Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Do organisations have an obligation to people other than their shareholders?

I ask this question because, as I grow older, read more about the world and experience life with more and more organisations I see things that perhaps I hadn't seen before.

I've recently read the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi and one of the  overwhelming themes was living on what you need to get by.

I would put it to you that many, many multinational organisations gather in vastly more resources than they need and yet their staff at the bottom level struggle to exist on the minimum wage. The question emerges - do the leaders of the organisation at the top have more of an obligation to look after their employees (higher wages, more annual leave and better benefits) than their obligation to their shareholders (lower costs, greater profit and better dividends)?

And it's not just with wages that I feel organisations need to look at their obligations. I read this article yesterday with some interest-


A genuine "restructure" where a company redeploys it's resources into different parts of the business for commercial reasons makes sense. Adapting the online offering, moving people from traditional marketing to the social media team or moving people from one store to another to react to customer demand all make sense.

The euphemistic restructuring that companies use as a buzzword now means job cuts and a drive to reduce the overheads a business faces - at the detriment of the workers who lose jobs, have hours cut, have to relocate, are under-employed or don't deal with the change very well, sometimes because they aren't supported through this change by the organisation that brought it about.

Again, it begs the question of where the company's priority obligation lies.

I've often thought that there are enough people in the UK that believe in equality and fairness and they could be mobilised to buy shares in a company and apply pressure on the policies that the company has, in terms of salaries, environmtal considerations and ethical business practices.
I love Quidco

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have any comments or questions about my blog then please let me know via the comments section.