Figure 1, and we will consider

them next.

Legal Responsibilities

Society has not only sanctioned business to operate according to the profit motive; at

the same time business is expected to comply with the laws and regulations

promulgated by federal, state, and local governments as the ground rules under which

business must operate. As a partial fulfillment of the "social contract" between business

and society firms are expected to pursue their economic missions within the framework

of the law. Legal responsibilities reflect a view of "codified ethics" in the sense that they

embody basic notions of fair operations as established by our lawmakers. They are

depicted as the next layer on the pyramid to portray their historical development, but

they are appropriately seen as coexisting with economic responsibilities as fundamental

precepts of the free enterprise system.

Figure 2 Ethical and Philanthropic Components of Corporate Social Responsibility

Ethical Components (Responsibilities)

Philanthropic Components (Responsibilities)

1. It is important to perform in a manner consistent with expectations of societal mores and ethical norms.

1. It is important to perform in a manner consistent with the philanthropic and charitable expectations of society.

2. It is important to recognize and respect new or evolving ethical moral norms adopted by society.

2. It is important to assist the fine and performing arts.

3. It is important to prevent ethical norms from being compromised in order to achieve corporate goals.

3. It is important that managers and employees participate in voluntary and charitable activities within their local communities.

4. It is important that good corporate citizenship be defined as doing what is expected morally or ethically.

4. It is important to provide assistance to private and public educational institutions.

5. It is important to recognize that corporate integrity and ethical behavior go beyond mere compliance with laws and regulations.

5. It is important to assist voluntarily those projects that enhance a community’s "quality of life."

Ethical Responsibilities

Although economic and legal responsibilities embody ethical norms about fairness and

justice, ethical responsibilities embrace those activities and practices that are expected

or prohibited by societal members even though they are not codified into law. Ethical

responsibilities embody those standards, norms, or expectations that reflect a concern

for what consumers, employees, shareholders, and the community regard as fair, just,

or in keeping with the respect or protection of stakeholders' moral rights.

In one sense, changing erl1ics or values pre- cede the establishment of law because

they become the driving force behind the very creation of laws or regulations. For

example, the environmental, civil rights, and consumer movements reflected basic

alterations in societal values and thus may be seen as ethical bellwethers

foreshadowing and resulting in the later legislation. In another sense, ethical

responsibilities may be seen as embracing newly emerging values and norms society

expects business to meet, even though such values and norms may reflect a higher

standard of performance than that currently required by law. Ethical responsibilities in

this sense are often ill-defined or continually under public debate as to their legitimacy,

and thus are frequently difficult for business to deal with.

Superimposed on these ethical expectations emanating from societal groups are the

implied levels of ethical performance suggested by a consideration of the great ethical

principles of moral philosophy. This would include such principles as justice, rights, and


The business ethics movement of the past decade has firmly established an ethical

responsibility as a legitimate CSR component. Though it is depicted as the next layer of

the CSR pyramid, it must be constantly recognized that it is in dynamic interplay with

the legal responsibility category. That is, it is constantly pushing the legal responsibility

category to broaden or expand while at the same time placing ever higher expectations

on businesspersons to operate at levels above that required by law. Figure 2 depicts

statements that help characterize ethical responsibilities. The figure also summarizes

philanthropic responsibilities, discussed next.

Philanthropic Responsibilities

Philanthropy encompasses those corporate actions that are in response to society’s

expectation that businesses be good corporate citizens. This includes actively engaging

in acts or programs to promote human welfare or goodwill. Examples of philanthropy

include business contributions to financial resources or executive time, such as

contributions to the arts, education, or the community. A loaned-executive program that

provides leadership for a community’s United Way campaign is one illustration of


The distinguishing feature between philanthropy and ethical responsibilities is that the

former are not expected in an ethical or moral sense. Communities desire firms to

contribute their money, facilities, and employee time to humanitarian programs or

purposes, but they do not regard the firms as unethical if they do not provide the desired

level. Therefore, philanthropy is more discretionary or voluntary on the part of

businesses even though there is always the societal expectation that businesses

provide it.

One notable reason for making the distinction between philanthropic and ethical

responsibilities is that some firms feel they are being socially responsible if they are just

good citizens in the community. This distinction brings home the vital point that CSR

includes philanthropic contributions but is not limited to them. In fact, it would be argued

here that philanthropy is highly desired and prized but actually less important than the

other three categories of social responsibility, In a sense, philanthropy is icing on the

cake—or on the pyramid, using our metaphor.

The pyramid of corporate social responsibility is depicted in Figure 3. It portrays the four

components of CSR, beginning with the basic building block notion that economic

performance undergirds all else. At the same time, business is expected to obey the law

because the law is society's codification of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Next

is business's responsibility to be ethical. At its most fundamental level, this is the

obligation to do what is right, just, and fair, and to avoid or minimize harm to

stakeholders (employees, consumers, the environment, and others). Finally, business is

expected to be a good corporate citizen. This is captured in the philanthropic

responsibility, wherein business is expected to contribute financial and human

resources to the community and to improve the quality of life.

No metaphor is perfect, and the CSR pyramid is no exception. It is intended to portray

that the total CSR of business comprises distinct components that, taken together,

constitute the whole. Though the components have been treated as separate concepts

for discussion purposes, they are not mutually exclusive and are not intended to

juxtapose a firm’s economic responsibilities with its other responsibilities. At the same

time, a consideration of the separate components helps the manager see that the

different types of obligations are in a constant but dynamic tension with one another.

The most critical tensions, of course, would be between economic and legal, economic

and ethical, and economic and philanthropic. The traditionalist might see this as a

conflict between a firm’s "concern for profits versus its "concern for society," but it is

suggested here that this is an oversimplification. A CSR or stakeholder perspective

would recognize these tensions as organizational realities, but focus on the total

pyramid as a unified whole and how the firm might engage in decisions, actions, and

programs that substantially fulfill all its component parts.

In summary, the total corporate social responsibility of business entails the

simultaneous fulfillment of the firm's economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic

responsibilities. Stated in more pragmatic and managerial terms, the CSR firm should

strive to make a profit, obey the law, be ethical, and be a good corporate citizen.

Upon first glance, this array of responsibilities may seem broad. They seem to be in

striking contrast to the classical economic argument that management has one

responsibility: to maximize the profits of its owners or shareholders. Economist Milton

Friedman, the most outspoken proponent of this view, has argued that social matters

are not the concern of business people and that these problems should be resolved by

the unfettered workings of the free market system. Friedman's argument loses some of

its punch, however, when you consider his assertion in its totality. Friedman posited that

management is "to make as much money as possible while conforming to the basic

rules of society, both those embodied in the law and those embodied in ethical custom"

(Friedman 1970). Most people focus on the first part of Friedman's quote but not the

second part. It seems clear from this statement that profits, conformity to the law, and

ethical custom embrace three components of the CSR pyramid—economic, legal, and

ethical. That only leaves the philanthropic component for Friedman to reject. Although it

may be appropriate for an economist to take this view, one would not encounter many

business executives today who exclude philanthropic programs from their firms' range

of activities. It seems the role of corporate citizenship is one that business has no

significant problem embracing. Undoubtedly this perspective is rationalized under the

rubric of enlightened self interest.

We next propose a conceptual framework to assist the manager in integrating the four

CSR components with organizational stakeholders.


There is a natural fit between the idea of corporate social responsibility and an

organization's stakeholders. The word "social" in CSR has always been vague and

lacking in specific direction as to whom the corporation is responsible. The concept of

stakeholder personalizes social or societal responsibilities by delineating the specific

groups or persons business should consider in its CSR orientation. Thus, the

stakeholder nomenclature puts "names and faces" on the societal members who are

most urgent to business, and to whom it must be responsive.

By now most executives understand that the term "stakeholder" constitutes a play on

the word stockholder and is intended to more appropriately describe those groups or

persons who have a stake, a claim, or an interest in the operations and decisions of the

firm. Sometimes the stake might represent a legal claim, such as that which might be

held by an owner, an employee, or a customer who has an explicit or implicit contract.

Other times it might be represented by a moral claim, such as when these groups assert

a right to be treated fairly or with due process, or to have their opinions taken into

consideration in an important business decision.

Management's challenge is to decide which stakeholders merit and receive

consideration in the decision-making process. In any given instance, there may be

numerous stakeholder groups (shareholders, consumers, employees, suppliers,

community, social activist groups) clamoring for management's attention. How do

managers sort out the urgency or importance of the various stakeholder claims? Two

vital criteria include the stakeholders' legitimacy and their power. From a CSR

perspective their legitimacy may be most important. From a management efficiency

perspective, their power might be of central influence. Legitimacy refers to the extent to

which a group has a justifiable right to be making its claim. For example, a group of 300

employees about to be laid off by a plant-closing decision has a more legitimate claim

on management's attention than the local chamber of commerce, which is worried about

losing the firm as one of its dues-paying members. The stakeholder's power is another

factor. Here we may witness significant differences. Thousands of small, individual

investors, for example, wield very little power unless they can find a way to get

organized. By contrast, institutional investors and large mutual fund groups have

significant power over management because of the sheer magnitude of their

investments and the fact that they are organized.

With these perspectives in mind, let us think of stakeholder management as a process

by which managers reconcile their own objectives with the claims and expectations

being made on them by various stakeholder groups. The challenge of stakeholder

management is to ensure that the firm’s primary stakeholders achieve their objectives

while other stakeholders are also satisfied. Even though this "win-win" outcome is not

always possible, it does represent a legitimate and desirable goal for management to

pursue to protect its long-term interests.

Figure 4 Stakeholder/Responsibility Matrix Types of CSR Stakeholders Economic Legal Ethical Philanthropic Owners – – – – Customers – – – – Employees – – – – Community – – – – Competitors – – – – Suppliers – – – – Social Activist Groups – – – –

Public at Large – – – – Others – – – –

This matrix is intended to be used as an analytical tool or template to organize a

manager's thoughts and ideas about what the firm ought to be doing in an economic,

legal, ethical, and philanthropic sense with respect to its identified stakeholder groups.

By carefully and deliberately moving through the various cells of the matrix, the

manager may develop a significant descriptive and analytical data base that can then

be used for purposes of stakeholder management. The information resulting from this

stakeholder/responsibility analysis should be useful when developing priorities and

making both long-term and short-term decisions involving multiple stakeholder's


To be sure, thinking in stakeholder responsibility terms increases the complexity of

decision making and may be extremely time consuming and taxing, especially at first.

Despite its complexity, however, this approach is one methodology management can

use to integrate values—what it stands for—with the traditional economic mission of the

organization. In the final analysis, such an integration could be of significant usefulness

to management. This is because the stakeholder/responsibility perspective is most

consistent with the pluralistic environment faced by business today. As such, it provides

the opportunity for an in-depth corporate appraisal of financial as well as social and

economic concerns. Thus, the stakeholder/responsibility perspective would be an

invaluable foundation for responding to the firm’s stakeholder management question

about strategies, actions, or decisions that should be pursued to effectively respond to

the environment business faces.


At this juncture we would like to expound upon the link between the firm's ethical

responsibilities or perspectives and its major stakeholder groups. Here we are isolating

the ethical component of our CSR pyramid and discussing it more thoroughly in the

context of stakeholders. One way to do this would be to use major ethical principles

such as those of justice, rights, and utilitarianism to identify and describe our ethical

responsibilities. We will take another alternative, however, and discuss stakeholders

from the context of three major ethical approaches—immoral management, amoral

management, and moral management. These three ethical approaches were defined

and discussed in an earlier Business Horizons article (Carroll 1987). We will briefly

describe and review these three ethical types and then suggest how they might be

oriented toward the major stakeholder groups. Our goal is to profile the likely orientation

of the three ethical types with a special emphasis upon moral management, our

preferred ethical approach.

Three Moral Types

If we accept that the terms ethics and morality are essentially synonymous in the

organizational context, we may speak of immoral, amoral, and moral management as

descriptive categories of three different kinds of managers. Immoral management is

characterized by those managers whose decisions, actions, and behavior suggest an

active opposition to what is deemed right or ethical. Decisions by immoral managers are

discordant with accepted ethical principles and, indeed, imply an active negation of what

is moral. These managers care only about their or their organization's profitability and

success. They see legal standards as barriers or impediments management must

overcome to accomplish what it wants. Their strategy is to exploit opportunities for

personal or corporate gain.

An example might be helpful. Many observers would argue that Charles Keating could

be described as an immoral manager. According to the federal government, Keating

recklessly and fraudulently ran California's Lincoln Savings into the ground, reaping $34

million for himself and his family. A major accounting firm said about Keating: "Seldom

in our experience as accountants have we experienced a more egregious example of

the misapplication of generally accepted accounting principles" ("Good Timing, Charlie"


The second major type of management ethics is amoral management. Amoral

managers are neither immoral nor moral but are not sensitive to the fact that their

everyday business decisions may have deleterious effects on others. These managers

lack ethical perception or awareness. That is, they go through their organizational lives

not thinking that their actions have an ethical dimension. Or they may just be careless or

inattentive to the implications of their actions on stakeholders. These managers may be

well intentioned, but do not see that their business decisions and actions may be hurting

those with whom they transact business or interact. Typically their orientation is towards

the letter of the law as their ethical guide. We have been describing a sub-category of

amorality known as unintentional amoral managers. There is also another group we

may call intentional amoral managers. These managers simply think that ethical

considerations are for our private lives, not for business. They believe that business

activity resides outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply. Though most

amoral managers today are unintentional, there may still exist a few who just do not see

a role for ethics in business.

Examples of unintentional amorality abound. When police departments stipulated

applicants must be 5'10" and weigh 180 pounds to qualify for positions, they just did not

think about the adverse impact their policy would have on women and some ethnic

groups who, on average, do not attain that height and weight. The liquor, beer, and

cigarette industries provide other examples. They did not anticipate that their products

would create serious moral issues: alcoholism, drunk driving deaths, lung cancer,

deteriorating health, and offensive secondary smoke. Finally, when McDonald's initially

decided to use polystyrene containers for food packaging it just did not adequately

consider the environmental impact that would be caused. McDonald's surely does not

intentionally create a solid waste disposal problem, but one major consequence of its

business is just that. Fortunately, the company has responded to complaints by

replacing the polystyrene packaging with paper products.

Moral management is our third ethical approach, one that should provide a striking

contrast. In moral management, ethical norms that adhere to a high standard of right

behavior are employed. Moral managers not only conform to accepted and high levels

of professional conduct, they also commonly exemplify leadership on ethical issues.

Moral managers want to be profitable, but only within the confines of sound legal and

ethical precepts, such as fairness, justice, and due process. Under this approach, the

orientation is toward both the letter and the spirit of the law. Law is seen as minimal

ethical behavior and the preference and goal is to operate well above what the law

mandates. Moral managers seek out and use sound ethical principles such

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