After reading Cisco’s blog, I was astounded by their commitment to corporate social responsibility. From providing affordable IT education in North America to disaster relief in Asia, Cisco supports a diverse range of programs and initiatives that positively impact and empower communities around the world. However, one particular non-profit that Cisco partners with, Good World Solutions, stood out to me because it demonstrated that specialized areas of business, such as IT, are capable of creating shared value in their own unique ways.
In developing countries, a lack of technology strains the relationship between workers and management. To address this issue, Good World Solutions has developed a mobile platform called Labor Link that improves company-wide communication. Just by using a mobile phone, Labor Link allows workers to respond to survey questions designed by management. Not only does this provide management with real-time data that can be used to analyze and improve the business, it finally offers the ordinary employee with a voice in the decision-making process.
As someone who finds social entrepreneurship interesting, Good World Solutions creates shared value with IT, an element of modern business that was discussed in a recent lecture. Although the collection and analysis of data will undoubtedly lead to changes in the supply chain, the transparency of this information ensures that management remains accountable and does not take advantage of its employees. Since many of these companies are suppliers for larger firms, reports suggesting unethical conduct compel these businesses to respond to employee concerns, so that a reputable image can be presented and upheld. Ultimately, Labor Link facilitates changes in organizational structure that can improve the well-being of thousands of workers.