PERSONAL REFLECTION ON BUSINESS AND SOCIETY THEME
PERSONAL REFLECTION ON BUSINESS AND SOCIETY THEME
It is certain that business and society are highly interdependent. Businesses depend on the society for survival. For instance, it requires human labour, extracts raw materials from the environment, and sells the end product and services to the people. By engaging in these activities, businesses impact the economic and social systems in the society directly and indirectly. On the other hand, the society benefits from businesses in multiple ways. Activities such as corporate social responsibility, and other expenditures by the businesses directly benefit the firms (Goss, 2015). At the same time, the firms remits wages and taxes, as well as goods and services which enhance quality of life in the society. Similarly, both businesses and society affect each other in diverse ways. Guided by this backdrop, this personal reflection paper uses Gibbs reflective model to recount personal experiences on the theme of business and society.
Gibbs Reflective Model and Personal Reflection
Gibbs reflective cycle is a framework for evaluating and examining experiences. It details the 6 steps of reflection namely; description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan (Smith & Roberts, 2015).
I went through three sets of experiences that correlate with the theme of business and society. The first experience was enrolling to a driving school in Saudi Arabia. The driving school taught me basic and fundamental driving skills. The theoretical lessons too two weeks while the practical sessions took an additional two weeks. The second activity that justifies the interrelatedness between business and society is my tour to Greece. I travelled in a group and we collectively had memorable experiences with the rich cultures in the host country. We marvelled at the beaches, islands, and coastlines, where we interacted with the locals and promoted their businesses. In return, we had fun and rejuvenated physically and mentally. The third activity was attending the Insomnia event in Saudi Arabia. The event was organized by gaming companies to showcase their products. The experiences were wonderful. The fourth activity was the Biban Riyadh event hosted in Saudi Arabia. It was organized to create and strengthen the network among the business community in the country. The event brought together investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Most of the ideas presented were visionary and disruptive and had the potential of fostering the economic development of Saudi Arabia.
Attending the five events triggered a lot of emotions. Unlike my initial belief that driving is a challenging activity, the instructor made me to change the attitude. In the end, the experience made me feel that businesses such as driving school had the responsibility of not only satisfying their customers, but also contributing towards responsible driving. The tourism experience in Greece was amazing. The experiences were wonderful as we interacted with the locals and had a first-hand experience with European and Islamic cultures in the county. These experiences made me feel that the society was fully responsible for the growth of businesses that depended on local tourism. For instance, hospital societies tend to receive positive reviews and through word of mouth, they attract more tourists. In return, the society earns more and improves itself.
At first, I was uneasy with attending the Insomnia event. However, while attending the event, I felt that businesses had a role of meeting human needs. This included the need for leisure, entertainment, and for wealth distribution. I could not stop thinking how resources could have been shared across the society if businesses did not exist. These thoughts and feelings were motivated by the fact that the gamers earn a living by entertaining others and in return, they are paid which helps distribute resources money across the society. The Biban Riyadh event equally made me feel the need to become an entrepreneur, an innovator, or an investor. I felt like I could use either of this knowledge to innovate, invest in, finance, or start a green business that conserves the environment and the society (Shabana, Buchholtz & Carroll, 2017). I equally felt the need for businesses to engage in corporate social responsibilities.
My experiences on the interrelationship between business and society can be classified as both positive and negative. For instance, at the driving school, I noted the need for businesses to be good corporate citizens (Wood & Logsdon, 2017). This means that they have to follow the laid down directives and ensure all drivers are well trained. However, on the part of the society, it was a personal decision to either become a responsible or reckless driver. Considering these dynamics, the business cannot be wholly blamed for the behaviour of the people in the society. The tour to Greece taught me to appreciate the role of businesses in facilitating tourism activities. On the contrary, I noted that the businesses and human activities were affecting the natural ecosystem thus causing global warming. In addition, businesses pollute the environment. These scenarios highlight the negative impact that businesses have on the sustainability of the society.
The insomnia event presented an opportunity for the society to showcase its talent. As much as the event was entertaining, I observed that gaming business could easily trigger addiction among young children. Addiction would in turn affect the productivity of these children as they transition into youths and young adults. The Biban Riyadh event presented an avenue for learning. Through this event, I confirmed that businesses benefited society in facilitating dissemination and sharing of information. As people shared information, they came up with novel ideas which benefited the businesses. Examples of such ideas includes the sharing economy model which continues to be adopted by innovators in Saudi Arabia. On the contrary, the business ideas have contributed towards overexploitation of non-renewable natural resources such as wood (Shabana et al. 2017). This has led to deforestation in most countries. As evident in this section, the interrelationship between businesses and society positively and negatively impact each other.
An analysis of the driving school experience shows that there are laws that government the conduct of businesses and societies. For instance, driving schools are required by law to produce responsible drivers. On the other hand, the society is expected to understand and adhere to laws on driving. Likewise, they have to internalize and practice what is taught in the driving school. Both businesses and society risk losing their licenses when they behave badly. For instance, the license of a driving school can be revoked if the business engages in unethical conduct (Beets, Lewis & Brower, 2016). On the other hand, individuals driving license can be rescinded if they misbehave on the road. In the tour to Greece, I noted that businesses have a responsibility to society, and vice versa. This created a mutual relationship where they both need each other for survival.
The Insomnia event helped me make sense of how the gaming industry is important to society. The industry is responsible for entertainment and leisure. On the other hand, it provides a source of revenue for the players. As much as gaming is beneficial to businesses, and the society, unregulated gaming could harm the society by causing addiction which derails people from reaching their social and economic goals. The Biban Riyadh event enabled me to understand the need for collaborative working between businesses and society. If properly managed, the investors, entrepreneurs, and investors can work collaboratively in ensuring sustainable business development (Schaltegger, Hansen & Lüdeke-Freund, 2016). The businesses will then benefit the society by helping conserve the environment and other resources.
This personal reflection on business and society uses four cases to illustrate the interrelationship between the two. Through this reflection, it is evident that business operations affect the society and vice versa. The businesses such as driving schools are responsible for adhering to the law and training responsible drivers. The gaming industry is responsible for entertaining the people. The tourism industry is responsible for leisure and preservation of the environment while meeting among investors is aimed at designing effective business strategies that enable growth (Goss, 2015). On the contrary, the society is obligated to remain responsible to the businesses. In the case of touring Greece, the society has duty of creating a supportive environment to attract tourists. The society is responsible for protecting the environment used by the businesses to attract tourists. The meeting of investors helped the society to solve societal problems. In regard to the gaming industry, the society has the responsibility of being ethical and responsible to avoid addictions.
Guided by the analysis, it is important that businesses and society create an interactive social system. This way, businesses will benefit from responsible and sustainable sourcing while the society will benefit from wages and CSR conducted by the businesses. It is important that even as these two aspects interact, the businesses have to introduce sustainability or CSR to enhance the benefits they offer to the society. The people have to support the businesses by being cooperative as evident in the tourism industry in Greece.
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Shabana, K. M., Buchholtz, A. K., & Carroll, A. B. (2017). The institutionalization of corporate social responsibility reporting. Business & Society, 56(8), 1107-1135.
Smith, J., & Roberts, R. (2015). Reflective practice. Vital Signs for Nurses: An Introduction to Clinical Observations, 222-230.
Wood, D. J., & Logsdon, J. M. (2017). Theorizing business citizenship. In Perspectives on corporate citizenship (pp. 83-103). Routledge