Jun 24, 2009
Intercultural assessment of sustainability
oekom research assesses the performance of companies according to criteria of environmental, social and cultural sustainability, on the basis of the Corporate Responsibility Rating (CRR), a framework based on scientific elaborated criteria. After the presentation of the rating agency and its tools, this project analysis the expressed explanations both from the German and the Japanese perspective with support by Trompenaars and Galtung/ Welfords contributions. You can also Subscribe to FINAL YEAR PROJECT'S by Email for more such Projects and Seminar.
The definition of sustainability is not static, but describes the means of the process towards a more sustainable development. The Japanese contribution challenges the Western concepts. It is not the question, which side provides the better framework, but how the intercultural dialogue is enabled. oekom’s CRR is perceived in this context.
Environmental sustainability remains subject of debate, but a big knowledge and consciousness about green issues do exist. Many companies have integrated a green policy into their mission statement.
Social sustainability is far more difficult to define. As social issues comprise the legal context of a firm, the assessment shows the extent to which a firm shows compliance to the social standards.
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Cultural sustainability introduced a broader scope. The basic requirement is, that a company should respect the culture of its host nation. This comprises, that a business should not interfere and change the culture in order to maximize its profits(HOFFMANN, 1997).
Corporate Responsibility Rating (CRR)
The CRR is based on the “Frankfurt-Hohenheim Guidelines” (FHG), a set of criteria which were developed by an academic interdisciplinary project group in Germany. The FHG are a public good, only protected by copyright. There can be no monopolistic use of the FHG. Any individual or institution can use the guidelines to develop a FHG- based rating system.
This report is divided into different chapter and each chapter is important in itself. The first chapter presented oekom researches actual economic situation, its CRR-related products and the framework the CRR builds upon, resulting in a dual managerial problem: the question of product differentiation and the need of the development of a corporate strategy.
In the second chapter, the analysis the ratings of Sainsbury and Jusco revealed the problems of implementing CRR’s criteria, leading to a set of ambiguous results. In the third chapter, both German and Japanese explanations for the weak feedback tothe CRR in Japan were presented, including the hermeneutic shift to the Japanese contribution and style. This chapter shows the state of the situation oekom is faces with.
The fourth chapter introduces managerial frameworks for a better understanding of this situation. The analysis of both differences and similarities between the Japanese and the German culture is presented as a first step of the intercultural dialogue. The fit of oekoms approach in global trends, described by the Galtung-model, is added, because is defines the range of the implementation of the CRR.
This final chapter closes the loop of the concentric spiral. Based on the findings of this report, the author provides recommendations for oekom researches management, in order to work on the managerial problems detected in Chapter 1.
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