Known as a company’s acknowledgement of its impact on the society and the use of corresponding measures to reduce the negative effects of the above-mentioned impact, corporate social responsibility (SCR) includes four key elements, i.e., legal, economic, ethical and philanthropic ones (Osodo & Flaherty, 2014, p. 91).
Since assessing the overall compliance of a specific organization with the key tenets of the CSR principles is rather time-consuming, some of the organizations assessing the provision of the CSR principles in other organizations prefer to evaluate the latter on the basis of one of the four elements listed above.
Corporate Critic and Forbes (What is Corporate Critic?, 2015; Smith, 2013) belong to this type of organizations; evaluating the ethical standards adopted in other companies. Since both Forbes and Corporate Critic base their decisions purely on their objective judgment, they can be considered a rather reliable source of information about most modern organizations of a global scale.
The rating system, which Forbes adopts, seems to be rather basic. Having created the so-called the World’s Most Ethical (WME) survey, the organization ranks organizations on the basis of their compliance with the key tenets of the Global Corporate Citizenship principles (Smith, 2013, par. 4–5).
Indeed, according to the theory of CSR, a “classification based on a conceptual transition from the ethical–philosophical concept of CSR” (Carriga & Mele, 2004, p. 52) is required to assess the ethical status of a company. The Forbes magazine does not mention the importance of either the mission or the vision of the organizations assessed; presumably, the specified factors are taken into the account along with the rest of the internal factors that the WME tool evaluates.
Corporate Critic, on the other hand, employs a different approach towards assessing ethical principles of other companies. To be more exact, the organization views ethics as compliance with the quality standards that customers require. As a result, the evaluation that the organization gives to other companies can be viewed as somewhat subjective.
Therefore, in the case of Corporate Critic’s evaluation, the role of the mission and vision of an organization evaluated can be considered downplayed. It could be assumed, though, that the company labeled by most customers as low-quality is only likeable to lose even more points from Corporate Critic if its mission and vision set the clients’ hopes too high and the actual quality of the product does not meet the expectations.
Therefore, it can be assumed that both organizations in question do a decent job in terms of defining the ethical development of modern companies. While the approach that each of the organizations employs is unique and may be viewed as slightly subjective, the overall analysis of ethics in contemporary business world is performed rather skillfully.
Providing an overview of organizations based on their alignment with the key tenets of the basic ethical principles, both Forbes and Corporate Critic are doing an outstanding job.
Even though the approaches that the two companies adopt in order to assess the ethical principles established in the companies that they assess do not share many elements, Forbes and Corporate Critic provide a rather honest analysis of the key world organizations as far as the ethics thereof is concerned. An essential element of corporate social responsibility, ethical principles must remain one of the major concerns for any organization.
Carriga, E. & Mele, D. (2004). Corporate social responsibility theories: Mapping the territory. Journal of Business Ethics, 53(1), 51–71.
Osodo, O. P. & Flaherty, K. (2014). The moderating role of personality trait on the relationship between corporate social responsibility and consumer identification among clients of Safaricom Ltd Company, Kenya. Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development, 5(20), 91–100.
Smith, J. (2013). The world’s most ethical companies. Forbes. Web.
What is Corporate Critic? (2015). Corporate Critic. Web.