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Business Decisions

The global recession began shortly after the September 2011 crisis, and quickly claimed many victims to unemployment. This financial and economic crisis triggered output contractions in almost all industrialized economies in the year 2009. As businesses cut production in response to lower demands, workers were let go in large numbers, increasing the unemployment rates dramatically. Aside from job losses the quality of employment also deteriorated. Many employees who did not lose their jobs were forced to work above the level previously expected at the same or lower pay.

The increase in job insecurity due to the recession resulted in employers having the upper hand, while employees were subject to deteriorating working conditions; however fear of job loss created an environment where employees did not defend their rights. Many organizations were forced to lay off employees due to the economic downturn, however despite economic times many individual business decisions were made that can explain the deterioration of the workplace aside from the necessity of layoffs.

While the economy struggled there still were seen large leaps in the finances of large organizations due to the reduction of labor costs rather than rise in production. Some businesses have chosen profit over people; in a time

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where jobs are tight the organizations are taking advantage of individuals willing to put in extra labor in order to keep a job, therefore reducing employee numbers without reducing production levels. While business organizations have a responsibility to both shareholders and employees it seems as though some organizations focus primarily on the shareholders, with employee welfare left for last.

Business organizations have a corporate social responsibility, meaning that the businesses must consider all stakeholders in each business decision. The four aspects of corporate social responsibility that each organization must consider are their responsibility to contribute economically, legally, ethically, and philanthropically. While organizations must remain profitable in order to stay in business, it does not mean that ignoring employee welfare in order to profit is ethically sound.

Organizations should be responsible to ensure that employees feel secure in their jobs with good working conditions in addition to meeting profit goals. Business leaders often focus on share prices, and profit margins, however there are alternative measures of organizational performance that may change the focus of business leaders. Business leaders may also measure performance based off of productivity, market shares, customer service, achievement of goals, and even contributions to society.

Maintaining a socially responsibly organization may be another way business organizations measure performance. By maintaining a socially responsible organization society becomes supportive of the organization and its goals, and therefore the organization may see an increase in profit and productivity. For example, businesses such as Whole Foods which is a higher end market, have continued to receive support and continued profiting despite economic downturn due to the fact that many customers are loyal based on supporting the values and environmental goals that Whole Foods promotes.

The global economic downturn has led to many changes in employment relationships. One of these changes is seen in the instillation of temporary job assignments or contracts. The growth of temporary employment relationships has impacted employee attitudes and behaviors in a negative way due to the fact that employees have little to no loyalty to the organization, and nothing truly invested in their workplace.

Temporary employment creates an environment where employees are not inspired to go above and beyond expectations, and where employees know that their time is limited and therefore do not seek to become invested in their work. To develop a measurement system to evaluate the impact of corporate downsizing and temporary job assignments on employees I would seek to understand employee’s feelings toward their employment through satisfaction surveys. I would also evaluate the productivity of temporary employees in comparison with permanent personnel.

In conclusion the global recession has had a negative impact on the environment of the workplace, creating an environment where employers are more focused on the bottom line and profitability than on the condition of the workplace. The recession has caused deterioration in the workplace, and employees who are less satisfied in their position. Organizations have a corporates social responsibility to contribute economically, legally, ethically and philanthropically.

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