In January 2021, in the midst of a pandemic, Washington State took an unusual strategy to operationalize its vaccination program by turning to businesses for help. To deliver on the state’s ambitious vaccination program, the local government has expanded the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center (WSVCCC) to include business, community, and healthcare representatives (NBC News, 2021). All the tasks of a large-scale vaccination campaign for the population were planned to be distributed among the participants of this broad coalition. For example, Starbucks is committed to using its technology and logistical expertise to help select suitable vaccination sites and optimize them for high throughput needs. Microsoft will also share its technologies and provide other necessary support (NBC News, 2021). Thus, this case illustrates an example of large multinational companies’ engagement in a healthcare issue.
Starbucks, Microsoft, and other companies involved in the vaccination program pursue the values and principles of corporate social responsibility, which incorporate more than just pure financial gains. Being important national players, such large companies today cannot simply ignore global threats. The pandemic, in particular, is fraught with unpredictable economic and social risks, which may also affect numerous business stakeholders. This is why it is so important to keep abreast and invest in solving problems at different levels of government. According to the stakeholder theory, the interests of citizens, politics, and business today are exceptionally interconnected and often require joint action. This, above all, is the basis for corporate social responsibility.
The companies mentioned in the assigned video also bring human rights benefits when collaborating with the government. A well-managed vaccination campaign with business expertise should help people get the protection they need from the virus faster. Therefore, in this partnership case, the right to the medical care of citizens, a number of rights of employees, and even the rights of company employees take place. All are interested in leveling the economic crisis and recovering from the pandemic.
Hence, financial responsibility plays a key role in designing a CSR strategy. A manager should be able to clearly understand the complexity of today’s world and estimate the risks that might occur at any time and require heavy investments to keep the business on its responsibility track. In the end, the estimation of business seems to appear reasonably accurate. In the Starbucks example, it is evident that vaccination revives the coffee business. Kevin Johnson, the Starbucks CEO, observes a direct correlation between the number of visitors to coffee shops and the percentage of the population vaccinated (Clifford, 2021). Moreover, Starbucks sales are already exceeding pre-pandemic levels in regions with active vaccination of people, as Johnson told CNBC. According to the head of the coffee chain, the link between increased business activity and increased vaccination rates is simple. If at least 35% of the adult population is vaccinated in the region, governments, as a rule, begin to relax covid restrictions, providing an opportunity for business recovery (Clifford, 2021). Thus, the pandemic once again illustrated the role of CSR and financial responsibility held by the business.
Such a proactive approach definitely brings many advantages to the company. For example, the video about Starbucks assisting with the vaccination program definitely affected the company’s reputation, strengthened the employer’s brand, and eased the conditions for business, bringing a more favorable pandemic situation. Thus, the negotiating position of GR at the federal and regional levels, among other things, depends on the scale, structure, and thoughtfulness of the CSR program.
Clifford, T. (2021). Starbucks CEO says business is rebounding in markets where vaccinations are up. CNBC. Web.
NBC News. (2021). Starbucks CEO speaks on company joining Covid vaccine effort in Washington | NBC nightly news [Video]. YouTube. Web.