BAT reputation Bad reputation?
- Case study problem and orgnizational approach
- Description of the organization: British American Tobacco
- The BAT vision and approach
- Corporate communication at British American Tobacco
- Health issues
- Operating responsibility
- Good Corporate Citizenship, a key to success
Corporate social responsibility, mostly quoted as CSR can be the most important point in corporate communication for some companies. Why is corporate responsibility such a famous expression? Corporate social responsibility is ?a commitment to improve community well-being through discretionary business practices and contributions of corporate resources? (Kotler, 2005). It is a strategic business tool that has been in the focus of numerous corporations in the past 5-10 years (Kotler, 2005).
In the last few decades, people have tended to realize the finite capability of our planet and the fact that the human body gets strength from it, and they have therefore developed from customers to conscious consumers, who want to take personal responsibility for every situation affecting the environment and human life. Both points are present in the company's operations we have chosen to analyze: the global tobacco industry member British American Tobacco.
Producing tobacco products which pose serious risks to health, operating in emerging countries, trading worldwide are just a few of the many precarious issues it deals with. To be successful, it is crucial that stakeholders get a positive, trustworthy image about the organization. Corporate image derives from corporate identity ? which the company projects about itself ? including visions, mission statement, organizational culture, and the legitimacy of its operations, including its products and services (Hellum 2010). In case of BAT, the basic importance is on legitimacy which according to Hellum (2010 17) is: ?Organizations are perceived as legitimate when their goals and activities are seen as legitimate.?
The question left is our case study question itself: is it possible for a tobacco industry firm to gain positive image amongst all its stakeholders while being aware of the fact that its products pose significant risk to health and are questioned in all societies?
To deliver an answer regarding this issue, first we summed up BAT's history and characteristics, then we looked into the matter of corporate communication detailed. At the end of our study a short summary can be found, which is followed by our conclusions and findings.