Monday, April 11, 2011

Keeping Enemies Closest

The focus on enviromental sustainablity is consistantly growing as the recognition for this type of involvement gives more value to company's name. Various contests based on progress ratings are becoming incresingly more popular within all types of organizations and serve as a tool to encourage innovation and result in desired outcomes benefiting the enviroment as well as the reputation of the company.In  "Corporate Sustainability, Competition and Collaboration", David Schatsky talks about the factors that influence the success of these project. Having enviromentaly-focused efforts directed to numerous directions, companies of all sizes are taking their steps within their power and ability to make an impact. But what about the bigger issues that require  funding, human power or legal support that average size oraganization is not able to provide? This is when combining certain assets for two or more companies is the only option to accomplish the given goal. As collaboration takes place between the companies towards a common goal, the ultimate benefits are also mutually allocated among them. Characteristics of transactional leadership are seen in the aspect of sharing or exchanging unique features to move the partner ahead while acquiring benefit that the company would not have had if had worked on its own. The two are primaraly watching out for their own benefit as transactions take place. It is important to note that the projects are chosen based on ethical standards such as "Building the Community" which emphasizes the importance of the goal being of common interest to the community affected by it. The over-all goal of making an impact in the world, depending on the scale of the project would more often be more successful with aspects of transformational leadership as bigger impact, values-based projects would take place calling for more motivational, assertive leadership in process of reaching higher, more idealistic goals; such as changing entire production plan of given products in order to support a newly implemented standards for usage of biodegradable materials only.
The article focuses on the balance of collaboration and competition. The idea of initially uniting powers, solely for the purpose of getting ahead enough to compete against each others ratings down the road may seem confusing. While it may not be the desired path for most companies, it is also initiated by ethical motifs and true virtues of the company. Choosing the more altruistic option to action supports many aspects of social responsibility and in return highlights the positive characteristics of the organization for the public.
Goals focused on the good of external agents should be lead by authentic, interpersonal leadership allowing emphasis on the passion and compassion for a great purpose generating truly transformational results.
The question is how heavily should ethics be considered? When is it okay to cross over to the competition side, bringing down the competitor along with the progress made toward previously shared goal? Is it okay to work towards a goal and follow ethical standards just for the face value of benefiting one's name but become counterproductive towards the same goal when shifting to competition mode?

Mingaile Orakauskaite

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