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    Management
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  • Level:
    Undergraduate
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CASE STUDY ANALYSIS 1

Case Study

Table of contents

1.0 Cover page………………………………………………………………………………………………………………1

2.0 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3

3.0 Stakeholders…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….4

4.0 Stakeholders concern………………………………………………………………………………………………..4

5.0 Stakeholders objectives and views……………………………………………………………………………..5

6.0 Analysis of alternative solutions………………………………………………………………………………..5

7.0 Recommended solutions…………………………………………………………………………………………..7

8.0 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………………………8

2.0 Introduction

A case refers to a story that illustrates business management theories and concepts. This paper will analyze the Microsoft cooperation and its partnership with UNHCR. The company tried to come up with methods of helping victims of a conflict such as the 1999 Kosovo conflict. This was to be achieved by use of a particular skill and expertise. The analysis will focus on the following:

  • Objectives of the stakeholders

  • Their main problems

  • Their concern

  • Their views, both negative and positive

  • Analysis of alternative solutions

  • Recommended solutions

To choose or refuse corporate social responsibility, there are several approaches used by corporations which include:

  • Obstmetioist stance – the company does as little as it can so as to avoid responsibility

  • Defensive stand – the company focuses legal but does not take into consideration of the ethical requirements

  • Accommodative position – the company focuses on exceeding the minimum social necessities on certain occasions or on exceptional request

  • Proactive position – the company acts in such a way that citizens in the society actively seek opportunities to contribute.

Capitalism under invisible hand theory suggests that firms or people that do things for their own benefit also benefit the community.

3.0 Stakeholders

The stakeholders of the Microsoft Corporation include employees, the members of the community, civil society, government, customers, and partners. The partners include UNHCR, ELCA, and Compaq. The partnership with UNHCR started during the 1999 Kosovo crisis when UNHCR proposed a strategy for helping the victims. It suggested that Microsoft Corporation could help the victims of a conflict by providing both the hardware and software technology where the refugee’s details could be captured. This was very helpful as most of the victims had already lost their identity documents. The partnership with ELCA came into existence when they were helping in the implementation of the mainstream version of the project profile. The company has grown its engagement since 2003 to what is now known as corporate citizenship. This comes with great benefits which include: improving public image, increasing media coverage, boosting employee engagement, attracting and retaining investors (Alson, 2010).

4.0 Stakeholders concern

Friedman frequently asked whether the company was only to be responsive to shareholder’s expectations for profits or did it need to take other factors such as the community around it. This can be refered as the corporate social responsibility where the society presumes legal, discretionary, ethical and economic expectations from an organization (Carroll &Buchholtz, 2003). Apart from other responsibilities, organizations should have both moral and ethical tasks of earning a fair return for a profit in their businesses. From the traditional point of view, both the stakeholders and owners should take primary responsibilities of a firm. However, the corporate social accountability entails broader requirements to the customers, employees, suppliers and the entire community.

5.0 Stakeholders objectives and views

Jean PhelippeCourtious, the then Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft in Europe, Middle East and Africa took the responsibility focusing to benefit the public by partnering with government, customers, stakeholders and the local community to promote both social and economic growth. This was great of him. It mainly ensured that the company addressed the challenges and opportunities that lied in the society. It also ensured that the knowledge involved everyone and spread across the world (Alson, 2010).

6.0 Analysis of alternative solutions

According to Joosten (2012), the partnership with UNHCR can be termed as one of the best partnership which Microsoft Corporation have been engaged in. Though at first the partnership was meant for pro-bono and humanitarian reasons, it can be proven that both companies have gained financially from the partnership. It helped in offsetting some negative and widely held perceptions of a dominant company. It also came with the general advantages of a partnership which are as discussed below:

I is easy to work and manage with Partnerships. This is because partnership does not require great regulation and restrictions like companies when it comes to the laws that govern their formation. Also, it is easy to manage because the partnership members dictate on how to run the business with no outside interference. Therefore, partinership involves more frexible and easy management without outside interference provided that the partners afree on the way forward.

Partnerships have a shared responsibility. This means that members can share the responsibility when it comes to the running a company which allows them to make the most out of their abilities. As compared to individual management and also focusing on each member’s equal share, they can organize the work according to their fields of expertise. This means that if one partner is good in a certain field, they can specialize in that field, while the other partner specializes in his area of expertise in the same company.

When it comes to decision making, the members or the partners share their ideas together, and can at times help each other in particular situations. The more the partners the more the resources and ideas of solving company’s problems that the company comes across during its operations. Therefore, having more partners contribute greatly to the company’s success (William, 2009).

However, UNHCR requires that its partners abide by its code of conduct. The aim of this is to maintain an enduring and transparent relationship. UNHCR enters into a partnership with the primary goal being fulfilling its mandate, not for personal financial gains. It further seeks to engage with corporations which are socially responsible and which do not engage in irresponsible operations such as child labor, manufacture or sale of weapons and operations in countries subject to UN sanctions. The criteria demand that an engagement should operate with transparency and that all partnership information should be made available to the public. It maintains its right to the sole decision power over its operations and partnership should not compromise its integrity. Use of the UNHCR logo is allowed only when predetermined in writing for a particular activity and only during the time of the contract (William, 2009).

UNHCR view is that war and conflicts have a negative implication on markets. One of its objectives is to maintain a stable and safe community. This isparamount as it’s evident that businesses prosper in communities which are viable, stable and secure bearing in mind that businesses are essential for human survival and the growth of the economy (William, 2009).

The refugees appreciated the partnership of UNHCR with Microsoft. They acknowledged that the use of technology is of great importance to them. They are sure that their information is safe and cannot be easily tampered with. UNHCR, Microsoft, and the Red Cross have come up with a Community Technology Skills Programme which aims at teaching the less disadvantaged in the community like the refugees. This is because the computer knowledge is becoming increasingly important and essential for one to get a formal employment (Alson, 2010).

7.0 Recommended solutions

Jean PhillippeCourtois says that employees volunteering had always playeda major role in partnership with both partners. The Microsoft employees working in the voluntary programme were very passionate in helping their fellow humans. The company excelled in citizenship practices, employees’ benefits, research, and development. UNHCR now uses advanced and sophisticated systems which make their work more efficient. Their headquarters and onsite refugee camps are using advanced technological systems (William, 2009).

However, Jean Phillippe still insists that much should still be done. There should be the creation of a team with credible resources to achieve the objectives laid down in the framework. The company should try to bring in new members with fresh thinking to bring in new ideas which can lead its further development. It should also try to explore the most efficient and effective strategies and innovations available (Alson, 2010).

8.0 Conclusion

The partnership between Microsoft Corporation and UNHCR is brought out clearly in the case. How the partnership started with the UNHCR suggesting to the Microsoft Corporation to come up with a technological software and hardware to help the victims of the 1999 Kosovo crisis. The way the corporation came up with advanced technology to help UNHCR carry out its operations effectively is well explained. The corporation came up with strategies which helped the UNHCR to accurately and efficiently store their data. For instance, this included the storage of refugee details like the names and place of birth. This helped in ensuring that the refugees were recognized, and their rights were considered.Some individuals have raised their concerns in the case. For instance, Friedman who asked whether the company was only to be responsive to shareholders expectations for profits or did it needs to take other factors such as the community around it. This is explained by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is corporate created by Word Business Council for Sustainable Development. What Jean Phillippe recommends is essential for the company. Creation of a team with credible resources will be by far help to achieve the objectives laid down in the framework. Bringing in new members with fresh thinking and new ideas will lead to development (Carroll &Buchholtz 2003)

References

Carroll &Buchholtz 2003, Business and Society: Ethics and stakeholders management, Australia, Thomson South-Western Press.

Alson R 2010. Limited Liability Company& Partnership answer book, Aspen Publishers

William Pride 2009, Return to inside business. Cengage Press.

Dr Candy Lu 2016, International ethics and social responsibility, Macquare University

Joosten Frauke 2012, Microsoft partnership with UNHCR, Pro Bono Publico