Review the “Chapter Two Case: Michael Porter on TED – The Case for Letting Business Solve Social Problems” at the end of Ch. 2 of Business Driven Technology.
Answer the following questions:
- Do you agree or disagree that business can solve social problems? Justify your answer.
- How can the concepts discussed by Michael Porter help with the decision making process for managers at the three different managerial levels?
Respond to at least three of your peers. In your response, address any thoughts you have on if business can solve social problems and if it can help managers make decisions.
Students need to contribute three substantive posts in this discussion by the due date indicated. The substantive posts can be any combination of responses and replies.
If the statement was stated slightly different I would completely agree with it. I do believe that business can help with social problems, but they will not be the resolve for them. For example, many commercial grocery stores donate all the food that is past its “Selling” date to food banks and non-profits that feed the poor. Just because it has past its sell by date does not mean the food is bad, it just means you cannot legally sell the product. There are more and more non-profits to help the less fortunate in almost every community. The fact that businesses will not be the resolve for social problems is simply because they are a business they are here to make money, one of the reasons for even the handout of the food example is because they get to write that loss off on taxes.
Most businesses are broken into a few different management levels, Operations, VPs and executive staff. The operations management provide day to day decisions that affect the operations of say their bank branch which they manage. They make decisions such as who is working which teller line. VPs and support staff make decisions on who is doing what problems or incidents. The Executive staff focus on more of the business long term decisions which have an affect of the entire company.
Reference: Baltzan P (2017, Business Driven Technology (7th ed) New York, NY, McGraw-Hill
Do you agree or disagree that business can solve social problems? Justify your answer.
Yes, I do believe that businesses can help solve social problems. There have been an increasing number of restaurants, farmers markets, grocery stores and even some college campuses that donate fresh food that is past its’ selling prime, but still perfectly safe to eat, to food pantries who distribute it to low income families in both rural and urban food deserts. This not only helps feed many needy families but is also good for the planet. Wasted food is a huge producer of greenhouse gasses which contribute to climate change.
Publix supermarkets are active supporters of youth organizations in their communities and also donate to Habitat for Humanity. Stoneyfield farms are big contributors to environmental causes and nonprofits. .
Bill and Melinda Gates created their foundation to help improve the health conditions for children in developing countries. They have also donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the library system to provide internet access and computers to libraries nationwide. Their foundation is also dedicated to improving our failing education system by donating millions of dollars to help schools hire and retain high-quality teachers, and educational materials. Warren Buffett is also a huge contributor to the foundation. While this is a non-profit, it does have a big social impact.
These are just a few examples of how businesses are working to help solve social problems. I also believe that when a business is involved in giving back to their communities and helping to solve social injustices or supporting environmental issues, this helps build customer goodwill which in turn can lead to increased profits. I know I would rather spend a little more with a company that does good things and gives back than one that only cares about their shareholders profits. Mr. Porter stated that we need to achieve scalability when it comes to businesses helping solve social problems. If businesses are to buy in to this, they need to see how much more profitable they could be by working on social problems and less profitable by not doing it.
· How can the concepts discussed by Michael Porter help with the decision- making process for managers at the three different managerial levels?
Operational – These lower level managers make structured decisions that affect the day to day operations of their departments regarding internal functions, such as which machine an employee will run today or shifting people around to cover for someone who is out sick.
Managerial – These middle level managers make semi-structured decisions that affect a short-ish term time frame. Their performance indicators focus on efficiency and effectiveness.
Strategic – These high level, senior executives make unstructured decisions that affect a long term time frame. Their focus is on the effectiveness and success of the entire company.
Baltzan, P. (2017). Business driven technology (7th ed.).
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
After listen to the TED talk of Michael Porter, I believe business can solve Social problems, if they are willing. One of the main issues that Micheal bring up is the scale of the social issues, While the government and NGOs can make some progress the scale of the social problems are so large that they can not make large scale impacts on the problems, the resources are limited and not enough money being tax revenue and donations. Business have more resources and business create wealth from what Micheal talked about. (Porter, 2013). Since business make the wealth and money, the businesses need to be involve to have which will allow business resources to deal with the scales of the social problems. One social issue that is talked about is pollution, the conventional thing by business it is not worrying about pollution so that you make more money well the fact is business can be have less pollution and still be profitable, yes it is a balance however, if after the initial investment to be less polluting they will still be profitable and pollute less which will in-turn help with the social problem of pollution where the government and NGO can not assist.
Reference: Porter, M 2013. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_porter_why_business_can_be_good_at_solving_social_problems#t-587925