Gone are the days of organizations being solely focused on making money if they desire a share of the global market (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). The global village is becoming smaller all the time, and cultures and countries blend together, more is becoming expected of global organizations. In addition, the world is becoming more conscious of social and environmental concerns, and organizations that perpetuate such issues, or turn a blind eye to them, face economic downturns.
A globally responsible organization is one that addresses financial, social, and environmental issues (Van Velsor et al., 2010). For instance, a company that focuses on cutting down its environmental footprint through operational changes in processes and supply chain management would be considered globally responsible. They must move beyond profit-seeking and understand their responsibility to society as a whole by seeking ways to benefit the global community (Van Velsor et al., 2010). They must seek ways to limit their detrimental impact they have on the environment, and they need to demonstrate leadership in accordance with the principles of human rights (Van Velsor et al., 2010).
This is especially challenging because, despite technological advances and the shrinking global community, there is still great diversity among nations and cultures with differences in language, values, legal systems, religious beliefs, political priorities, and social values (Van Velsor, 2010). A global organization seeks ways to navigate these differences rather than assuming the world will adjust to them. Leaders of these organizations need to find ways to align needs, opportunities, and challenges of global engagement in order to discover solutions that bring people and resources together for the advancement of mankind as well as the organizational pursuits (Cabrera & Unruh, 2012). This is exactly what Levi Strauss & Co. has done through its human rights activities seeking ways to improve the lives of their employees globally through social interventions.
Cabrera, A., & Unruh, G. (2012). Being global: how to think, act, and lead in a transformed world. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Review Press.
Van Velsor, E., McCauley, C. D., Ruderman, M. N., & Center for Creative Leadership (Eds.). (2010). The Center for Creative Leadership handbook of leadership development (3rd ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.