Corporate Citizenship Beck's Theory Of The World Risk Society

1416 words - 6 pages

Lucianne WhiteCorporate CitizenshipAssignment 1IntroductionCorporate citizenship is based on the premise that businesses will actresponsibly towards society, thus proving to be socially responsible.This essay will look at the three theories of citizenship.Risk in society is viewed by three main approaches, human behaviourapproach, techno-scientific approach and sociocultural approach.Each of these approaches puts yet another spin on the definition ofrisk and how it affects our population. This essay will look at riskfrom the 'world risk society' point of view.It will endeavour to explain Beck's theory of the 'risk society' anddiscuss how his theory might be applied as a useful framework forexamining the level of corporate citizenship in organisations.It will also include a look at how other theorists define risk. Inconclusion it will evaluate and comment on the usefulness of Beck'smodel.Corporate CitizenshipA citizen is a member of a modern political community (i.e. thenation-state) who posesses formally defined rights and responsibilitiesby virute of membership to that nation, typically including the right tobe involved in selecting governments (Bessant & Watts, 1999).Corporate citizenship is therefore corporations which have rights andresponsibilites of their own, as well as obligations to their community.Corporate citizenship is based on three theories; minimalist,communitarian and universal rights. We will look briefly at what eachtheory means.Minimalist is where citizens strive towards their own goals with verylittle interference. They realise there are rules which regulate theirbehaviour and are able to function individually.Communitarian is where the communitys' well being outweighs theindividuals rights. Everyone works towards reaching the communitygoals rather than focusing on personal goals.Universal rights is where everyone pursues their own goals andinterests but makes sure to consider others rights. Being aware toensure social justice.Corporations seek to grow and become successful whilst at the sametime being mindful of their obligation to society. Corporations havealot of power over their society, this is shown when making decisionssuch as whether to expand or close down factories and locations oftheir business. This affects population movement, employment levelsand the growth or decline of cities and towns (Haralambos, VanKrieken, Smith & Holborn, 1999). Andrew Hacker (1974; 1977) wasparticularly concerned about the scope of this power and argued that'decisions made in the names of these huge companies guide andgovern, directly and indirectly, all our lives'.Because of this power and their place in society it is incrediblyimportant that corporations are constantly on the lookout for changesin the economy and society. Thus taking note of Beck's theory of theworld risk society would benefit them greatly. Even if only to thepoint of making them more aware of the possible consequences ofthese changes.Defining RiskRisk is...

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