Why Sustainability is Now Vital to the Success of Business

This was a first year Business Administration academic essay on sustainability. Feel free to cite me but please don’t plagiarise.

 

Discuss and analyse the importance of sustainability in business, using case study examples to illustrate and support your arguments.

“There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” (Friedman, 1970)

This essay will briefly look at the history of sustainability, it shall outline sustainability’s relationship to corporate social responsibility, and some of the benefits to a firm of being socially responsible, in addition it will consider and analyse three prominent views that express the importance of sustainability in business: Carroll’s four-part model of CSR, Milton Friedman’s shareholder view and Edward Freeman’s stakeholder theory, whilst relating these views to case studies.

In order to comprehend the concept of sustainability in relation to a business, one must understand the management concept; corporate social responsibility, abbreviated to CSR. Sustainability is almost synonymous with CSR, though specifically, it places a focus on the future of the business (Salt Communications, 2012). The whole concept is about being responsible for more than the business is legally obliged to, either propelled by the intention of increasing the performance of the business or because of a profound moral duty felt by decision-makers in the company. The concept exists because businesses do not operate on their own, their operations will affect their many stakeholders; Continue reading

Why is change management necessary in contemporary organisations?

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This is an essay on change management that I wrote for my degree in my managing people module. read, comment, quote, but please don’t plagiarise.

Why is change management necessary in contemporary organisations? With the help of a case study (detailed organisational example) analyse and discuss a planned approach to change management.

 

“There is resistance to change in organisations, brought about largely by the fear of the unknown by people. Handled correctly, using known and tested change management techniques, change can be brought about successfully, achieving set goals and objectives and to budget.” (Edmonds, 2011)

This essay seeks to evaluate why change management is necessary in contemporary organisations. This essay will start by discussing what change is, how it emerges and the concept of change management, briefly looking at the history and development of the subject area. Secondly, this essay will present a balanced argument for the importance of change management in contemporary organisations. Lastly, with the use of a case study, this essay will analyse and discuss the usage of a planned approach to change management.

In order to understand change management it is necessary to know what change is. Change can be defined as when a function, practice or thing becomes different from what it was previously (BusinessDictionary, n.d.). Change is considered to originate from what are called triggers or drivers, Tichy considered significant strategic change to be triggered, or driven by a significant degree of uncertainty in the future of the organisation, in either the form of a threat, or opportunity (1983). Lewin considered the status quo as being a balance between the forces for change and the forces for stability, change would arise when the balance was lost and forces for change overcame the forces for stability (Hughes, 2006). Forces for change can commonly be due to competition, political or legislative changes, new senior management or technological development. Whereas, the forces for stability commonly consist of historical inertia, which is a resistance to change in general, where people want to do things the way they are accustomed to. Additionally, drivers for stability can come from trade unions, and from the organisational culture (Hughes, 2006). Continue reading

You know what you sell, but do you know what they buy?

 

One of the greatest mistakes that can be made when it comes to marketing is not understanding what your consumers are actually buying. We all know what we are selling, but do you really know what your customers are buying your products for?

Jeremy Bullmore gave me some fantastic insight and examples to this question. Let’s say you make expensive pens, you know you are selling a pen that is made from high-quality materials, that is flawless after going through quality control and is made to last a relatively long time. You know what you make, but does your customer buy the same things you sell? Different segments of your market will buy your pen for different reasons, for an expensive pen, these may be for prestige, personal pleasure, or the gratitude of a recipient if the pen is bought as a gift.

Consumers do not buy goods for the good itself, they buy it for the benefits and capabilities gained from owning or using the good.

For example, the original purpose of a candle was to get light, but how many people do you think buy candles to produce light in developed economies? People buy candles to arouse emotions, to feel relaxation, comfort, a homely ambience, etc (Source). These benefits are brought upon by the light and scent of the candle, but the emotions are what candle buyers want, not specifically the light and scent.

A quote from Theodore Levitt illustrates the concept perfectly; “People don’t want a quarter-inch drill; they want a quarter-inch hole.” The truth is, that for every product and service, the product you sell is not what your consumers buy.

Understand what your customers are buying, then you will know what you need to sell.

Continue reading

Welcome to my journey

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A few days ago I had an epiphany; I felt like my life was heading towards an above-average-but-still-average job, and a slow-paced lifestyle. I realised that this hadn’t always been the path I was travelling down.

When I was sixteen I was committed to lead an exciting life, one of high achievement, that was fast-paced and that also minimised procrastination (because procrastination is an unproductive use of life).

Over a few years I had registered a total of 12 domains, as an amateur internet marketer I had a few relatively successful websites out of those projects. One of the most challenging was when I started a website design and SEO (search engine optimisation) company with my friend, which was great, but after a year I couldn’t match the amount of work he put in, whilst I went to school and revised for my GCSE exams, so I had to leave the business to him.

Over time, I forgot about my dreams of success and consequently, became content with a life of mediocrity. I have now realised that I have wandered from my path; through this blog I will attempt to get back on track by planning, implementing and documenting my journey, to greater success.

This is a promise to my self; I will live life to the full, experiencing as much as I can.

I hope this blog will be useful to others as well, for those with similar aspirations and those with an interest in business. I plan to have some articles that should turn this blog into a particularly useful resource for small businesses, entrepreneurs and business students.

Currently, I’m considering uploading some Excel templates for accounting statements and sharing some frameworks for planning and analysis.

This blog could be my most productive use of procrastination yet!