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Corporate citizenship can be defined as a legal and ethical responsibility that any corporate organization owes the society where they operate (Mark, 2003). It is generally an act of giving back to the community as a way of appreciation in the course of creating peace, harmony and cohesiveness with the residents of the area.
Its main aim is to improve the living standards of people in the community and empower them socially and economically. In the course of achieving this noble task, the company should ensure that the resources invested in harmonizing these projects are within range of their financial might.
Ethics on the other hand is described as the acceptable way of conduct by an individual or the entire organization. It could also be referred to as guidelines or principles that govern the code of conduct of an organization.
It entails doing the right thing at the right time and place. It also entails being involved in business practices that are genuine and cannot undermine the general image of the company.
Organizations that participate in ethical practices as well as uphold integrity, excel in their business ventures as they build a strong network of association with their consumers and gain trust of investors and stakeholders.
Corporate social responsibility and ethical practices go hand in hand since any ethical firm ought to be mindful of the community and the surroundings in which they operate.
The two principles work as cornerstones to building the general reputation of a firm. Businesses that are profit-oriented and indulge in unethical practices to maximize their returns are eventually phased out of the market because of their tainted image.
Abbott is an international broad based firm that is involved with the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements and other health care related products across the globe.
It is also devoted to discovering better health care facilities and drugs hence have largely invested in scientific research and development works.
Their services address a continuum of medical care starting from surgical apparatus to nutritional and veterinary services.
The company has a workforce capacity of approximately 90,000 employees and distributes its products to over 130 countries across the globe hence they have been known for their safe quality medical products worldwide.
The company has remained at the top of the pharmaceutical market for over 120 years and this has been attributed to the ethical and corporate social practices that has been incorporated into their system.
Its workers are also committed to the vision and heritage of the company which is, providing quality health care for better, healthier lives. All its employees have been motivated to produce quality services for the sake of its esteemed customers and with an aim of restoring the health of its patients.
With this commitment, Abbott has received worldwide recognition and clinched several awards both locally and internationally.
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The cornerstone for all these achievements have been engraved on their commitment to upholding integrity and indulging in ethical practices. They have also been keen to give back to the community where they operate.
The company’s strict laws and codes of conduct condones any malpractices in the harshest way possible. If any employee is suspected or caught breaking any of the rules then the repercussions are detrimental.
Cases of corruption, bribery, abuse of office or disclosure of confidential consumer information may lead to immediate dismissal from work. The company is committed to upholding integrity, honesty and ethical practices in all its undertakings.
Its books of account have to be accurate and reflect exactly what is happening in the company. Any forgery or artificial entry is treated as a bridge of the company’s code of conduct hence penalized accordingly.
These strict rules have enabled the firm scale great heights in the field of medicine and stand out from the rest.
Being the leading provider of pharmaceutical and medical products, the company is committed to offering humanitarian services irrespective of age, colour, race, status or class.
Abbott has taken the initiative to ensure the underprivileged and the less fortunate in the society get access to quality medical care. The company has also established a philanthropic foundation to help victims of natural disaster.
For instance, they donated relief funds to the tune of $335,000 to help victims of flood in Pakistan get medical attention. They have also done the same to several other countries across the globe including Chile and Haiti.
Abbott has opted to work very closely with its customers. Their opinion towards the goods and services offered by the company really matter to them. They are very responsive to act on any issues arising from the use of their products and communicate back to their consumers and related stakeholders on the way forward.
This is an ethical act that shows how committed they are to meeting consumers’ demands. The company also offers many educational programmes and literature materials to help its clients or patients learn more about disease diagnosis, control, prevention and cure so that they may have an in-depth knowledge about various diseases (Gowd, 1987).
They also train them on how to effectively use their products and services and provide them with reliable full time customer care contacts so that they could easily get back to them in case of any eventuality. Such free after sale services show their commitment to better the lives of its clients.
When it comes to corporate social responsibilities, Abbott laboratories have been rated among the top 30 companies worldwide.
Environmental conservation entails proper disposal of waste, increasing efficiency of energy use to reduce pollution, creating awareness on environmental conservation and initiating projects that are environmentally friendly.
On the social aspect, the company is committed to providing social amenities and health care services at affordable rates and educating the public on health related issues.
Abbott has been on the front line in fostering for environmental sustainability and mitigating the risks of global warming, climate change and pollution of the environment.
There is need to conserve the environment for the sake of the communities living adjacent to the firms because a change in the micro climate of the area may adversely affect farming activities hence plunging the community into deep economic disparity (Leroux, 2005).
Abbott is committed to reducing the impact of carbon emissions by its manufacturing plants and warehouses to the environment. The company has also instituted an environmentally friendly program to manage and keep watch of the direct emissions so as to drastically reduce it to bearable levels.
They are also investing in low carbon energy and renewable energy with the aim of cutting down on the level of carbon emission to the environment.
The company is keen to practice proper waste disposal and encourage recycling of its used resources in order to clean up the ecosystem.
Abbott has made several partnerships with like minded parties to establish projects that are geared towards empowering the common citizens and improving their livelihood.
One such partnership was established with the Tanzanian government with an aim of strengthening Tanzanian’s health care services. This became an award winning partnership that saw the face of medical system and services in Tanzania take a dramatic overhaul for the better.
The new modernized health care facilities could now adequately address critical illnesses including HIV/ AIDS, cancer and other chronic infections.
Some competent medical practitioners were deployed in Tanzania to train the local nurses and technicians during that period.
Abbott Laboratories also upgraded all the labs in the country hence increasing their efficiency, they constructed an emergency centre for intensive care patients and trained over 19,000 nurses to provide medical services in all the 90 medical facilities initiated by the project.
This decade long partnership brought total transformation to the medical system in Tanzania and Abbott Laboratories earned a corporate social responsibility Award for their hard work and commitment towards this project (Kincaid, 1994 ).
In conclusion, any corporate organization that wishes to excel in its business operations ought to keep in mind its social responsibilities and work towards accomplishing them. In so doing, they will be giving back to the community and hence creating an efficacious environment for the company to work optimally.
They also ought to uphold integrity in all its undertakings so as to gain the trust of its consumers and stakeholders thus attract many investors.
Gowd, J. (1987). Ethical Practices. New York: Penguin.
Kincaid, J. (1994). Role of Medical Practitioners in the Society. New York: Vintage.
Leroux, M. (2005). Global Warming: Myth Or Reality?: The Erring Ways of Climatology. New York: Springer.
Mark, L. (2003). Corporate Citizenship in Business Organization. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.