Across the world, global companies have been blamed for the lack of efforts and programs to eliminate child labor and improve the working conditions and standards for their suppliers and employees. Multinationals have a significant role in developing countermeasures to reduce the adverse working situations of workers (Anner, Bair, & Blasi 2013, p.1). It is clear that multinational enterprises (MNEs) have also been exploiting employees from developing countries.
Based on the globalization process, MNEs usually outsource more services in its supply chain models to reduce the production costs. The model explains their violation of the child labor rights through the employment of children from developing nations to lower the costs. Taking part in child labor and having poor working conditions for the employees usually leads to the negative publicity of the company (Carswell and De Neve 2013, p.65). The top tea companies in the UK were able to receive adverse reputation following the exposure of their deals with suppliers who used child labor. However, some multinationals might argue that the local laws and regulations permit children to work in the factories.
MNEs should develop strong policies and procedures which align to the international human rights to prevent using any potential child labor within their supply chains. To deal with the challenges of child labor, MNEs have critical need in preventing children from seeking cheap labor through giving them an opportunity to attend schools (Hopkins 2012, p.67). The corporations should invest in schooling and attendance programs which seek to ensure that children do not go to seek labor. The companies should include an element of social responsibility and initiatives, which is critical in accommodating the child labor regulations to improve responsible supply chains.
Most importantly, multinationals should come up with the effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) which is critical in involving different stakeholders to ensure the consistency of company values. Child workers are usually used in different levels of the supply chains ranging from agriculture to retail industry (Lund‐Thomsen, Nadvi, Chan, Khara, and Xue 2012, p.1223). Regarding the corporate social responsibility perspective and concepts, it is important to develop strong partnerships and platforms to manage the supply chains appropriately (Locke 2013, p.219). The corporations also have a role in integrating the guiding principles and concepts to support and eliminate child labor which enhance due diligence in the supply chain processes.
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Global Family Companies
According to the report of the Economist, it is clear that the family owned companies might not be running any more in the future due to the lack of appropriate strategic plans. In the current global business environment, the family owned companies are dominant (Miller, Breton-Miller, and Lester 2013, p.194). The corporation should seek to deal with challenges through effective long term planning and strategies. The first action to improve the leadership and the governance of the family companies is designing and developing an effective road map (Benavides-Velasco, Quintana-García, and Guzmán-Parra 2013, p.94). The roadmap will help in nurturing the businesses in the long run.
The family owned companies could be unique regarding ownership and control but they still face significant sustainability challenges. The nature of commitment comprises of the long-term model including different stakeholders to improve the concepts and principles of sustainability (Nordqvist, Wennberg, and Hellerstedt 2013, p.1093). The family owned companies should also engage stakeholders and communities in coming up with ths effective environmental and cultural transparency and accountability. The nature of corporate social responsibility will be critical in integrating the process of sustainability among the goals and decisions of the corporate social responsibility programs.
The family firms stills need to integrate into the global systems, dynamic value processes and progression in technological advancement and communications to develop an expanding long-term focus and success. It is expected that as the global family companies grow across the border, they will face significant challenges (Kachaner, Stalk, and Bloch 2012, p.104). It is imperative that the companies develop strong capabilities as well as expanding the market opportunities within society.
The family businesses can play a significant role in expanding and growing the future global economy. The family companies introduce the global economies to new ways of ownership which is not heavily dependent on debt. Most importantly, the family firms would also support the nature and model of supporting strategic alternatives and actions which grows the overall global economy (Fernandez-Araoz, Iqbal, and Ritter 2015, p.96). Therefore, the global family owned firms are crucial in supporting the growth and integration of local firms in different companies.
Unilever’s CEO on Sustainability and Leadership
I strongly agree with the statement of the Unilever’s CEO about the role of businesses in promoting sustainability and environmental protection within society today. The success of the economy and businesses mainly relies on the growth of environmental protection and preservation efforts. It reveals the significance of businesses to develop strategic business plans which are sustainable through the inclusion of environmental conservation measures in adopting sustainable strategic plans and developing the sustainability programs (Metcalf and Benn 2013, p.374). It is critical for the companies towards growing their role and participation in the economic sustainability.
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Sustainability is an important element in the success of organization and the growth of business. Sustainability is critical to the businesses as it enhances economic growth and profitability as well as social responsibility. The government usually has a significant role in designing and developing an appropriate framework and model to consider the nature of externalities. According to Wells (2013, p.129), the government’s interventions will guide in coming up with strong sustainability programs within organization. It would also ensure that the tax policies within the market are favorable for the businesses operating in the markets. In relying on the government’s role, the businesses can benefit significantly from the sustainability programs and efforts.
Most successful companies and businesses usually perform their actions in a more sustainable approach which indicates the caution on addressing key climatic challenges and problems. Integrating sustainability is also able to make the companies more competitive and successful due to their ability to endure the challenging and dynamic market changes (Lourenço, Callen, Branco and Curto 2014, p.22). For example, sustainability programs help the businesses to maintain their unified focus, attract new customers as well as relate well with the financial markets and the government regulators. The ability of businesses to work well with the state and local authorities is critical.
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Some of the main drivers of sustainability involve developing strategic models to expand business productivity. Advancing product benefit is an important element of the sustainability program of company. It seeks to widen the product lines and portfolio through the selling of more products, which more value (Lozano 2015, p.37). It is also necessary to form a strong link with the customers useful in the creation of long-term strategies within the organization.
The development of market opportunities is another benefit, which would assist the companies in expanding their market share to new foreign markets. Such global success could occur through expansion to new markets and respond to the changing customer needs. Finally, the sustainability strategies of business will assist in advancing reputation and the image of the company (Werbach 2013, p.45). The strategy is usually proactive in assisting the firms to maintain their image and relations with government and other stakeholders. Therefore, businesses should look to expand and integrate into sustainability programs to make businesses more competitive and successful.