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Making a Company Meaningful through Organizational Responsibilities

Written by Brandon Painter, M.Ed., C.U.G.

First Level of Organizational Responsibilities

The first level of responsibility is to take care of the environment. Each one is responsible to the environment and the government or administrative bodies that make the laws and regulations. A business owner or leader must take into consideration how their company affects the environment. All practices and procedures must reflect good practices toward the environment. Thus, every business must stay in the ethical regulations by law. Karpoff, Lott, and Rankine (1998) state, “On average, firms violating environmental laws suffer statistically significant losses in the market value of firm equity” (para. 1). The focus of their paper was to study “sizes and determinates of fines, damage awards, remediation cost, and market value losses imposed on companies that violate environmental laws” (Karpoff, Lott, and Rankine, 1998, para. 1). Thus, it is important every business takes into consideration their practices when it comes to the environment. Not taking the situation into account can obviously cost the company many in many ways. Is your organization ready for any of the violations or cost that come along with not taking care of the environment? If not, it is important to take the environment into consideration when it comes to your p practices and procedures.

Second Level of Organizational Responsibilities

The second responsibility of an organization is how they affect the community.  Caramela (2016) states these “corporate social responsibilities (CSR) refers to business practices initiatives that benefit society. There are a few broad categories of social responsibility that may of today’s businesses are practicing: environmental efforts, philanthropy, ethical labor practices, and volunteering (adapted from para. 2). It seems apparent that if an organization keeps consistency within these four areas, they are taking care of their responsibilities at an optimal level. It is important for organizations to keep up with these to signify to the community that they are doing their part.

Third Level of Organizational Responsibilities

Organizations are considered meaningful if they are treating their workers fairly. Like mentioned above, the company has an ethical responsibility to make sure procedures and practices are safe. “Workplace Explosions” (n.d.) states, “Safety shortcuts by employers can result in years of misery, pain, physical and medical rehabilitation and reconstructive surgery for the injured employee” (para. 5). People get killed also. Not only should organizations have these ethical labor practices, but companies also have to make sure their employees are taken care and make each individual feel valued. Third, each company to be considered meaningful if the organization gives incentives for their employees. This can be in the form of 401k plans, benefits, and bonuses. Fourth, a company should ask each employee what their personal incentive is for doing well. This can be enhanced positivity, higher self-worth, or living out their calling. A business owner or leader can simply ask each employee what he or she feels like their purpose is. Beyond that, they can ask what their personal motivations and goals are. Lastly, they can ask each employee how they feel like their job contributes to the well-being of others. Asking these simple questions can enhance the employee’s significance within their job. A combination of these can culminate to higher performance levels, lower turnover, decreased absenteeism. In turn, creating happier employees and higher profitability across the board.

Fourth Level of Organizational Responsibilities

The fourth level of organizational responsibilities is to their shareholders. These can be the owners, the employees themselves, individuals who had bought stock. Each person who is invested wants to see the organization be profitable year after year. Bainbridge (2015) shares with us a couple of court document statements that uphold the responsibility of the owners and leaders to their shareholders. Bainbridge (2015) states, “The leading statement of the law’s view on corporate social responsibility goes back to Dodge v. Ford Motor Co, a 1919 decision that held that “a business is organized and carried on primarily for the profit of the stockholders” (para. 7).  A 2010 decision, for example, eBay Domestic Holdings Inc. v. Newmark, held that corporate directors are bound by “fiduciary duties and standards” which include “acting to promote the value of the corporation for the benefit of its stockholders” (para. 8). In sum, the organizational owners or leaders have an ethical commitment be profitable AND not to take actions that are unethically sound and will destroy the company’s reputation. If they do, their value as a company will drop, and they will lose investors. They will also be financially responsible for to pay for damages to their opposition of the fiduciary duties. It is evident that executives and directions are required by law to uphold their responsibilities to the shareholders. If not, they have a lot at stake.

Fifth Level of Organizational Responsibilities

Last but not least, the organization has a responsibility to be ethical to their customers or clients. Products need warning labels if items are dangerous or harmful. Services should not be dangerous in any way. If a company has a dangerous service, they must be up front and transparent with why these services can be dangerous. Services that are dangerous should also inform customers to take proper procedures to lessen the risk of harm. Lastly, a company shouldn’t sell any products or services that are deceiving. Hill (1998) states, ”Deception may be defined as purposefully leading others to believe something we ourselves do not believe. This may be done through a variety of means, including written communication, verbal statements, body language, disguises and even silence” (para. 18). Deception can ruin an organization’s image, destroy trust in loyal customers, send people to jail, and decrease profits dramatically at the same time.


These different areas of responsibilities mentioned create a meaningful company.  Every business is different and has to set up their own meaning and responsibilities. This can be done through taking care of the environment, volunteering or philanthropy in local communities, and providing incentives while taking care of ethical labor practices and procedures. It also can be done through asking employees what inspires them and making them feel worthy. Lastly, organizations can help employees find purpose within their job. Individuals who take care of their responsibilities and endeavor in social efforts most likely will have a higher reputation, performance levels, and profitability. Each company is different so each organizational leader must take it into their own hands to become ethically responsible while making it meaningful.

10 Coaching Questions to Enhance the Meaning and

Social Responsibility of an Organization

Describe how your organization affects the environment?

How does your organization contribute to your local community?

How often does your organization help your local communities?

How else do you want to help your local communities that you are not currently involved in?

What social responsibilities do you have at this moment?

List the philanthropic endeavors are you a part of?

What charitable efforts do you want to be involved in?

How could you enhance your ethical labor practices?

How do you make sure your organization is profitable year after year?

How do you make sure your employees find meaning and purpose within their duties?

Coaching is about learning about one’s self and acting. If you want to set up a free consultation on how to turn your organization into its best possible self or if you have any questions or insights you’d like to discuss with a professional, I am available upon request. My contact information is at


Bainbridge, S. (2015). A duty to shareholder value [blog file]. Retrieved from

Caramela, S. (2016). What is corporate social responsibility? [blog file]. Retrieved from

Gaurav, A. (2013). Explain the social responsibility of businesses [blog file]. Retrieved from

Hill, A. (1997). Dishonesty and deception in business [blog file]. Retrieved from

Karpoff, J.M., Lott, J.R., & Rankine, G. (1998). Environmental violations, legal penalties, and reputation cost [pdf]. Retrieved from

“Workplace Explosions.” (n.d.). Workplace explosions caused by unsafe business practices [blog file]. Retrieved from