Thames is failing to uphold both its corporate social responsibility and to define employees as stakeholders is not a sustainable situation. Certainly, the company is reporting profits at the moment, probably due to the fact that there is no substitute threat to their product but, in the long-run, the company will loose out and its profits will decline. It is extremely important that Thames redefine its employees as primary stakeholders and, directly connected to this, adopt a corporate social responsibility framework.
Through a review of the theory on employees as stakeholders and the relation of corporate social responsibility to the stated, this research shall illustrate that there is an immediate connection between corporate social responsibility and the acceptance and treatment of employees as stakeholders, on the one hand, and between these two and corporate success on the other.
Corporate social responsibility refers to the level of an organization's involvement in the improvement of the quality of life of its community, and its acceptance of the fact that it has an important role in improving quality of life (Margolis and Walsh, 2003). Even though there is no precise definition for 'quality of community life,' since it is dependent on many factors, such as socio-political climate, the state of the economy, the type of industry attempting to identify the problems, and location of the business, among others, the fact is that it refers to the degree to which an organisation gives back to the community and regards itself as part of the community (Carroll, 1999; Margolis and Walsh, 2003).
Corporate social responsibility is founded upon an organisation's understanding of the social issues which confront the community within which it is located and which it serves. A socially responsible corporation understands the social issues and problems which confront the community and even if it does not aid in the resolving of these problems, does not contribute to them. For example, a socially responsible organisation which is committed to the community which it serves would not pollute the environment or dump hazardous wastes into it. Furthermore, as Wood (1991) continues, if an organisation becomes the source of a problem, it should display social responsibility by resolving the problem which it caused, or carrying the cost for its solution. Indeed, corporations should not solve social/communal problems which they are responsible for having caused because they are threatened with legal sanctions but because they recognise their fundamental and basic responsibility of doing so. In other words, a socially responsible corporation is not one which performs its duty towards its community, such as refraining from polluting the environment, because it fears legal sanctions and fines but, because it understands that it is a member of the community in question and, as such, has