Best Buy Co.’s Corporate Social Responsibilities

Businesses operate in environments where they benefit from communities around and far away from the point of business of the company; the success of a business is dependent on how well it is performing in its operating environment. It gets its profits from businesses secured from the external environments; it is thus ethical to give back to society; giving back creates a close relationship between customers and business (Baron, 2000).

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Social corporate responsibilities are policies enacted by an organization for the benefit of the society; though they are strategic marketing tools, the main concern of managers when undertaking the exercise is to benefit and improve the welfare of the communities; in this context, community members include business customers among other societal members. The electronic industry depends on the support that it gets from the domestic and international customers, as an ethical matter and a marketing tool, companies in the sector have continued to use corporate social responsibility (CSR) tools to improve their businesses an build strong brand names (Carroll and Buchholz, 2003).

Best-Buy is a multinational consumer electronic goods seller, located in Europe, Mexico, Canada, China and the United States; it employs over 180,000; according to an electronic market survey conducted in 2010, the company accounts for 19% of total American consumer electronics sales (Best-Buy Official Website, 2011). As respect and ethical consideration, the company has several corporate social responsibilities practices. This paper analyzes the corporate social responsibilities that the company has enacted.

General approach

Best-Buy Company gives back to the community through its department of community relation; the departments work with governmental and nongovernmental organizations to enact and finance projects that are to the good of the communities (Crane, Matten and Spence, 2008). Corporate social responsibility at Best Buy Co. Ltd has become a common business strategy; the management ensures that it has embarked on programs that improve societal welfare. ; the following are some of the programs that the company finances:

Best Buy Children’s Foundation

The programs target children through the national and local grant-making program; the program is aimed at assisting teen in succeeding in school, develop their leadership skills and have a sense of belonging. The program has been nicknamed @15 since it has its focus on the teenagers of such an age. Under the children foundation, the company has to main programs as Twin Cities and MN Community Grants.

In the programs they encourage teenagers to participate in various activities, for example, there is the @15 Teach Awards, where teens are allowed to participate in technological developments through giving their views on what they think, should be used in schools. On the other hand, there is a test for innovativeness in computers.

@15 Scholarship is a program that the company finances college education; the project aims to offer meaningful education; since 1999, when the program was initiated the company have assisted 15,438 students with an approximate figure of $19.7 million in scholarship funds.

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Community Grants Program

The company seeks applications from community groups and offers them with a financial grant where they can focus on the needs of children and teens. Under this program, the company aims at developing dignity and providing teens with the chance to explore their leadership skills. For a nongovernmental organization to benefit from the fund, the organization must be focused on teens excellence in schools, engage in their communities, and develop leadership skills; in 2011, the company committed a maximum of $2million to organizations in this program. In the united states, the organization should be operating under 501(c)(3) tax status.

Under the community grant program, the company has a program called Store Donations, under the program, the company offers donations of product or gift cards; the firms that can access this funding or grants are those under 501c3 organizations within 50 miles of the store. Other than nongovernmental, the company offers grants to schools, colleges, and after school programs.

From an international angle, the company has some programs that look into the welfare of other nations; more emphasis is placed to the countries where it has presence, but in some situations, It considers other nations. The programs are operated under the “Admission Possible” which is a program that believes that poverty can be eliminated through education; in that right under the program, it sponsors children to get an education (Best-Buy Official Website, 2011).

Sporting activities

There are some programs that the company supports in the efforts to develop quality education; since 1999, the company under the program called “America Scores” has supported over 39,000 kids in 15 under-resourced cities to utilize their sporting talents and use them as part of life earning system (Best-Buy Official Website, 2011). The company also is a sponsor of YMCA; this is a program that handles over 21 million people every year including 4 million youth between the ages of 12 and 18; the program has the main role of seeing the youth have a dignified life.

The company also supports the “Youth Service America” which is an international program that looks into the welfare of youth that operates in over 100 countries around the world; the program offers some financial empowerments to the people (Rasmussen, 2005).

Volunteering

The company has a Volunteering program; the company employees contribute and keep aside some funds to assist the development of numerous programs in the society: under this program, there are no specific programs those they look into which include Red Cross assistance, disaster management, and flood disasters. In 2009, the company was over 21,000 employees’ volunteered nearly126, 000 hours to assist the people under the program of volunteering, the amount to $2.4 million in the year.

Other than the fund that contributed by employees in case of a certain disaster, the company chips in and offer some additional financing; the volunteering program is not aimed at creating any financial gain to the company, but it is a service to the community (Moon, 2001).

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Environmental

Best Buy Co., Inc. is cautious of the effects and the need to protect the environment, as per that, the company has launched some programs that are aimed at looking into environmental interests. It looks forward at having a sustainable environment; the programs can be broadly be classified as those that look into the internal processes to programs launched in the communities with the main aim of improving the environment. In 2009, the company was honoured by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where it was ranked the 31st best company as far as improvement of the environment is concerned.

It was honoured for looking into the use of the recycling process, and the advocacy and support it has offered communities to have green energy sources. In 2009 the company had managed to use 119 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green energy and has distributed some to neighbouring communities. The company has a number of tree planning engagements where they involve their human capital, who goes to the streets advocating for the need to plant trees; occasionally, it engages in the real act of planting were it funds the program fully. Being in the industry of electronics that has been blamed for being having some of the products that have given environs a challenge to degrade; the company has enacted policies of recycling of electronic waste (Jones, Parker and Bos, 2005).

The Ashoka’s Youth Venture

The Ashoka’s Youth Venture is a community program that does not limit itself with a certain population age or location but aims at improving the lives of communities. Under the program, the company empowers communities to take care of the old, nature youth talents and create dignity in the community. It looks into the social aspect of communities and encourages them to have some beneficial social groups or social settings where they can build their strengths.

Under The Ashoka’s Youth Venture, there is a program called “Boys and Girls Clubs of America”, they aim at bringing this class of people together and trying to let them see life from a different angle; they address things like racism, tribalism, corruption, healthy relationships, and career developments among others. In the program, some trained boys and girls are used to initiate a discussion with their mates and peers. Under the program, there are topics in HIV and AIDS (Garriga and Melé, 2004).

Senior category activities

Best Buy has a number of programs that target the senior members of the society and those of the age of majority; the programs include medical camps, race and discrimination education programs, cultural festivals and supporting senior category sports. Some of the programs that the company has supported include basketball games like Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox, motorsports, where, in 2009, the company supports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series where it supported/sponsored A. J. Allmendinger who was driving Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford Fusion, it also supports hockey tournaments in the United States and other places

Occasionally, the company supports the growth of diversity and feeding of wild animals; it has been involved in the White Rhino extinction prevention program in African countries.

The corporate social responsibilities undertaken by Best buy has continued to increase the interaction that the company have with its customers in that effect, the interaction has enabled the company to understand what the customers want and stocks them accordingly (Foote, Gaffney and Evans, 2010)

Motivations that the firm has to enact the policies

There are a number of factors that make Best Buy have CSR programs developing CSR programs is proving that a business is responsive to social norms, values, virtues and ethics expected of a business. The world is changing drastically and so is the treads in business; modern marketing strategies have shifted to that of creating a close relationship between a customer and a business, to build the relationship required for competitive advantage and mitigation of strategic risks; Best buy has opted to venture in CSR programs.

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By so doing, the brand name of a company is enhanced. From a psychological point of view, people perceive a business as a social institution that was established to benefit them. With such thinking, then customers are likely to be loyal to a certain business. Loyal customers make a self-advertising enterprise (Cornelius, Todres, Janjuha-Jivraj, Woods and Wallace, 2008).

Customers who value and respect a business and its products are loyal. They reduce the marketing bill of the company and business benefits directly from increased customers as a positive externality. When people find that a certain company is not fully interested in their own gains in terms of profits and exploiting the consumers but are bending back and giving back to the society, it leads to customer loyalty. Goodwill assists a business to sell its products slightly high and still maintain competitiveness. This is so because there is a shift by the people not to be concerned about the cost of such products but by the “brand name”. At high prices, a company will get an increase in profits (Albrecht, Thompson, Hoopes and Rodrigo, 2010).

Conclusion

Best Buy Co. is a multinational retail electronic industry that respects the societies that it operates; the company has embarked on massive corporate social responsibilities to improve the living conditions of communities within its establishments and in other countries. The programs can generally be categorized under children programs, youth programs, senior adult program, and environmental conservation programs. The company is motivated by the apparent gain in its brand name and social marketing that it derives from corporate social responsibility programs.

References

Albrecht, C., Thompson, J., Hoopes, J. and Rodrigo, P. ,2010. Business Ethics Journal Rankings as Perceived by Business Ethics Scholars. Journal of Business Ethics, 95(2), pp.227-237.

Baron, D., 2000. Business and its environment. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Best-Buy Official Website, 2011. Best-Buy Co. Web.

Carroll, A. B. and Buchholz. A. K., 2003 Business and Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management. Mason, OH: Thompson South-Western.

Crane, A., Matten, D. and Spence, L.,2008. Corporate social responsibility. London: Routledge.

Cornelius, N., Todres, M., Janjuha-Jivraj, S., Woods, A. and Wallace, J. ,2008. Corporate Social Responsibility and the Social Enterprise. Journal of Business Ethics, 81(2), pp. 355-370.

Foote, J., Gaffney, N. and Evans, J. ,2010. Corporate social responsibility: Implications for performance excellence. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 21(8), pp. 799-812.

Garriga, E. and Melé, D., 2004. Corporate Social Responsibility Theories: Mapping the Territory. Journal of Business Ethics, 53(1/2), pp. 51-71.

Jones, C., Parker, M. and Bos, R., 2005. For Business Ethics : A Critical Text. London: Routledge.

Moon, C. Et al., 2001. Business Ethics. London: The Economist.

Rasmussen, L., 2005. Ethics expertise: history, contemporary perspectives, and applications. Netherlands: Springer.

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