Page 1: Introduction
All organisations operate within a wider environment in which they need to carefully build up and to sustain long-term relationships. In recent times it has become fashionable to talk about business organisations needing to serve their stakeholders who are shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and the communities in which they operate. It is equally clear that business organisations are major stakeholders in the community. We can represent this as a two way commitment.
There are a number of ways in which business organisations’ stakeholding in the community should operate:
- CREATING PROSPERITY - A prosperous company helps to create a prosperous community. This happens in a number of ways. The company creates jobs. These jobs should involve fair payment for work done, safe working conditions and prospects for the future and a commitment to the personal development of the people within the organisation. Additionally, the company will provide goods and services which meet the needs of consumers. The goods it creates will enhance the lifestyles of citizens and the products will be made with due concern for the environment and for future generations. A successful business will create prosperity in the community - a prosperous community will create successful business.
- HELPING OTHERS - A successful company will help the community in a variety of ways. It will provide jobs. It will pay taxes which support the infrastructure of the economy and help to provide benefits for the needy. In addition, it will run its own projects which are targeted at particular community benefits, such as an education service, supporting the voluntary sector and local enterprise etc. It will also support other businesses by for example, settling accounts promptly and by fair dealing.
- ENCOURAGING EMPLOYEES TO DEVELOP THEMSELVES WITHIN THE WIDER COMMUNITY - An enlightened organisation will realise that its greatest assets are its people and that they can make an important contribution in the community. By being involved in community projects, individuals will develop their portfolio of skills and abilities. They will find the work rewarding and this will lead to increased motivation. Moreover, they will be proud to work for their company and be proud of its achievements.
This case study focuses on one business organisation - Whitbread and shows how, through its commitment to the community, it has been able to develop a high reputation for quality and excellence in all that it does.
Background to Whitbread
Whitbread has developed considerably since it was founded by Samuel Whitbread in 1742. A Farmer’s son, the original founder had completed an apprenticeship in the Brewer’s Company in the City of London before going into partnership with Thomas Shewell to make beer in the north of the City of London.
Whitbread is one of the few companies dating back to the mid-eighteenth century which has not only remained independent, but has established itself as one of the top 100 companies in the United Kingdom. Today, Whitbread is a major food, drinks and leisure company with net assets and annual sales of some £2 billion and over 70,000 employees. The company has developed from its origins in brewing, to owning and operating some of the country’s most popular public houses, restaurants, shops and hotels, whilst still retaining its reputation for high quality brands of beer.
Whitbread manages an impressive portfolio of quality brand names ranging from leisure companies such as David Lloyd Leisure, through pubs and restaurants such as Beefeater, T.G.I. Friday’s, Brewers Fayre and Pizza Hut, through to the Marriott Hotel Group, Travel Inn, Thresher and beers such as Heineken, Stella Artois, Murphy’s Irish Stout and Boddingtons. Quality products and exceptional service have been at the heart of the business since Samuel Whitbread first began brewing over 250 years ago. They are just as important today.