How Far is Too Far?

Social media has grown hand in hand with the current generation of camera phones becoming ubiquitous.  A camera in every pocket, alongside the ease of sharing photos and videos in seconds globally,  has facilitated a revolution in the way information is shared today.  From Twitter to Facebook, media is shared to millions, with a plethora of additional information just a few clicks away.  According to the technology quiz, I am a digital collaborator, which I believe accurately describes my approach to and use of technology.  I believe in the connection of a larger community and the power of these groups to make a difference and serve a greater purpose.  Whether providing live information during natural disasters, crowd-funding business projects, or sharing footage of events and locales around the world, I believe social media has redefined how a global community can interact, sharing and discussing information like never before.

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The Gap (Inc.) in Utilitarian Thinking

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Child labor seems to be an ever-existing problem. We hear of it in the news constantly and while the issue has been slowly decreasing, there is no sign of its eradication in the near future. One industry that seems to have the majority of issues is the textile and retail industries with massive amounts of outsourced production in third world countries. One such company is Gap, Inc. (Gap), which has been a popular source of casual and business clothing throughout the world, which, in addition to the Gap also includes branches like Old Navy and Banana Republic.   In 2007, Gap was accused of using child labor in their Indian factories and while it seemed clear that is was a misunderstanding and was strictly being addressed, it was not the first time Gap had been faced with children working on their clothing overseas.  Fortunately, we see that Gap realized their past mistakes in dealing with child labor and had put in place a new management style addressing such issues. The following review will provide a look into the story behind Gap’s influences and decisions, as well as analyze the ethical dilemmas that required redress. Continue reading

The Gap, Inc.

Gap, Inc. believes in community investment. On their “social responsibility” page they explain the mantra, “Be What’s Possible”. They focus community investment on under privileged children in the US and women in developing countries. It is clear, according to Gap, Inc. that those they aid in investing are not considered just investments but partners. They can say this truthfully because they do not just contribute cash, but innovation. Problem solving for the Gap involves solving social problems creating solutions worldwide. Gap, Inc. maintains this theory with what they term the “Virtuous Cycle”.  The virtuous cycle delivers a collective benefit to the community, shareholders, employees, and consumers. Gap believes that is all can move forward, everyone wins and that is what they strive for in investing in the community.

I think Milton would have a problem with Gap’s thinking. He would most likely believe it is too unanimous and that social responsibility is not that easy. Milton would argue that community investment must in some way have a negative effect on at least one of the parties in the “virtuous cycle” Edward would most likely find that Gap has found a way to merge the Separation Thesis. In creating meaning for the employees and consumers, the Gap goes beyond the economics of business to create virtue and meaning to the work done and money spent.

With its community investments, Gap, Inc. seems to be a stakeholder manager. They provide aid beyond monetary value to partners worldwide and seem benefit all collectively in the process. While their model is a but optimistic, it is on the right path to creating higher stakes than just economic benefit.