Monsanto balances the interests of multiple stakeholders
Competitive advantage includes a pile of factors allowing a company to manufacture various goods at an affordable price and of better quality than its competitors. It allows the companies to outperform their rivals and obtain the number one position in the charts.
Numerous competitive advantages help Monsanto stand out from the crowd. Firstly, the company patented all the utilized technologies and prohibited replanting the sold seeds after harvest. Consequently, it ensures constant profit. Moreover, more than 85% of all the GM seeds are distributed by the agrochemical and agricultural corporation or affiliate companies utilizing their technology to produce their goods. Furthermore, the leading corporation holds around 80-90% market share on various kinds of crops dominating multiple profitable markets. This factor makes it nearly impossible for other companies to enter the market and start gaining profit by distributing their own products.
Monsanto is a corporation with a long history which spent years developing its own technology of molecular breeding. Being an innovator on the market allows the company to gain much popularity and trust among the clients. Efficiency and top-notch quality are the advantages allowing Monsanto to stand out from the crowd. Moreover, this is what makes a corporation a top choice among developing countries because they are limited in soil resources. Growing the crop with Monsanto isn't challenging even if a country is limited in some vital resources like land or water. The best possible result is guaranteed if the Monsanto seeds are used.
Despite the numerous benefits the corporation offers to its customers, there are some difficulties that affect the reputation of a leader. The main stakeholders of Monsanto are Society/The General Public, Green Lobbyist Groups, and customers. Farmers are the main customers due to the inability to manufacture their own products and being limited financially. The other two main stakeholders remain mainly concerned about sustainability and renewable energy as the green trends are gaining the world, and being environmentally safe should be an utmost priority for giants like Monsanto. Taking into account the needs and interests of stakeholders isn’t just a responsibility, but it should be a specific way of thinking about business activities, ensuring the best possible result. Monsanto tried to fulfill its responsibilities, although there were some contentious issues.
The company has failed its stakeholders several times by engaging in unethical activities like the production of Agent Orange in 1970. Additionally, the company does not have a real culture to respond to the needs of its consumers. For instance, the FAD got involved in the firm's issues in proving if Monsanto is producing environmentally friendly products (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). Therefore, the unethical activities of the company have resulted in the needs and conflicts of different groups of stakeholders. In most cases, clashes with the stakeholders come up when the requirements of a group of stakeholders are not met. Thus, the CEO should devise the best ways of resolving them to serve the interest of various groups of stakeholders.
Balancing the needs of the customers is challenging, and it requires a lot of engagement. In making the decisions of balancing the needs, various factors are considered. As the CEO, one should engage in an activity or project that will yield a high return for the shareholders. Furthermore, the social impact of a decision should be suitable for the communities and employees (Carkenord, 2009). The long-term effect of the decisions made should not also harm the environment. As the CEO, I would ensure that the company meets all these three areas before it makes a decision or investment for the stakeholders to avoid conflicts with the stakeholders.
It is important for every business to balance the needs of its different stakeholders. The various stakeholders' groups have several priorities. For instance, they expect the firm to make a profit and receive a good return on their investment. The employees also need a conducive working environment to enable them to offer quality services to the consumers that will yield high profits (Carkenord, 2009). Additionally, some of the investors need evidence in the way the firm will respond to issues in the environment before investing in a business or project. Therefore, it is significant for a multinational company like Monsanto to consider the needs and interests of stakeholders.
The various stakeholders of Monsanto have differing needs that the CEO should address and balance to enhance the sound performance of the organization. Furthermore, although the company has improved its corporate responsibility, it does not maintain most of the possible ethical culture (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). The company is in a difficult situation as it produces products that are neither trusted nor needed. This strategy imposes it to high risk because soon people will not purchase its products. As the CEO, I would ensure that the consumers are offered quality goods and services to increase their productivity and benefits. Because the techniques used in preventing pesticides are sophisticated, I would ensure that the consumers are trained on how to conduct the activities.
The company also sells most of its products to developing countries. The firm takes advantage of the less developed countries because they do not have much knowledge of the products (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). The products have a negative impact on the environment, and they are health hazardous. Additionally, Monsanto does not usually offer high levels of charitable giving. Therefore, it does not make sense for the company to say that it is seeking to improve the lives of individuals around the world. In resolving the issues affecting the business, I would ensure that the firm produces seeds that generate high yields, are hardier and use less water to serve and improve the lives of different groups of stakeholders.
Fulfilling the moral obligations
Moral obligation is the responsibility that one owes others, although it is not legally enforceable. The corporations have moral obligations to both the stakeholders and the society in which it operates. Monsanto being a multinational company that manufactures food products for consumption should have a strict moral obligation from the society that it produces and sells its commodities (Jeurissen & Rijst, 2007). The company can fulfill the moral obligations of society by offering them a better life through the provision of seeds that yield high returns. Furthermore, the customers can be given moral obligation by providing them with quality products and services. The customers would be impressed by this strategy because it would have reduced their task of spraying the pesticides. Additionally, the customers will get a high yield, which will increase their profits.
Unfortunately, the genetically modified seeds utilized in improving the killing of pesticides and producing high yields cause severe health effects on planted foods (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). The seeds impose the consumers to health constraints. Therefore, the company can resolve this problem by investing more in research and development to ensure that the genetically modified seeds do not cause harm to society (Jeurissen & Rijst, 2007). If the community realized that a product has an adverse impact on their health, they would not purchase it, and this may result in high losses for the crop growers.
Depending on the product the company is selling, the firm should give the consumers a chance to purchase quality services and products at affordable prices. For instance, the pharmaceutical industry usually gives medicine to individuals who cannot purchase them. Additionally, companies offering services that save the lives of the people usually have a moral obligation to society. The company’s seeds, such as sterile seeds and police seed, do not fulfill the moral obligation of offering services to the customers because they affect the health of the consumers.
The company can fulfill the moral obligation of the society by investing in research and development on its existing products that cause harm to the users (Jeurissen & Rijst, 2007). Investing in research and development helps the company to have more knowledge concerning its current and new products. Another way of fulfilling its moral obligation is by investing in the social sector affected using the company’s commodity (Jeurissen & Rijst, 2007). For instance, if a product results in depletion of the groundwater in the society, then the company should find ways of eliminating the water. The use of the seeds can also be tested from the countries in which the company operates to ensure that the goods they are offering do not cause harm to the consumers.
Numerous challenges faced by Monsanto
Monsanto has been faced with various challenges regarding its stakeholders, ethics, and products. The product the company is manufacturing in the less developed countries has adverse effects on the environment and health of human beings. Furthermore, it has been discovered that the firm sells poorly produced products to the less developed countries because they have less knowledge of the products (Ferrell & Hartline, 2014). Over the years, some companies have been established, and they offer similar products like Monsanto. Therefore, although the company has discovered a new differentiated, patent-protected product, which produces high yields, the company will be forced to reduce the prices of the product because most of the consumers will not purchase them.
The customers might not buy seeds and herbicides of the company because of their ineffectiveness in killing pests. Although there are concerns regarding the adverse environmental effects of genetically modified products, the company is still one of the leading businesses that produce seeds. In the United States, most people trust the company’s products, and this has enabled it to maintain its revenue, sales, and production.
The result of the firm might be patent protected, but the people who lost trust in its products will not purchase them even if they are genuine. Regaining the customers’ loyalty is a difficult task that the company might be unable to achieve. It can regain the loyalty of the consumers by offering fully-fledged support through the delivery of technologies that amplify crop production and resource conservation. Furthermore, the customers might not purchase the product because of the negative effects it has on the environment. The result of this criticism is reduced sales and production in the emerging economies.
Although the products might be producing high yield, they might be unfriendly to the environment, which might impose health hazards to the people utilizing them. Therefore, the company should focus on a marketing strategy that will help it regain its loyalty from the customers. It can conduct the process by offering education to the customers to convince them the products are genuine, and they do not cause any effect on the environment or the health of human beings. It can also use the strategy of Coca-Cola Company of producing similar products across the globe.
Attempts to regain the customers’ loyalty
The company should prove to the stakeholders that it is environmentally friendly and socially responsible by emphasizing its significant role in the future growth and development of human life. The best thing the company can do to alleviate the various concerns of the stakeholders is gaining trust. The past activities of the company had placed it in an awkward situation. It is because of its previous actions that the different stakeholder's groups had different interests. Gaining trust will help the company perform its activities well and invest in the things that will benefit most of the stakeholders. The current products of the enterprise, such as seed police, small charitable giving, and sterile seeds, do not offer the stakeholders a basis of trade. The company should engage in activities that impress most of the stakeholders and encourage more people to invest in the firm.
The company is supposed to revisit its marketing programs and policies to build trust from the stakeholders (Hage & Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, 2007). The company can do this by offering quality services in both the developing and the developed areas. Through this, most of the consumers’ needs would have been satisfied, and the company will have the chance of rebuilding its trust. The company can use biotech food as the solution to the less developed countries. All the customers are important irrespective of their areas of origin. Thus, they should all be treated equally.
The company should also ensure that it uses the three approaches before making decisions concerning the needs of the different groups of stakeholders. The plans include considering if the activity will yield a high return for the shareholders (Carkenord, 2009). Another critical approach is that the social impact of a decision should be suitable for the communities and employees. Furthermore, the long-term effect of the decisions made should not harm the environment (Carkenord, 2009). Through this, the stakeholders will be impressed by the organization, as it will make its decisions after thorough consultations.
These activities can be woven into the marketing strategy of the firm’s product by ensuring that the goods produced adhere to the rules and regulations of seed companies. The products should not interfere with the health of the consumers. Furthermore, the company should consider the strategy of selling and producing similar products across the world, like the Coca-Cola Company (Hage & Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, 2007). The company can also ensure that it markets environmental and health-friendly products. Through this, the company will gain trust from consumers across the globe.
Carkenord, B. A. (2009). Seven steps to mastering business analysis. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla: J. Ross Pub.
Ferrell, O. C., & Hartline, M. D. (2014). Marketing strategy: Text and cases. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning.
Hage, M., & Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. (2007). A stakeholders concern: Towards an economic theory on stakeholder governance = De stakeholder onderneming.
Jeurissen, R., & Rijst, M. W. (2007). Ethics in business. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum.
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