Ethics refer to the fundamental principles of an individual or a group. Social responsibility is how a business performs its activities to meet its wider obligations toward the society and environment, such as by avoiding activities which may be harmful. Strategic planning is an essential preliminary step in the corporate world in which senior management defines the organization’s strategy, direction and decision-making. Ethical values and social responsibility serve an important role in the strategic planning process.
Management must ensure that strategic decisions are reached after taking into account the possible impact on the stakeholders. Stakeholders are suppliers, customers, societies and anybody who is affected by the activities of the business. A socially responsible company treats stakeholders equally. Wider perspectives also have to be considered in terms of environmental and social impact of planned activities.
Members of management should provide information transparently and honestly to help all involved discuss, debate and reach better decision-making. This enables the team to identify and monitor any potential risks which may arise and find an alternative solution. In terms of social responsibility, transparency also enhances the company's credibility toward its external stakeholders.
A management meeting provides an opportunity for management team members to raise concerns and come up with new ideas. It should be conducted in a professional and coherent manner and everyone should be independent in providing ideas without fear or hesitance as this helps improve the quality of the discussion and the decisions reached.
Members should respect others' opinions by giving them the opportunity to speak and by listening to their ideas with interest. Constructive comments develop more intellectual discussion but should be dealt with in a way which does not hurt the other members' feelings. Discussion in a friendly environment improves the relationship among the members, strengthens the strategic planning process and results in better decision-making.
During the planning process, the team should take a fair and truthful look at the possible risks and impact of decisions reached. These need to be thoroughly considered to maintain the welfare of the stakeholders such as employees and the society at large. Members should be truthful and frank in providing ideas and comments.